How do you demonstrate the 6 Cs of nursing

30 June 2022 By Michael Bowyer

The six Cs of care are a series of attitudes and values that nurses in the UK uphold to maintain an incredible level of care. Along with the five rights of medication, the six Cs are a way of remembering all of these values to achieve Compassion in Care, and while we know every nurse is familiar with them, it’s always a good idea to refresh our memory! Whilst everything a nurse does is imbued with these core principles, it’s always beneficial to evaluate your practice and think about where you might be able to improve or better support your colleagues and patients.


What are the NHS’ 6 Cs of nursing?

1. Care

Consistently high levels of patient care are the mainstay of any nurse’s role. Care must be patient-centric and accommodate the patient’s wishes, preferences and beliefs.

2. Compassion

Compassion means providing care in an empathic way, taking into account the patient’s feelings and treating them with dignity and respect when they are at their most vulnerable. Nursing is often a balance between compassionate and clinical support.

3. Competence

Competence when prescribing or caring for a patient’s needs is vital. Having confidence in your own clinical competence and finding opportunities for continuous professional development will ensure you are always providing the highest level of care possible.

4. Communication

Communication has come under the spotlight in recent months with the permanent instating of telephone appointments and virtual/video consultations. Listening to your patients and asking the right questions are key to supplementing the information you may have gained from a visual examination in person. Other areas of communication include communicating with your team for unified collaboration and care, and also educating your patients on how to manage long-term conditions, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and much more.

5. Courage

Courage is one of the most important of the six Cs, it refers to the courage and bravery it takes to truly advocate on your patients’ behalf and stand up for what is right for them, even if it goes against your facility’s working practices if you think it will benefit their health and wellbeing.

6. Commitment

Commitment refers to not only commitment to your patients and seeing their treatment through to the end, providing what they need for them when they need it, it also refers to your commitment to your role as a nurse. Your clinical commitment is just as important as your care commitment.

Why were the 6 Cs introduced?


Introduced in 2012, the six Cs were introduced to better support nurses and provide a standardised framework for the level of care expected of them.


How can you enact the 6 Cs in your day-to-day work?


Some of the Cs, like care and competence, form a natural part of everything you do on a shift, however taking the time to evaluate how you incorporate the other Cs into your day will ensure you are fully aligned with them.


When it comes to communication, ask yourself: how do you normally communicate with your patients? How often do you check in with your team? This will allow you to work out where, or if, there’s room for improvement. Communicating with patients will always be extremely entwined with compassion and even courage too. Looking through any feedback you have received over the years will also allow you to see where you can better support your patients with the 6 Cs on a day-to-day basis.


When it comes to commitment and supporting your career, Medical Staffing have got you covered. We can ensure you access roles that will allow you to professionally develop, learn new skills, specialise and much more.


Looking for your next nursing role?

Medical Staffing is one of the largest healthcare agencies in the UK. We listen to you and your career goals and ensure every role we put in front of you is truly aligned with what you want to achieve. We can also help you explore new and exciting areas of care by sourcing short and long-term assignments, out of hours, or back-to-back roles.

Our specialist consultants are always on hand to help you with onboarding and compliance support, so get in touch today!

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