Person-centred care (in nursing): Seek first to understand and then to be understood ...

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Health Practice Relationships, 2014, pp. 111 - 118
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Person-centred care1 (PCC) is a holistic approach to the planning and delivery of healthcare that is grounded in a philosophy of personhood. While there are many definitions of PCC in the literature, each promotes self-determination and a commitment to helping individuals lead the life they want. Health professionals who practise in a person-centred way acknowledge that each person is unique, has equal rights and worth, and brings experiences, skills and knowledge about their health and illness. Person-centred nurses are typically empathic, respectful, ethical, open-minded and self-aware. They tend to have a profound sense of personal responsibility for actions (moral agency), they place the “person” at the centre of healthcare, and consider the person’s needs and wishes as paramount. In this chapter I explore the rationale for and benefits of practising in a personcentred way. Narratives highlighting both positive and negative examples of PCC provide opportunities to reflect on and examine the attributes, meaning and relevance of PCC to clinical practice. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the relationship between PCC and patient safety.
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