Primary health refers to the wellbeing of an individual that is achieved by the healing of diseases and promotion of wellness in general. The primary goal of the primary health is to ensure that everyone in a particular community is able to access healthcare. It focuses on health care beyond the traditional practices and advocates for healthcare that can be equally accessed by all individuals irrespective of their gender, races, or social class. Wellness occurs when the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of an individual are met as they have an impact on health and wellbeing of that individual. Primary health care and the health measures undertaken are important and promote the wellness of individuals in society. Therefore, nurses have played the vital role of ensuring the society achieves the benefits from quality and safe health care (Australian Nursing Federation, 2013).
The main principles of primary health care are accessibility, equity, promotion of health, intersectional collaboration, use of appropriate technology and community participation. In the current century public health, care involves the provision of essential drugs, treatment of common diseases & injuries, control of locally endemic diseases, immunization of major infectious diseases, maternal & child health care, promotion of food supply /nutrition, education on prevailing health problems and ways of controlling them. Generally, the health services should be part of a community’s health system and must be effective besides being preventive, and curative (Australian Law Reform Commission, 2017).
Nurses are healthcare professionals and generally care for the wellbeing of patients. Their educational requirements should be according to the statutory regulations of a given country. Therefore, nursing is a healthcare profession that focuses care on communities, individuals, and families in order for them to attain optimal health and have a quality life. Nurses are identifiable within their scope of practice, patient care approach, and training. They work under orders from physicians and their public image as been shaped by their traditional role of being care providers. In many cases, nurses practice under different levels of authority. Nurses also have the ability to practice independently under most jurisdictions, depending on their training levels. Most traditional roles of nurses are changing due to diversification leading to advanced credentials and specialization. Therefore, nurses have the duty of ensuring the patients or clients under the care benefit from their services (Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association, 2017).
Nurses normally do many duties under healthcare such as to provide health services independently as professionals. They can also coordinate patient care that is offered by other medical experts in various fields that have teamed up such as therapists, dietitians and medical practitioners (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2014).Advanced nurses can diagnose health complications in patients and prescribe medication for them depending on their individual regulations. Nurses also in providing healthcare come up with a plan that encompasses the patient’s family, the patient, therapist, physicians, and other members to ensure that quality services are being provided and the patient’s quality of life is being improved. In the promotion of healthcare, nurses should maintain a high level of professionalism. They should maintain ethical code as one way of professional practice role.
Ethical codes are guidelines that shape the behavior of a person according to be beliefs and values that are morally accepted in the society. Ethical codes provide direction to the healthcare professionals. These codes of ethics are normally not negotiable in the nursing field. Nurses must apply ethical guidelines in all fields and not just in clinical roles only. Nurses owe others the same obligation they owe themselves and they should also maintain integrity, participate in national development, and express nursing values. These code of ethics is normal customer focused and emphasizes that the nurse must maintain loyalty to the patient regardless on the negative forces that may come from the other family members and should as much as possible avoid interests that may be conflicting or may result in negative effects on the patient’s health. The patients should be regarded as patients rather than clients hence nurses should uphold each of the patient’s dignity as much as they uphold theirs and treat them with respect equally. Dignity should be highly valued in whatever circumstances the patient is in (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014).
Showing respect to the patient, peers, the family is a very important aspect of nursing and promotion of principles of healthcare. It is key to the building up of good relationships with others in the nursing environment and is key in decision-making and help build good boundaries in the daily activities of a nurse. Giving of respect helps to improve each other’s esteem, essence, uniqueness, and honor of one’s wholeness. It also helps the nurse to uphold a sense of integrity and self-knowledge. Respect is important to the success of clinical practice and nurses can embrace this by communicating with the patients effectively, engaging them in decision making and respecting their decisions without judging them. Showing respect also promotes the primary healthcare principle of equity, as the nurse is able to provide health services to the patient without discrimination relating to the circumstances they might be economically or socially (Australian Law Reform Commission, 2017).
Maintaining of confidentiality is also another form of a code of ethics. The nurse is by legal standards to keep the information of the patient given by either them or family. It’s a way of building trust between the patients, their families, their peers and also fellow nurses in the working environment. Sometimes nurses can be tempted to violate the confidence the patients entrusted them with by disclosing their information to fellow nurses or in cases where there is a limit of confidentiality (Australian Government, 2016). Potentials violations of the confidentiality that are not restricted include when the nurse tells the patient information that his/her family told him/her but felt that the patient had to know and in cases whereby the information has to be shared in the nursing report. Confidentiality helps to promote the provision of health since the patients can feel free to tell the nurses their medical problems without fear of intimidation hence getting medical assistance (Australian Law Reform Commission, 2017).
Nurses should also have high moral courage whereby the nurse will have the ability to overcome fear by making a direct confrontation on issues concerning their beliefs and core values.They should also have the courage to do the right things and stick to their rightful duties even though the forces surrounding them compel them not to do so. A nurse having the ability to speak out about a misconduct of a peer or someone else may be helpful in situations that may have led to arrest and this helps to rectify mistakes and avoidance of major consequences. Nurses should also access the consequences of doing confrontations and risks of standing alone (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2013). Techniques that lead to relaxation, analytical information processing, avoidance of negative thoughts, and maintenance of calmness during confrontations are also ways of moral courage in a nurse.
Nurses should also be cultural sensitive in their interaction with diverse culture and communities. Primary health care involves the provision of health services to local people or communities worldwide. This means that the nurses will have to deal with cultural diversity and they should be able to respect cultural group and have a positive attitude towards their health traditions. The nurses should, therefore, have an understanding and know the cultural knowledge to provide ethical care effectively without misunderstandings and this will contribute to the building of trust and respectful exchanges in such situations. Nurses should also give culture sensitive care in terms of ethical aspects of trust, respect, and responsible relationships (Australian Law Reform Commission, 2017). Communication variations are essentials to nurses that deal with diverse cultures because both the verbal and non-verbal clues may inhibit communication and bring about misunderstandings. Care that is culture-sensitive includes offering health services to individuals irrespective of their economic or social standards, nature of their health complications, gender, and race or personal attributes (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013).
In conclusion, nurses should have attributes of good citizenship and they showing characteristics of being compassionate should express this. A compassionate nurse upholds and advocates for social justice in healthcare provision worldwide. Nurses should join hands and campaign actively on the provision of better healthcare worldwide. Nurses should also collaborate globally and collaborate on research on various diseases in order to prevent the death rates due to lack of cures and also help to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. Schools of nursing should also add the aspect of social justice and commitment to global health in their curriculum. There also should be a community of nurses globally that lead in scholarships, knowledge on nursing and devoted towards improving health services for the common good of all people.
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