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Social exchange theory gives explanation about the interaction between humans. This theory gives a relation between the nurse patient interaction and the outcomes of healthcare. The theory is very important with respect to the nurse patient interactions. The interaction takes place in terms of care, emotion, healthcare aid, guidance etc. the social exchange theory is divided into two parts. First is the individualistic and second is collectivist.
According to the theory humans perform their act to get rewarded and this reward leads to continuous efforts which gives satisfaction to humans. As in case of healthcare the nurses care for patient and get satisfied when there is a positive healthcare outcome and wellbeing of patient. The theory also includes the system theory in which a system can be either open where the interaction within the system is at high level compared to that in a closed system. The theory is ethical to much extend and compatible with values of nursing profession as it explains about a good relation between the patient and nurse. This leads to positive outcome and improved performance in the healthcare organization.

Nurses are back bones of the hospital consequentialism is considered, but these frameworks have their limitations. Their limitations has to do with a consideration for the interpersonal nature of clinical nursing practice on the one hand, and is not always clear on how to judge which consequences are best on the other hand. When principles are in conflict it is not always easy to decide which principle should dominate. Furthermore, these frameworks do not take into account the importance of the interpersonal and emotional element of human experience. On the contrary, decision-making about moral issues in healthcare demands that nurses exercise rational control over emotions. This clearly focuses the attention on the nurse as moral agent and in particular their character.

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