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The Social Context Of Nursing Practice

3980 words - 16 pages

This assignment will reflect on a scenario concentrating on ageism and will focus on valuing diversity and anti-discriminative practice. It will discuss how they are important to the delivery of care. I shall also discuss how I have developed and improved my interpersonal skills with both patients and colleagues and overcome barriers created through prejudice and labelling. Also considered is how the Johari window (Luft & Ingham 1955) allows understanding of the self and how that has an important effect on practice.Using reflective practice I have gained insight into my strengths and weaknesses. Reflection is being able to link theory to practice effectively (Jarmen 1993). I have used my ...view middle of the document...

When assumptions are made ie "All old people lose their memory" it is a major part of discrimination as it is based on prejudice. Prejudice is an opinion formed beforehand, the act or condition of holding such opinions, intolerance or dislike for people of a specific race, religion or group (Smart 2000.) These are similar and involve labelling individuals or groups, something which can be destructive to providing individualised care. Labelling is the ascribing of a negative label to an action that is then taken as a means of defining a person (Birchenhall 2000).At the core of every patient nurse relationship is the ability to communicate effectively (Faulkner 1998). There are two main types of communication; intrapersonal and interpersonal (Northouse 1998.) Intrapersonal communication is communicating with ourselves for example keeping a diary. Interpersonal communication is communicating with the outside world ie a nursing assessment. This is an interaction between either two or more people Balzer-Riley (2000). It is an integral component of any relationship. Communication involves how we perceive others, allows us to form stereotypes, impressions, judgements and opinions. So when you discriminate the individual may feel undervalued and have little confidence (Burnard 1997).Self awareness is a good way to improve our communication skills and our relationships with others. Therefore this is a major part of how others react to you and can say a great deal about you, so if people constantly convey to you that you are stupid, it is hard not to believe them. This belief happens when a person starts to perceive a negative self image. Self-image is defined as 'our own assessment of our social worth.' (Price 1990)A concept I feel is relevant is known as a self fulfilling phophecy. A self-fulfilling prophecy is a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the originally false conception come true (Merton 2004). It relates to self-image and self-esteem to the extent that our interpersonal communication behaviour is likely to reflect the way we see ourselves. We are also likely to seek from others confirmation that our self-image is accurate. So if we see ourselves as winners, others will and, as a result we may well turn out to be winners; if we see losers then losers we will be.I will now discuss ageism. As a society we are not very tolerant of the elderly and Yates (1997) poses the question if from the moment we are born the ageing process begins then why should elderly people become devalued because of their age? Biggs (2000) sees ageism as the daftest form of prejudice since we all grow old. We all know ageism exists but what is it? Ageism can be seen as a process of systematic stereotyping of and discrimination against people because they are old, just as racism and sexism accomplish this for skin colour and gender (Butler 1969.) Ageism allows the younger generations to see older people as differently from themselves and...

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