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In my presentation, I shall be discussing and explaining each of the principles of codes set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council or more popularly known as NMC. After that, an in-depth and critical analysis will be done on the impacts of these principles in the empowerment of the clients. The values of each of these codes will be discussed along with the explanation.
Being a professional regulatory body of this field, a lot of nurses and midwives come under this council. They promote and teach higher education to the students that help them to develop professional skills necessary for becoming caregivers. Other than giving unique registration identities, NMC monitors and regulates the standards of services offered by them. The reason why a lot of professionals, around 1%, lose their jobs is just to serve poorly and not perform their duty ethically.
The NMC regulates the nurses and midwives of the UK as well as nursing associates in England. They support different organisations that give training to these professionals by providing necessary resources in order to ensure the fulfilments of the standards they have primarily had set. In addition, it encourages them to face challenging situations and not to lose hope. Teamwork is an important part of providing good services to care users. Therefore, it makes several principles to ensure good services which will be discussed in the following slides.
Before proceeding to the principles of NMC I would like to briefly discuss the importance of NMC in this profession. Basically, NMC is directly associated with some of the Approved Education Institutes (AEIs) of the UK who are responsible for providing or teaching professional skills. The NMC gives assurance that all the professionals are eligible enough to provide safe and effective services. However, it does not set any curriculum for the students who want to become nurses or midwives, rather it only set standards for AEIs. Hence, it can be said that the authorities of NMC are responsible for setting standards only and not necessarily assessing them. The professionals fail to follow their code of ethics; they can cancel the registration as well.
There are several principles rather codes of ethics are followed in this profession which are set by NMC. All these principles are centred on the care users and their safety only. The NMC ensures all the caregivers prioritise the care receivers and they are treated with respect and kindness. It ensures the delivery of care plans effectively. Making assumptions is highly avoided instead focusing on diversity in care plans can be a better choice. A caregiver must be a good listener. This helps in understanding the problems faced by them and taking steps accordingly. I must address that currently, "Person-centred Care" is chosen as a better approach for treating and supporting patients. In this, the patient's and his family choices are considered over anything and care plans are made accordingly. Mutual understanding between care users and caregivers is the foundation of the speedy recovery of any patient. Hence, if the nurse or midwives can understand the needs of the patients there is a greater chance of becoming fit and healthy in a shorter time. Physical wellbeing must not be the focus of the care. Instead, physical, mental, and social well-being should be the priorities. Sometimes, patients with mental disorders face difficulties adjusting to society. Addressing social needs can help them adopt several norms of society. In addition, respecting care users, colleagues and other professionals are part of NMC codes of ethics. Therefore, nurses and midwives follow all these principles while performing their duties. Other principles are in the following slides.
The needs of the care users must be promptly responded to by taking necessary steps to ensure speedy recovery from their physical or mental disorders. The social aspects also must be a matter of concern. In addition, privacy and confidentiality must be maintained and share only the necessary information with the team. The NMC suggests sharing only necessary information with other health professionals to protect the privacy as well as safety of patients. If they do not opt for "people-centred care" it is not mandatory to let them know every detail of treatment to respect the sensitivity of the patients. An important element of this profession is to maintain effective verbal and non-verbal communication. As we all know non-verbal communication such as nodding heads, giving smiles help the caregivers to get knowledge regarding the wellness of the patients. Similarly, if a nurse gives smiles and communicates non-verbally with the patients it helps to build a good relationship between them. However, maintaining effective verbal communication is foremost important over anything. The aim is to remove any misunderstanding that can lead to an emergency. Verbal communication helps to convey information quickly. In this regard, teamwork is necessary to share knowledge, preserve safety, and help them if facing difficulties. Good communication and teamwork reduce the probability of differences in opinion and unnecessary conflicts.
Delegating tasks, making sure the team has understood everything properly, and being accountable for any action is important. It is important to confirm the safe outcome of the delegated task. Seeking help from other caregivers and colleagues are necessary to avoid any emergency and take necessary steps especially for vulnerable patients. Recognising the competencies and work limitations helps to achieve desired outcomes. In this regard, identification and assessment of signs and symptoms of patients and taking necessary steps if detecting any worsening of conditions is necessary. Seek help from suitable professionals in order to maintain the health and safety of the care users becomes mandatory in emergencies. It is advised by NMC to act within limits in emergencies to avoid any mis-happening that can cause a patient's life. Offer to help others in an emergency and take reasonable steps for vulnerable patients. Sometimes, legal steps can be taken if any risk is detected.
A record must be kept that is accessible to all the caregivers associated with a particular patient. A record keeps all the necessary information related to the patient's condition, symptoms, complications, and critical events while staying in the health centre. All this information is helpful to understand the risks associated with the patients. The NMC makes sure no falsification of information is done. Other than that, a patient can be given advice or prescribed medicines if the nurse or midwife has sufficient knowledge regarding that. Following appropriate guidelines, while advising or prescribing medicines is a must. Sometimes, the patients are supplied with medicines if they are available. However, the NMC suggests not prescribing medicines for their own and the closed ones. The nurses usually do not prescribe medicines but if they have done any special course and are qualified enough then only they can suggest medicines. In other cases, they are only eligible to supply medicines. Moreover, having evidence-based latest knowledge is compulsory to work in this field. It helps to reduce the negative impacts of any treatment and prevent emergencies. All the necessary precautions must be taken to avoid potential risks as far as possible.
These principles of NMC codes help the nurses and midwives to uphold the standards of this novel profession. Hence, it is very significant to follow the laws of the country to ensure honesty and integrity in services. Discrimination among the patients is strictly inhibited and against the codes of ethics. Moreover, no one has the right to take advantage of the vulnerable. The NMC prevents the caregivers from accepting any gifts or favours from the patient or patient's family. Taking bribes and accepting loans are strictly prohibited as well. Sometimes, the nurses or midwives are asked to contribute to the advertisements or any publication of the health centre they are working with. The NMC never encourages falsification or exaggeration of information and considers them to be absolutely unethical. In addition, it states that in only appropriate situations only the media must have cooperated.
NMC is the one who registers the nurses and midwives in this profession. Hence, it is their responsibility to regularly enquire on whether or not everyone is performing their duties ethically. In order to ensure that they perform regular investigations, it is the duty to cooperate with them by providing the necessary documents, and records. The NMC keeps check on whether the nurses or midwives have the latest knowledge of their practices and whether they are giving continuous efforts for improvements. Therefore, providing them with the audits of training and other records are the caregivers' responsibility. No one has the right to interfere in the investigation process.
Negative feedback and complaints must be handled professionally as well. Moreover, taking the role of a leader to improve the experiences as well as outcomes of the patients are very significant. Encouraging a team and mentoring juniors to follow these codes of ethics is also the crucial duty of a leader.
Until now I have been discussing the principles of the codes made by NMC that we follow in this profession. From now on I will be addressing the impacts of these principles and values on our clients. There is no doubt in the fact that all these principles are actually made for the wellbeing and empowering the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of the patients. These codes just ensure the professionals completely understand the needs of their clients and get all the treatments to relieve pain. I have already mentioned "Person-centred Care" or PCC in the previous slides. This type of care approach has been specifically made just to enhance the hospital visit experiences and exceed their expectations from us. For example, a patient who is admitted to the hospital due to a sudden myocardial attack needs critical follow up throughout his stay. Because there is a high chance that he may again have another attack that will certainly decrease his chances of survival. Hence, his critical events such as a rise in BP, increased heart rate etc. if monitored continuously, can give valuable hints of further deterioration. The NMC codes just ensure all the nurses and midwives are performing their duties obediently which can certainly reduce the emergence of emergencies significantly.
Despite all these principles and values set by NMC, mistakes do occur that sometimes cost a patient's life. The codes try to ensure no such incident takes place where due to the irresponsibility of a nurse or midwife, a patient dies in the hospital. However, sometimes carelessness, lack of sufficient knowledge and skills lead to deterioration of the patient's conditions and enhance the chances of admission in the emergency. Simultaneously, it decreases the probability of expected outcomes and sometimes the hospital loses its reputation and is brutally criticised due to such incidents. In addition, a lack of effective communication while handling a patient can pose a potential threat to his life. In a retrospective study of the UK, it was found that some families believe in home-based care rather than admitting in the hospitals. Despite such advanced facilities some people do believe home treatment is best and only admit when the patient is "End-to-life". Hence, the nurses and other professionals associated with these duties must work on increasing awareness and that can only be possible when incidents such as uncertain deaths due to negligence will be reduced.
Ineffective communication creates barriers to conveying important messages to the team. Hence, if the whole team managing a particular patient does not have all the necessary information they will be unable to handle the emergencies which may lead to the death of the patient. Due to ego, some nurses do not consider asking for help from colleagues in an emergency which results in deterioration of the situation and enhances the probability of unexpected outcomes. In addition, it is strictly against NMC codes to prescribe medicines if the nurse is not qualified enough. However, some nurses go against the law and prescribe incorrect medicines that worsen the scenario.
Therefore, it can be concluded that making standards, setting values are not enough. Instead, all these must be religiously followed to reduce unexpected incidents.
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