Quality nursing care has been defined differently, based on the nature of involvement of the nurses and the specific practice that the nurse is engaged in, considering that the activities that define quality in each practice are different. However, the concept of quality nursing…
While traditionally the concept of quality nursing care was defined by the policies, the facilities and the credentials associated with the nurses, this definition has been expanded in the modern times to incorporate the concepts of exploration, improvement of the processes and patient safety, as well as the evaluation of the whole outcome of all these components (Batalden & Davidoff, 2007: 2).
In this regard, the concept of quality nursing care refers to the holistic evaluation of the nursing practice, starting from the time the nurse comes into contact with the patient, to the point where the individual is discharged from the health facility, and all the health practices that are involved therein (Institute of Medicine, 2001: 47). Therefore simply put, quality nursing care is the overarching umbrella under which the patient safety resides, and thus the concept of patient safety is indistinguishable from the concept of quality nursing care, since it is through quality nursing care that the safety of the patient is upheld (Russell et al. 2010: 49). Thus, this discussion seeks to analyse the concept of quality nursing care in pain management nursing practice, with a view to establishing how the quality agenda informs this practice.
Pain management is an area of nursing practice that has consistently proved to present multifaceted challenges to the nursing practitioners, considering that at some point in life, everyone experiences pain in its diverse forms. Pain has been classified as either acute or chronic, where the acute pain subsides as the process of healing continues, while the chronic pain is persistent (Jensen et al., 2003: 72). The multifaceted challenges faced by the nursing practitioners under the pain management practice emanate from the fact that pain must not always be physiological, but may also entail some components of psychological, spiritual or emotional dimensions (Jones, 2006: 42). Nevertheless, in all these dimensions, ...
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