The UK government has been working on improving the medical situation in the country by passing laws that will ensure that citizens have access to quality medical care. One of the current legislation passed to improve the provision of healthcare is the Care Act of 2014, which majorly focuses on adults who are in need of medical care. This legislation requires that care providers give services that will prevent the health of an individual from getting worse. It also provides a clear outline of the medical care process and also includes a financial assessment (Department of Health, 2016, N.pag.). This Act works to ensure that people receive effective medical care to prevent the chances of recurrence of the same illnesses, as a way of increasing their independence in terms of health. This includes a thorough assessment of the patient to determine if they are legible for medical care. Owing to the guidelines postulated by this Act, the delivery of medical care has been more consistent since they focus more on the needs of the patient. Medical Care has also become more accessible and efficient, as more people have been able to receive healthcare from their councils and from other organizations close to them.
Another legislation is the Health and Social Care Act of 2012, which provides a new outline for the delivery of healthcare services to patients. It aims to promote excellence in the nursing profession. It has intensified training of nurses to ensure that they are well equipped with knowledge, skills, and values that will enable them to provide quality care to patients. This Act also ensures that there is an efficient allocation of medical services. This caters for the professional needs of the nurses and thus ensures that they provide quality medical care. The legislation also provides for monitoring of medical services to correct any measures that may hinder the provision of medical care. This way, the medical care provided is effective and thus helps to promote good health, thereby reducing mortality rates of the people. It also ensures that patients have access to medical care. The Act also came with more reforms, such as integrating the health and social care, to ensure that all stakeholders of medical care provision benefit. The Act was built from NHS guidelines which state that medical care should be given without discrimination and should depend on the clinical need of the patient, be of high quality, focus on the preferences of the patient, cut across various organizational boundaries and promote useful partnerships, use taxpayers money effectively, and promote transparency to the public. It states values such as commitment, compassion, respect, care and dignity as the core values for professional nurses. The NHS also states the right of NHS patients as being able to receive free quality care without being discriminated against on the basis of race, gender, religion, culture or marital status.
In addition to the policies provided by the two Acts, there are additional values that are required for the provision of medical care. Nurses are regarded as caregivers, hence being caring is a necessary value in promoting health. It entails showing concern for the patients by providing both physical and emotional support to a patient, in order to promote their healing process. Caring also entails taking the necessary and effective measure to ensure that these patients, and are thus regarded as one of the values that encompass nursing. As a result, core values of the nursing profession can be said to be different dimensions of caring. These include integrity, altruism, human dignity, and respect.
Integrity is necessary as it implies that the health provider is able to abide by the professions code of ethics and acting within the standards set for the practice (Fahrenwald, Basset, Tschetter, Carson, White, and Winterboer, 2005, p.47). This value encourages open communication and influences the decision-making process, as the nurses have to be aware of the ethical and legal boundaries that limit and consequently direct the decisions they make with regards to their patients.
Altruism is a core value that entails having regard for others in the workplace, be they staff members or patients (Fahrenwald et al, 2005, p.49). The nursing profession is one that requires utter self-sacrifice in providing care. A nurse has to be committed to helping others by acting in their best interests so as to ensure that the patient receives good care. Altruism encompasses sympathy and thus nurses have the responsibility to provide appropriate care.
Human dignity implies respect to the patient, staff members and the society at large. This value represents the humanistic nature of nursing as a profession. This involves being aware of the different values of the patients and respecting them, promoting confidentiality of the health details of the patient and fully dedicating to serve the patient. It includes simple activities like covering the patient in the event that they are indecently exposed. Respect for other medical staff promotes harmony in a medical institution and this ensures that patients receive good care.
In order to ensure that maximum professionalism is attained, reflective practice is incorporated into the nursing practice. Reflective practice is a constituent of the nursing curriculum that provides a continuous learning cycle whereby nursing students have to reflect on the knowledge they have gained so as to enhance the learning process (Caldwell and Grobbel, 2013, p. 319). When nursing students have proper guidance on the reflective process, they easily engage in the lesson and are able to gain the values stated above, which are useful in ensuring that they provide professional medical care. Reflection allows students to develop a proper relationship with their mentor and enables them to develop trust between them (Caldwell and Grobbel, 2013, p. 320). This helps to develop the value of respect as a professional nurse. Reflection acts as a nurturing process for the students as they are able to reflect on the skills obtained from the curriculum, thereby allowing them to work on their passion to provide quality medical care to their patients. Group reflections allow nursing students to express their views and listen to others without passing judgment (Caldwell and Grobbel, 2013, p.322). This helps to protect the dignity of other members as their views are respected. This contributes to the cultivation of the value of integrity, altruism, and dignity. Reflective practice also incorporates learning from other successful nurses in order to establish the different values that they upheld. An example is the life of Mother Teresa who displays altruism in providing care for her patients.
It is evident that the implementation of different legislations and policies has positively influenced the provision of medical care. These legislations have ensured that most patients have access to quality medical care and other medical resources. The NHS has further made medical care accessible to individuals who may not be able to cover medical expenses by making medical services free. It has also ensured that medical care is provided in most remote areas in the UK. Looking at the values necessary for the nursing profession, nurses treat patients with more care and professionalism. These values, together with the policies, have helped to raise the quality of medical care provided to all individuals. These have been effective as they have promoted health independence among individuals as they are able to adopt healthy lifestyles from the advice given by nurses as they receive medical care.References
Caldwell, L. (2013). The Importance of Reflective Practice in Nursing. International Journal of Caring Sciences. Vol. 6, Iss. 13, pp. 319-326.
Department of Health. (2016). Care Act Factsheets. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/care-act-2014-part-1-factsheets/care-act-factsheets#factsheet-2-who-is-entitled-topublic-care-an-support-Fahrenwald, N.L., Basset, S. D., Tschetter, L., Carson, P. P., White, L. and Winterboer, V. J. (2005). Teaching Core Nursing Values. Journal of Professional Nursing. Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 46-51.
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