Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 29(1) March 2016 : 17-25.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2016.24642
Special Focus On The Fundamentals Of Care

Person-Centredness and Fundamentals of Care – Dancing with Beauty Rather than Fighting Ugliness

Brendan McCormack


The fundamentals of care have re-emerged as an important consideration in nursing following a period when these role elements were predominantly "delegated tasks" delivered by other (usually unregistered/unregulated) members of the health and social care team. Contemporary critiques of nursing highlight the technical focus of nursing at the expense of its caring function. Person-centred nursing theory offers a way of reinstating the value of fundamental care as a core part of providing holistic nursing to persons as well as highlighting the importance of the nursing role in coordinating healthcare services in ways that are consistent with a person's beliefs and values. This paper argues that a focus on person-centredness enables the core function of nurses as providers and coordinators of holistic person-centred fundamental care to be revalued. It highlights the importance of nurses being clear about "what matters" in caring practices and suggests that nurses adopting a person-centred approach can achieve effective care coordination through the lens of the fundamentals of care. In reading this paper, a greater understanding of person-centredness in the context of the fundamentals of care can be achieved.



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