The Importance of the Nurse-Patient Relationship Essay

The Importance of the Nurse-Patient Relationship Essay

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Nursing is known as one of New Zealand’s most trusted professions (Ministry of Health, 2011). Nursing theorist Hildegard E. Peplau (as cited in Lakeman, R., 1999) defined nursing as “A significant, therapeutic, interpersonal process.” The idea of a helpful nurse-patient relationship and having a connection between nurse and patient aiding the healing of the patient is one nurses actively follow, and is written into the Nursing Council of New Zealand’s Code of Conduct (pg 5). Cultural differences play a part in the development of this relationship and can place barriers that can hinder the development of the nurse-patient relationship.
Stein-Parbury (2009) stated that because each nurse and each patient are individuals, the way they communicate and interact with each other will be different in each nurse-patient relationship. Hence, it depends on the participants and context what characteristics will be most effective. One characteristic of a helpful nurse-patient relationship is maintaining a professional relationship; others are mutuality and reciprocity.
Maintaining a professional relationship, and knowing the difference between a professional and a social one, is essential in a helpful nurse-patient relationship. This relationship is set around the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of one participant, the patient. All interactions between patient and nurse are made being mindful of the patient achieving well-being in all senses (Webb & Holland, 2011). In contrast, a social relationship is not formed around a goal, nor restricted to a certain setting. Using friendships as an example, a social relationship is different from a professional nursing relationship in that it is not one-sided, the nurse should meet their ow...


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...ssessment and intervention (6th ed.). St Louis, MI: Elsevier.
Nursing Council of New Zealand. (2012). Code of Conduct. Retrieved March, 2014, from http://www.nursingcouncil.org.nz/Nurses/Code-of-Conduct
Stein-Parbury, J. (2010). Patient and person (4th ed.). Chatswood, Australia: Elsevier.
Statistics New Zealand. (2013). 2013 Census: New Zealand as a village of 100. Retrieved from: http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/2013-census-infographic-nzvillage.aspx
Wearn, A., Goodyear-Smith, F., Everts, H. & Huggard, P. (2007). Frequency and effects of non-English consultations in New Zealand practice. The New Zealand Medical Journal, 120(1264). Retrieved from: http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/120-1264/2771/content.pdf
Webb, L., & Holland, K. (Eds.). (2011). Nursing: Communication skills in practice. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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