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In the realm of healthcare, the principles of Catholic social thought stand as a beacon of ethical guidance, with human dignity at their core. This fundamental principle emphasizes the intrinsic worth of every human, a concept echoed by the United Nations' SDGs. An argumentative analysis has been carried out based on the impact of this catholic social thought principle on the nursing sector and how the patients benefit by respecting their dignity while preparing care plans. In this essay, the sustainable development goal 3, "Good Health and Well-Being," and its specific target 3c, "Increase Health Financing and Support Health Workforce in Developing Countries," will also be critically analyzed, which will serve as an ideal illustration of global commitment to providing quality healthcare to all. Moreover, this essay will also highlight the significance of community engagement for future nurses by collaborating with local organizations to address critical nursing issues. The structural issues faced by the nurses and patients in the healthcare setting along with, the most effective approaches to address issues will also be compared and justified in this essay.

Main Body

In Catholic social thought, " Human Dignity and Rights ", serves as a cornerstone principle that critically addresses the essence of human existence and its implications for social and ethical discourse (Pope Francis, 2015). As per the views of Gilabert, (2019), this principle recognizes a crucial fact that each individual possesses a distinct and intrinsic value, irrespective of external factors like socioeconomic status, nationality, or ethnicity. By the works of Killmister (2020), it is understood that human dignity and rights extend beyond a mere philosophical concept and possess real-world application. One such author, Dustin (2018) underscored that pragmatism or practicality is a very significant element while advocating for human rights, rooted in dignity. From his views, it is understood that this element of practicality helps in transforming principles of human dignity into tangible benefits in people's lives. For example, in nursing, it can be said that advocating for patient rights and dignified care entails implementing practical measures to ensure providing ethical treatment and improving patient well-being, aligning with human dignity (Gilabert, 2019).

Apart from this, another author Simões & Sapeta, (2019) underscored in their works that human dignity comprises of a broad range of rights, including civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. It opposes social structures and customs that violate human dignity, fights for the rights of the oppressed, and promotes justice and compassion in all facets of life (Simões & Sapeta, 2019). Therefore, by analyzing the pieces of evidence, I can say that this catholic social thought principle entails addressing different aspects of patient rights, such as access to quality healthcare services, cultural sensitivity, and informed consent.

SDG 3, " Good Health and Well-Being ," refers to an ambitious and encompassing global commitment to ensure that all people across the world have access to quality healthcare. Within this comprehensive goal, Target 3c, which focuses on increasing health financing and supporting the health workforce holds significant relevance to the nursing sector (Globalgoals, 2023). The emphasis of SDG target 3c is on the rural regions which experience substantial healthcare delivery issues, like shortage of healthcare workers, limited funding. As per the works of Fonseca et al., (2020), the sustainable development goal 3 highlights the significance of ensuring widely accessible care services, regardless of geographic location, economic status, or social background. So, based on the evidences, it can be said that adequate health financing is highly necessary to attract, train, as well as retain trained nurses (Globalgoals, 2023). Moreover, this SDG target 3c also signifies that supporting the health workforce also requires appropriate working conditions, professional growth, and equal distribution of healthcare workers (Globalgoals, 2023). Therefore, I can say that achieving this SDG 3 target is essential for enhancing healthcare services worldwide, reducing health disparities, and ultimately promoting good health and well-being.

In the healthcare sector, one of the primary concerns is the lack of staff which impacts the lives of both patients and healthcare professionals (Lasater et al., 2021). Sufficient recruitment of nurses is essential for safeguarding patients, offering timely care, and avoiding burnout among nursing personnel (Lasater et al., 2021). On the other hand, resistance to change within the nursing profession is another significant structural issue. It is concerned with the resistance of some healthcare organizations, employees, or institutions to adopt new technologies or practices that could improve patient care (Malhotra et al., 2020).

In terms of contrasting these two issues, the authors Lasater et al., (2021) signified that the lack of healthcare staffs , especially nurses in healthcare settings causes errors, patient dissatisfaction as well as compromised quality of care by raising pressure on them. However, another author Rachel & Francesco, (2018), says that understaffing not only jeopardizes patient care but also affects the mental health of nurses. Burnout is more likely to strike overworked and stressed nurses, which can have long-term mental health effects on nurses (Rachel & Francesco, 2018). Moreover, critical delays in patient care also occur due to understaffing which risks public safety (Rachel & Francesco, 2018). On the other hand, the second issue of resistance to change impacts the implementation of evidence-based practices , innovation, and improvement of healthcare delivery. It does not impose a profound impact on the physical and mental well-being of nursing professionals (Malhotra et al., 2020). Therefore, I can say that the nurse understaffing issue has a direct impact on patient care as compared to the second issue of resistance to change as it does not impose such immediate and direct consequences on patient’s well-being.

Applying the knowledge gained from UNCC300 as future nurses is more than mere academic activity. It is a commitment to respecting ethical norms, defending human dignity and rights, and actively contributing to the common good (Globalgoals, 2023). UNCC300 places a strong emphasis on community engagement such as collaborating with local community organizations like the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) as a means to effect positive change (Reynolds & Sariola, 2018). So, based on their research works, I acknowledged the fact that the nursing profession is distinguished by its close proximity as well as connection with the communities it serves.

In this context, community engagement is more than just a term. It is a practical strategy for recognizing and resolving issues such as understaffing. The structural issue of nurse understaffing impacts directly the community health as well as their overall well-being (Rendalls et al., 2019). Due to understaffed healthcare facilities, patients face longer wait times and limited access to healthcare treatments. The future nurses must actively interact with local communities to properly solve this issue. As per the research works of Reynolds & Sariola, (2018) community engagement begins with a thorough assessment of the community's specific healthcare needs. In order to understand the specific challenges caused by nurse understaffing, nurses can obtain feedback from people, local organizations like NSWNMA, as well as community leaders (NSWNMA, 2017). So, analyzing the evidences, I can say that by identifying these needs, tailor solutions can be developed so as to respond to them directly.

 In addition, the authors Rendalls et al., (2019) highlighted the essential fact that active listening is a fundamental strategy that is associated with effective community engagement . I realized a fact that nursing employees need to actively listen to the concerns of patients, their complaints as well as experiences of local organizations like NSWNMA who have suffered from nurse understaffing (Rendalls et al., 2019). Their experiences and opinions offer a practical viewpoint that can help develop strategies, acceptable to the community.

Apart from this, UNCC300's emphasis on human dignity and rights equips future nurses to collaborate effectively with NSWNMA in addressing this structural issue of nurse understaffing. In the profession of nursing, this principle empowers the nurses of NSWNMA to advocate for patients' rights, dignified treatment, as well as respect, irrespective of the circumstances (NSWNMA, 2017). When confronted with situations in which understaffing jeopardizes care delivery, this awareness has equipped the nurses of NSWNMA to advocate not only for their patients but also for themselves (Rendalls et al., 2019). Therefore, I can say that by collaborating with NSWNMA, it becomes possible for future nurses to uphold the dignity and rights of patients, ensuring that all individuals receive proper respect, compassionate care, and quality healthcare they deserve (Gilabert, 2019). Also, it is realized that clear and empathetic communication is essential when working with the NSWNMA to address issues like understaffing (Lasater et al., 2021).

The sustainable development goal of good health and well-being and its target on raising health financing and supporting the health workforce can be used directly to solve the structural issue of nurse understaffing in nursing (Globalgoals, 2023). It promotes increased funding, nursing staff recruitment, as well as professional development opportunities so as to deliver dignified and compassionate care, upholding human rights (Fonseca et al., 2020). Therefore, based on the analysis of research works, it can be affirmed that UNCC300 principles align with the essential requirements of adequate nurse staffing levels. These principles underscore the need of ensuring overall well-being of both patients and nursing employees through the provision of high-quality healthcare for all individuals (Lasater et al., 2021).

In order to minimize the consequences associated with the structural issue of understaffing of nurses, two primary approaches emerge as potential solutions such as increased investment in nurse recruitment and technology integration to streamline processes. These approaches will be compared based on their potential to directly address the structural issue. As per WHO, (2020), increased investment in nurse recruitment revolves around actively bolstering the recruitment of nursing professionals. This approach of increased investment in nurse recruitment encompasses various strategies, such as partnering with educational institutions to promote nursing careers, offering incentives to nurses who are willing to work in understaffed areas, and expediting the hiring process (Henshall et al., 2020). The main purpose of this approach is to encourage more people to enter into the nursing field so as to address the nursing staff shortage (WHO, 2020).

On contrary, technology integration focuses on leveraging innovative tools and systems to optimize nursing workflows and improve efficiency (Smart et al., 2020). To reduce the workload on nurses and improve care delivery, this strategy entails putting in place nurse call systems, telemedicine platforms, scheduling software, and other technological solutions (Lasater et al., 2021). However, the use of technology can certainly help reduce the workload on nursing professionals, but it cannot fill the gap left by the shortage of nursing staff (Henshall et al., 2020).

Based on the pieces of evidences, I can say that while technology integration holds promise in enhancing efficiency and patient care, it does not directly address the root problem of nurse understaffing. In contrast, increased investment in nurse recruitment offers a more direct solution to the structural issue (WHO, 2020). Therefore, I can say that considering the urgency of addressing nurse understaffing and its direct impact on patient care, choosing the approach of increased financial investment in nurse recruitment is paramount.


Throughout the study, it is observed that the critical issue of inadequate nursing staffs in healthcare requires immediate attention. UNCC300's principles and values, particularly human dignity and rights and sustainable development goal, have fortified the readiness to engage with the community and address this issue. So, it can be said that by upholding human dignity and rights and advocating for the common good, future nurses can be better equipped to provide quality care for their patients. They can collaborate with the local organizations like NSWNMA in order to move towards a positive change in the healthcare sector.


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