Key principles: the 6 Cs of nursing & the 5 rights of medication

09 March 2021 By Lorraine Gray

​When working in a fast-paced environment, healthcare professionals often have to think on their feet whilst consistently delivering an exceptional level of patient care. It is easy to get caught up in administration as you move from patient to patient and only think about the job at hand. Sometimes it is a good idea to slow down and take a moment to refamiliarise yourself with the core principles of nursing, as it ensures a high degree of patient satisfaction - a priority for all healthcare providers.

Revisiting principles such as the 6 Cs of nursing and the “5 rights” of medication administration will not only improve the level of care your patients receive, it will significantly reduce the likelihood of errors occurring.

What is compassion in practice?

Compassion in practice is a national guide for all healthcare professionals introduced by the NHS Commissioning board to help regulate and maintain high levels of care. The strategy introduces the concept of the 6 Cs which every healthcare professional should bear in mind in order to achieve and maintain this high level of care across the country

What are the 6 Cs of nursing?

The 6 Cs provide a set of values for all healthcare staff to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal: to deliver a high level of compassionate care and achieve the best health and wellbeing outcomes. They all carry an equal weight of importance and are listed and explained using examples below:

1. Care

You must deliver a consistent level of exceptional patient care that is centered around the individual and their needs. This means that when caring for your patient you must take their wishes and beliefs into consideration and put their best interests at the heart of what you do.

2. Compassion

Compassion means taking your patient’s emotions into consideration, so that they are treated with dignity. Your relationships with patients should be empathetic and show awareness of the current situation, recognising that they could be anxious, stressed, upset or in pain Treat them with kindness and offer them both your emotional and clinical support.

3. Competence

It is important to understand the health and social needs of every individual patient and have the clinical competence and confidence to assess, prescribe and deliver the patient’s needs. The ability to assess each individual patients safely is essential and to recognise when and to whom to refer the patient onto if necessary. As a clinician maintaining your clinical competence is essential and keeping up to date with research-based changes is part of this.

4. Communication

Listening is an important factor when it comes to assessing and treating a patient and is extremely important currently with the increase in remote telephone assessments. Communication as we know is a two-way process, and you may find you are having to ask additional questions as you can’t see your patient face to face. Inform your patient of your working diagnosis and the rationale for your questions, tell them your potential diagnosis and what the plan for them is. Always document everything.

5. Courage

Courage means doing the right thing and having the strength to speak up when you have concerns. You must always put your patients' needs first and be brave enough to put your ideas forward in your organisation, even if it goes against their working practices, if you think it will benefit their health and wellbeing.

6. Commitment

Not only should you be committed to providing high-quality care to your patients, you must also be committed to your role as a clinician. Continuous learning and self-development are important to ensure you are able to adapt to new environments as well as new research-based trends and practices.

When you partner with Medical Staffing, we ensure you are presented with opportunities to hone your skills and develop your expertise further. Our specialist consultants offer ongoing support and career advice to ensure you stay on track to achieve your long-term career ambitions.

Understanding the “5 rights” of medication administration in the UK:

As you are aware a key part of a nurse/paramedic’s role is to administer medication and in a busy environment you can be exposed to risk if the current procedure isn’t followed. A useful tool to have in your mind is the “5 rights” of medication administration.

  • The right patient

  • The right drug

  • The right dose

  • The right route

  • The right time

Systems such as the “5 rights” have been orchestrated to help you consider the key aspects of medicines administration to reduce the likelihood of errors.

At Medical Staffing, we know that taking time away from your busy schedule to go back to the basics can be a daunting prospect.

If you have any further questions about the 6 Cs of nursing or the 5 rights of medication administration, or even how you can source locum or clinician work in primary or acute care - or even via remote telemedicine working shifts - we would be happy to talk to you about it!

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