When is criticism constructive?
The giving and taking of constructive criticism are integral components of continuing professional development for Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registrants. Petress (2000) defined constructive criticism as judgemental feedback given to help its receivers view their professional performance through the eyes of others.
The NMC's Code (2018) explains where constructive criticism fits in with the delivery of care expectations. Under ‘Prioritise people’, paragraph 1.2 stipulates that registrants must make sure that the fundamentals of care are delivered effectively, which links to using current evidence-based practice. Under ‘Practise effectively’, paragraph 8.4 states that registrants must ‘work with colleagues to evaluate the quality of your work and that of the team’ and 9.1 informs registrants that they should ‘provide honest, accurate and constructive feedback to colleagues’. Paragraph 9.2 advises registrants to gather and reflect on feedback from a variety of sources and to use this to improve practice and performance.
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