The Five Principles of Care
Nurse assistants follow a group of five principles, or values. These five principles are safety, dignity, independence, privacy, and communication. Nurse assistants keep these five principles in mind as they perform all of their duties and actions for the patients in their care.
The first principle is safety. Nurse assistants must keep patients free from injuries such as burns and bruises. They need to make sure that patients do not hurt themselves, such as by walking away from the care facility and causing harm to themselves or others. Nurse assistants also keep patients safe by always washing their hands thoroughly and taking measures to prevent infections.
The second principle is dignity. All patients should be treated with respect. Nurse assistants can help to maintain their patients’ dignity, or self-respect, when they interact with their patients every day. Nurse assistants can improve patients’ self-esteem by treating them as adults and talking with their patients about their care. They can also ensure their patients’ dignity by making sure to keep their patients’ bodies covered when providing care.
The third principle is independence. Patients may start to feel helpless when nurse assistants and other health care members are caring for their daily needs. Nurse assistants can encourage patients’ independence when they have patients do as much as possible for themselves. Patients should try to stay as physically and mentally healthy as their individual conditions allow in order to prevent further decline of their health.
The fourth principle is privacy. In health care facilities, many people are living in shared quarters. Nurse assistants should take care not to discuss patients’ private matters with others.
The fifth principle is communication. Talking and listening to patients is a large part of a nurse assistant’s job. Nurse assistants must communicate daily with their patients and involve the patients in their own health care decisions.