Dignity in Medical Set up

Dignity in Medical Set up

Lin and Tsai (2010) postulate that it is crucial to maintain an active relationship between the clients and the hospital workers or an organization’s staff members. In most cases, however, the relationship between the patients and the employees of health units including medical practitioners has been tarnished. The reasons are commonly attributed to the failure of the staff members to recognize the quality of dignity among the patients. Dignity entails observing privacy between the patient and the service providers in the hospital.

In April 2016, one of my friend’s dignity was disrespected by hospital staff. The person was suffering from a severe hereditary disease that was discovered after undergoing diagnosis. As Ajibade, Oladeji, Oyedele and Makinde (2013) record, confidentiality policy in health care is among the key issues of consideration to maintain productive relationship with the patients. My friend’s dignity was not secured because the staff member who was taking care of him shared the information concerning his medical results to unauthorized individuals. In addition to the hospital staff, other community members were also involved in transmitting unnecessary information about the patient’s medical conditions. Pincock (2014) postulates that only the individuals who can help in further treatment of the disease or in conducting research about the illness should be given information concerning the results of a patient’s condition. By disclosing information to other members in the hospital and across the society, the practitioner breached the policy of ensuring privacy when dealing with patients. Loss of dignity especially in the medical care set-up is viewed negatively. As a result of betrayed pride, the patient started suffering from psychological distress, loss of trust to health care units and lowered personal respect.
Research by Lin and Tsai (2010) shows that it is one of the most critical aspects of consideration in health care centers from clients, staff and relatives of the patient. Treating clients with dignity can help improve the employee satisfaction in his or her job and at the same time develop the patient’s trust to the medical staff and towards the organization as a whole. Nurses and other staff members should take the collective actions of ensuring that the dignity and respect of the clients visiting the hospitals are maintained. For example, in the wards, the staff members should devise ways of maintaining dignity and privacy for the patients for example when conducting personal care. According to NSW Health and New South Wales (2016), when the confidentiality and independence of a client in the hospital is taken for granted, threatened or compromised, the scenario can cause distress, embarrassment and dissatisfaction of an individual.

In the realm of care in hospitals or other medical assistance centers, if the hospital management takes appropriate care of the private concerns of a person such as making use of the toilet, the initiative can produce profound effects on the patient’s dignity. The hospital’s staff and the patient should provide an appropriate space concerning private dialogue and conversation that can help in maintaining the client’s privacy and dignity. If the customer calls for privacy in observation or monitoring of individual issues, the staff of a health unit should respect the patient’s request and keep the conversation secret.


Ajibade, B.L, M.O, Oladeji, Oyedele, E.A, Makinde. 2013. Antenatal Patients Level of Satisfaction Toward Service Rendered by Health Workers in Selected Primary Health Centers of Ejigbo Local Government, Osun, State Nigeria. The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE.

Lin, Y., & Tsai, Y. 2010. Maintaining patients’ dignity during clinical care: a qualitative interview study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(2), 340-348. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05498.x

NSW Health, & New South Wales. 2016. Guidelines for working with people with challenging behaviours in residential aged care facilities: Using appropriate interventions and minimising restraint. North Sydney, NSW: NSW Dept. of Health.

Pincock, S. 2014. Hospitals still don’t do enough for patients’ privacy and dignity. BMJ, 328(7442), 730-0. doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7442.730-b

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