General guidelines applicable for nurses worldwide

Nurses and nursing profession have a very important role to play in healthcare industry. According to latest estimates, nursing professionals account for more than 50% of the total workforce in the evergreen healthcare sector.  Without the effective contribution and assistance of the nurses, the provision of quality healthcare and patient care is impossible.

Nurses employed in hospitals, clinics, patient care centers and such other healthcare centers, irrespective of their area of specialization and expertise, need to follow some basic guidelines in connection with the execution of their basic duties.

What is the need for these guidelines for nurses?  Nurses have been entrusted with the primary responsibility of providing healthcare and assistance for the patients suffering from minor or major diseases. Providing healthcare and assistance at times of emergency or during illness assumes vital importance for the simple fact that lack of healthcare or timely assistance might result in loss of life or might result in irreparable loss to the life.

Every nurse should strictly follow the following basic guidelines while carrying out their responsibilities.

  1. Awareness of the patient and his/her state of condition:  One of the basic requirements for a nurse attending on a patient is to have a thorough knowledge or understanding of the patient, the nature of illness, the state of the condition and the seriousness of the condition.  Lack of understanding or improper understanding of the problem might result in providing poor or insufficient attention, which might, at times, lead to death or other unnecessary complications.
  2. Good rapport and communication with the patient:  A nurse should have a good communication and understanding with the patient that gives the patient the additional confidence that he or she is in safe hands and can expect better and quality treatment from the nurse.   Maintaining good communication and friendly mannerism with the patients will improve the morale and confidence of the patient and might lead to quick recovery from the ailment.
  3. Nurses working in a hospital environment should ensure that all the facilities around the patient are in proper condition and within the easy reach of the patient.  In a typical hospital set up, it is common to find emergency switches within the reach of the patient so that he or she can raise an alarm in case of emergency or deterioration in the health.  It is the responsibility of the nurses to ensure that the facilities are in proper place and in good working condition.  A nurse should also ensure that the set up and the equipments/apparatus required to meet any emergency situation are kept within reach and in prepared state such that lack of amenities or non-availability of resources at times of emergency should not be a cause for death or other consequences to a patient.
  4. Good communication skills, especially listening and understanding skills.  One of the most important requirements or guidelines for a nurse is to have good listening skills, understanding capability and communication skills.  If he or she does not understand or have any clarification on the instructions given by the doctor, the nurse should be bold enough to seek clarification and get the doubts cleared instantly.  Because giving wrong treatment or administering wrong medicine is worse than not providing any treatment.  Nurses should ensure that what they do is absolutely in line with the instruction of the doctor and helps in improving the condition of the patient, and not otherwise.
  5. Maintaining good hygiene: Nurses should maintain proper hygiene and also ensure that the surroundings around a patient are clean and free from bacteria or other harmful substances.  Cleanliness is said to be godliness and maintaining good hygiene is essential to keep the diseases away.  The nurse should ensure that hygiene is maintained in the hospital.

These basic guidelines should be strictly followed by nurses irrespective of the place where they execute their responsibilities.

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