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Susan Osborne: Why do some nurses fail to meet the basic needs of patients?

A stay in hospital as an inpatient left Safe Staffing Alliance chair Susan Osborne feeling isolated and insecure when her basic needs such as comfort and hydration were not met

A stay in hospital as an inpatient left Safe Staffing Alliance chair Susan Osborne feeling isolated and insecure when her basic needs such as comfort and hydration were not met

What has happened to nurses ensuring patients’ physiological needs are met? Following a recent hospital admission for keyhole abdominal surgery, I spent New Year’s Eve reflecting on this.

The care provided by the medical staff and the majority of nursing staff was excellent. But it feels like the nursing profession has lost its understanding of the complexity of human behaviour in terms of meeting a patient’s physiological needs, as described in American psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

This is often represented as a pyramid with five levels, with basic needs such as food, water and rest at the lowest level and self-fulfilment needs at

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