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My Guiding Principles as a NurseTerm Paper

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¶ … Philosophy of Nursing and Knowledge Development

My Philosophy of Nursing

All humans have needs. Sometimes, people get well or are well when they are given the appropriate care. In line with Nightingale's philosophy, in our disease processes, we need to see the suffering as something somehow different from the desire of warmth, fresh air or cleanliness (Noguchi, 2009). Nightingale's ideology mentions that I must look at nature to influence health and illness. I believe that Nightingale enjoys a pragmatic ideology of nursing because, at times, the human needs are often at the forefront of my face.

For nursing to exist, there must be a patient, nurse, a health condition, and an environment. This viewpoint can be widened to encompass these aspects via the lens of caring. This philosophy insists on these points about an individual's environment. Additionally, Nightingale imparts that my nursing roles influence the entire health continuum from illness to health to death. This is important as it differentiates nursing from other fields because care influences the health condition as well as the sickness condition (Porter, 2001).

In nursing, the focus is on the patient. Without the patient, I would not have the fulcrum of my practice, the nurse-patient relationship. From this angle, nursing is targeted at optimizing the patient's health via the complete health continuum. As a manager of care, I am charged with the responsibility of providing care to and caring for the patient. I must see the patient in a holistic manner to identify the patient's individual needs and intervene on these needs. I must step back and view the patient as a whole but intervene on the part, thus influencing the spiritual, psychological, medical and physical health of my patient. As a nurse, I want to feel that I am worth something to my society. This includes the feeling that I make a difference thus as a nurse I went into nursing so that I can make a difference through caring (Bradbury-Jones et al. 2007).

The Influence of Nursing's Philosophical Foundations

Nursing surpasses the act of caring for the injured or the sick. It entails having the compassion to care, the patience to deal with people, the knowledge to know what to do and most importantly, the ability to place one's ideals aside and not judge. Nurses are expected to be open to new cultures and accept the difference in people. The four meta-paradigms presented by Nightingale include nursing, illness, health and environment. A person's environment is not solely external or internal. It comprises both external and internal factors. It can be defined as shifting or static and the person and environment work in a symbolic manner to maintain the environment. The person can choose to uphold the present environment or to change it. Nursing aims at curing, returning an individual to a stable, homeostatic condition by adjusting external variables.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as the state of complete social, physical and mental well-being and not merely the lack of a disease or infirmity. Based on this definition, I think each component of health is not weighed in an equal measure. Each component is subject to individual interpretation. Therefore, mental health seems to weigh heavier of all the other components. However, another person might argue that social or physical well-being weighs more. Illness tends to affect a section or the entire being. Ideally, the component of health affected may influence the extent of the patient's incapacitation.

My personal philosophy supports the overall nursing practice by having an understanding of what an individual believes. My philosophy of nursing is demonstrated within the nursing practice by applying mental health first. As indicated earlier, I think mental health weighs heaviest of all the components. Besides, I believe that mental and emotional health is seen as the same. While my perception of mental/emotional health is most vital, the environment remains as the meta-paradigm that is most influential on all the other paradigms. By manipulating the environment, we can affect all the other factors.

In my nursing practice, I choose to integrate small things to manipulate the atmosphere in a manner that is favorable to healing. This includes asking the patient what they require before I leave, offering myself when needed, and being attentive when attending to them. A primary philosophy that I often hold is that little things make up big things and hence, the world can become a better place by making one small step at a time.

As advanced by Nightingale, the environment theory is the most fundamental ideology and holds that the environment assumes a crucial part in the well-being and health of a person. The major components that make up an ideal atmosphere are to contain pure water, air, cleanliness, ventilation and light (Tourville & Ingalls, 2003). According to Nightingale's theory, an individual is in control of his/her health. Here, the nurse's role is to furnish an environment conducive to well-being. This includes ensuring fresh air, quietness, warmth, and light. Nursing seeks to achieve the goal of promoting the reparative procedure by manipulating the atmosphere. Nightingale argues that the aim of nursing it to bring an individual back to ideal health status by adjusting the atmosphere. Cleanliness, ventilation, warmth, light and clean water are components of health that can be manipulated. In my opinion, to bring an individual back to a homeostatic condition, I must constantly manipulate the environment.

I think my environmental philosophy most reflects that of Neuman's systems model. From the model, both external and internal environments prevail and the individual maintains varying levels of harmony between them. This model concentrates on nursing as a holistic approach: external and internal variables play a part in an environment, and the individual has a choice if the atmosphere is sustained. In essence, nursing field is not only concerned with caring for the injured or the sick. The environment assumes a vital part in all four meta-paradigms. Little environmental manipulations can make a difference, and the patient must choose to either accept or reject the adjustments.

Relationship between Philosophy and Knowledge Development

Philosophy and knowledge development both include a critical thinking and actively using the brain (Kangasniemi & Haho, 2012). They are related but not the same. Knowledge development is the most official procedure for studying but philosophy is something that can develop with age from our encounters, and it forms how we perceive the globe. Once we philosophize about something for a while, we can understand something useful about our lifestyle. This is knowledge development and a journey of discovery. Knowledge development is the most appropriate method for the propagation of philosophy. This implies that a philosopher is a constant seeker of the truth. It is only after much deliberation and contemplation that he attains the truth and articulates some values and aims. He then tries to stay in compliance with those values, aims and wants others to adopt his values and live according to them.

This can only be accomplished through knowledge development that is the most effective way for the propagation of philosophy. This point can be summarized as: Philosophy and knowledge development are two ends of the same leaf where the former is the contemplative while the latter is the active side. Knowledge development is the powerful part of philosophy. Philosophy establishes the purpose of life; knowledge development provides the avenue for its accomplishment. Knowledge development becomes more prominent than philosophy as actions tend to be louder than belief or words (Bradbury-Jones et al. 2007). As such, a belief that seems to be important leads to a prominent knowledge development attempt.

How this is Evidenced in My Nursing Philosophy or Practice

I am a logical thinker. From face value, the post-positivist philosophical argument is appealing following this mindset. Nonetheless, I also appreciate the naturalistic approach to philosophy. Because I believe that nursing is a science as well as art, I am willing to accept research both quantitative and qualitative. I think any research would benefit the development of a body of knowledge given that it is implemented in a scientific approach that upholds the theoretical underpinning. In nursing, we are unable to validate what we do and how we do it without a sound scholarship and research basis (Kangasniemi & Haho, 2012). As a nurse, I must support the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of developing my profession and for the advantage of my patients. At the juncture when I stop wishing to grow and learn, I will have stagnated in my chosen discipline.

I have always believed that I am in this profession to better other patients and their lives. However, this cannot be achieved without the pursuit of better knowledge. I would be unable to offer the best care and caring for my patients without pursuing the meaning of caring. Drawing from Nightingale's concept, all those that pursue the nursing profession must educate themselves to the needs of the patients, diseases and their environment (Butts & Lundy, 2003). Through Nightingale's research, she set forth… [END OF PREVIEW]

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