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Nurs Ethics. 2007 Jan;14(1):62-71.

Why hospice nurses need high self-esteem.

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Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Department of Ethics, Philosophy and History of Medicine (137), PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


This article discusses the relationship between personal and professional qualities in hospice nurses. We examine the notion of self-esteem in personal and professional identity. The focus is on two questions: (1) what is self-esteem, and how is it related to personal identity and its moral dimension? and (2) how do self-esteem and personal identity relate to the professional identity of nurses? We demonstrate it is important that the moral and personal goals in nurses' life coincide. If nurses' personal view of the good life is compatible with their experiences and feelings as professionals, this improves their performance as nurses. We also discuss how good nursing depends on the responses that nurses receive from patients, colleagues and family; they make nurses feel valued as persons and enable them to see the value of the work they do.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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