You’ve probably heard of the 6 C’s in nursing, but do you know what they are – and how they relate to your job?
Read on to find out more about the 6 C’s and why they are important.
Origin of the 6 Cs
While the concepts contained within the 6 C’s have always been a core part of healthcare, there is a definitive moment when they became the 6 C’s as they are known today.
In 2012, the English National Health Service (NHS) released a framework for their healthcare practitioners to follow. Called Compassion in Practice: Nursing, Midwifery and Care Staff: Our Vision and Strategy, this document outlined a set of values, now commonly known as the 6 C’s.
The 6 C’s were quickly accepted by the healthcare industry and the English public. While they haven’t been adopted in a formal way in Australia, they are still commonly referenced, and it is worthwhile knowing them..
What are the 6 Cs?
Without further ado, here are the 6 Cs of nursing.
The first value of the 6 C’s is care. Care should be at the heart of any healthcare system – it is literally a part of the word healthcare after all. A healthy society is built on healthy individuals, and people should be entitled to quality care throughout their lifetime.
Where care simply describes the act of providing care, compassion has a little more nuance. Compassion in Practice defines compassion as professionals using empathy and relationship-building to look after patients in a mature and respectful way.
Competence is pretty straightforward. It simply mandates that any person in a caring role must have the necessary qualifications and experience to perform their role effectively.
Communication applies to both nurse-to-patient relationships and teamwork. Decisions regarding patients shouldn’t be made without involving them. This goes hand-in-hand with the compassion value of respecting the patient. The other aspect is that teams should be communicating and cooperating at all times, both to provide better patient outcomes and to support each other.
Courage appeals to every care provider, from nurses to midwives, to stand up for what’s right and put patient health above all else. It promotes taking individual responsibility to solve problems and not taking shortcuts when caring for people.
Commitment to healthier patients and healthy communities is the foundation of healthcare. While other aspects of a workplace can be distracting, nurses must remain focused on the core goal of providing care.
What is the Purpose of the 6 Cs?
The 6 C’s were designed to be both simple and intrinsic enough to be applicable to all levels of the NHS. The theory was that at every level – from managers and directors to nurses and midwives – the 6 C’s would be the focus. This would create a cultural shift back towards putting the patient first.
While that explains why the 6 C’s were important to the NHS, you might be wondering how applicable they are to your own experience as a nurse.
There have been several high-profile studies and revisions discussing the effectiveness of the 6 C’s on healthcare. One 2015 study acknowledged that while the values may have been too simple to transform English healthcare, they did resonate strongly with nurses and midwives.
Why the 6 Cs are Important
While all sorts of things can affect a nurse’s motivation and focus in the workplace, one fact remains. The vast majority of nurses get into healthcare because they care about people, and naturally allow values like care and compassion to guide them through their roles.
The brilliance of the 6 C’s is their simplicity. They aren’t obscure techniques or concepts that you must learn. They are tenets to remind you about why you got into nursing in the first place, and to refocus you on your patients during a stressful day.
If you are a student looking to become a nurse, they offer you a guideline to know what to expect, and to understand what will be expected of you. They are an affirmation that the career you are working towards represents your own values.
If you want to make sure that your workplace also upholds the values of the 6 C’s, have you considered Nurses Now?
Nurses Now is a nursing agency focused on putting the right people in the right place, at the right time. We put patient care above all else, and have a dedicated and compassionate team. We would love for you to be a part of it.