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Nurses’ Commitment to Respect Patient Dignity


The first selected tenet is that a nurse must practice with compassion with respect for human dignity and worth with each person. Under this aspect, the concepts of building a rapport with patients and colleagues, respecting their right to dignity and self-determination, understanding the nature of health are included. The provision states that nurses should build a relationship of trust with patients and provide high-quality care that respects their unique beliefs, dignity (which may be compromised in illness), and overall consideration for human rights regardless of the patient’s background or preferences (Butts & Rich, 2016).

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This is the most important tenet in personal opinion as it deals directly with the aspect of human interaction and underlying care and respect that nursing care entails. In practice respecting and protecting human dignity can be exemplified in a number of ways. For example, when performing a diagnosis and physical examination, patients need a level of privacy, even in conditions of a shared hospital room. Elderly patients may require aid in mobility and undressing, while severely ill patients may exhibit symptoms that make them vulnerable.

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This tenet ultimately calls for nurses to be compassionate and understanding, provide aid when appropriate, and respect the privacy and dignity of patients no matter the external conditions, communicating, if possible, what the patient needs and comfort level may be. Evidence suggests that the process of healthcare is more effective, and patients cope better with illness when treated with respect.

Upholding human dignity enhances recovery and provides emotional comfort which ultimately leads to a better quality of care (Raee, Abedi, & Shahriari, 2017). Understanding this principle highly benefits my personal experience as a nurse. I become more aware of the patient’s level of comfort and worries regarding being judged due to their beliefs or physical symptoms. Therefore, I become more compassionate, comforting patients, and building a rapport which allows me to provide a greater level of care and personal consideration towards the individuals as human beings.

The second selected tenet focuses on nursing promotion, advocacy, and protection of patient rights, health, and safety. This includes the protection of basic rights, particularly in research and confidentiality which ensures that there is no unwanted intrusion into a person’s private life and the right to control their health decisions. The tenet also calls for the establishment of performance standards and review mechanisms that ensures modern evidence-based knowledge used in practice as well as a professional responsibility to develop a culture of safety through the establishment of policies and protocols. The tenet calls to alert and challenge any questionable practices either by individuals or medical organizations and consider the patient’s safety, continuously protecting and advocating for those who are vulnerable (Butts & Rich, 2016).

In practice, this tenet can be applied when developing new evidence-based practices. For example, if a hospital has a high level of HAIs, new standards for handwashing and sanitation may be established. This is a proven way to reduce HAI infections and is aimed at protecting the safety and health of hospitalized patients.


Advocacy and protection for patients in medical contexts can effectively lead to the improvement of care quality and enriching the nursing profession. Attributes of protecting patient autonomy and championing social justice ensure a certain level of public and management recognition of issues and lead to the rise of quality of care. Establishing standards and protocols for care while also opening channels for change, intervention, and reporting of questionable practices promotes long-term commitment to safety (Nsiah, Siakwa, & Ninnoni, 2019).

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Personally, applying this tenet in my own practice focuses on the ethical component of providing care according to the rules and always advocating for my patients and their families. Even slight deviations from standards may endanger a patient’s life and understanding that helps me to be dedicated to the job and always communicating with patients to ensure that their safety and needs are met.


Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2016). Nursing ethics: Across the curriculum and into practice (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Nsiah, C., Siakwa, M., & Ninnoni, J. P. K. (2019). Registered Nurses’ description of patient advocacy in the clinical setting. Nursing Open, 6(3), 1124-1132. Web.

Raee, Z., Abedi, H., & Shahriari, M. (2017). Nurses’ commitment to respecting patient dignity. Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 6(16), 1-6. Web.

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