Dignity in practice
Providing dignity in care centres on three integral aspects: respect, compassion and sensitivity (RCN Principles of Nursing Practice: Principle A). In practice, this means:
- respecting patients' and clients' diversity and cultural needs; their privacy - including protecting it as much as possible in large, open-plan hospital wards; and the decisions they make
- being compassionate when a patient or client and/or their relatives need emotional support, rather than just delivering technical nursing care
- demonstrating sensitivity to patients' and clients' needs, ensuring their comfort.
Reflecting on the factors that impact on places, people and processes - the 3Ps framework - has helped many people consider whether work practices preserve or detract from the dignity of patients and clients. This framework is described in Dignity - a pocket guide (PDF 1.8MB) [see how to access PDF files].
You can also read about examples and experiences of dignity in practice which were highlighted during the RCN's Dignity campaign.