Philosophy of Nursing Essay

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Philosophy of Nursing Personal Statement

A personal nursing philosophy needs to incorporate all four aspects of the nursing metaparadigm: nurse, person, environment and health. In the process of developing my philosophy of nursing in the form of a personal statement, I began to realize that there was one concept that seemed to keep reoccurring throughout all of the nursing philosophies and theories we have studied: the concept of caring. Caring effects the individual, the health care environment, health and illness, and nursing as a whole. There are very few definitions of nursing which do not include the word or the concept of caring. This is because caring is such an extremely central part of why nurses do what they do. Therefore, I have decided to base my personal nursing philosophy on the concept of caring.

The Nurse

In order for a nurse to exhibit caring, she must first understand what caring means. While the term "caring" has a variety of definitions, it ultimately comes down to making a difference in someone's life by selflessly attending to their needs. Every nurse has her own set of individual values, perspectives and feelings about health care. Therefore, caring means many different things to many different people. However there seems to be a universal agreement that the concept of caring in general is an integral part of any definition or understanding of what nursing is and what it entails.

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Essay on Philosophy of Nursing Assignment

Nurses are responsible for the overall wellness of people. By definition, a nurse takes care of others to the best of her ability. Nurses have a wide range of important responsibilities but that these responsibilities almost all involve the concept of caring for another person. Looking at each patient as a unique individual instead of just a "number" or a part of the job is an essential part of being a caring nurse. Even when the patients are difficult or seem ungrateful, I believe a truly caring nurse will put her own feelings aside and try to make the patient feel better in any way possible. It is also important, as the saying goes, to walk a mile in another person's shoes, so that you can empathize with them and understand why they may be acting in certain ways. It is therefore my philosophy that the concept of caring for other people, and focusing on each patient as a unique and special person, are critical parts of what a nurse is supposed to do and be.

Environment

While the individual factors constitute the definition of caring and outline what caring, as an action, should entail, the concept of caring as it relates to the health care environment is more complex. Caring, as a concept, involves the theoretical understandings of caring and its implications for the health care environment as a whole.

There are numerous nursing theories and models that focus on the concept of caring as an integral part of contributing positively to the health care environment. For example, Higgins developed a model that advocates making caring a more integral part of nursing education. Peplau and Watson use the concept of caring to enhance the nurse's interpersonal relationship with her patients to create a more open and communicative environment. There are hundreds of theories that make caring an integral part of their nursing paradigms, which has considerably broadened the applications of the concept of caring to the health care environment as a whole.

Health

As a health care profession, nursing requires a commitment to the health and well being of the patient. Healing an illness is not always just about medicine and procedures. It also encompasses acting in a moral, ethical and sensitive manner. Unfortunately, some nurses may at times forget these imperatives when they get caught up in administrative politics, long hours, nursing shortages and all of the other problems that can distract from the true purpose of the profession.

To me, caring means putting all of these distractions aside and focusing on making the patient as comfortable and as healthy as possible. Many times caring involves more than just caring for the patient, but also making sure that their loved ones are being taken care of as well. It also involves being kind, considerate and respectful to co-workers. So basically, in my view, caring is about practicing the 'golden rule' (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) in every situation and with every individual.

Other Important Points

The concept of caring relates to all four aspects of the nursing metaparadigm: nurse, person, environment and health. In addition, it is important to recognize that caring is not always an action as much as it is an emotion. Emotion is important to the concept of caring because being a caring and sensitive nurse ultimately comes from instinct. While nurses can be taught how to act in a more caring manner, the foundation of caring ultimately comes from inside.

Another part of being a caring and responsible nurse is being and ethical one. In my view, caring and ethics often go hand in hand. While it is certainly possible to be caring without being ethical and vice versa, in general terms, people who are caring also are in touch with their own consciences and therefore would feel morally obligated to be both caring and ethical. Ethical caring is not about being self-righteous but is instead about developing empathy and understanding.

I also believe that one of the most important personal roles of a nurse involves the ability to relate to all types of patients on their own levels. Nurses come into contact with many different cultures and therefore need to be prepared to care for all patients regardless of cultural background and to provide culturally appropriate care. To achieve this goal, nurses must incorporate all aspects of the patient's life, health and well being into their care. They must also be careful not to judge anyone because of their lifestyle of choices. For example, if a patient comes into the emergency room as a result of a drug overdose, he does not deserve to be treated any differently or with any less respect than any other patient. It is in situations such as this that caring really comes into play.

Self-reflection and self-understanding also incorporate the concept of caring into my nursing philosophy, because when a nurse comes to know herself as a person and she seeks to become spiritually and emotionally whole, she is better able to care for her patients in an honest and open manner. I believe that introspection in nursing (and in life) should be used for self-examinations of the nature of our actions, decisions, and overall attitudes. We need to question why we do what we do, what the moral impact is of our behavior towards others, and particularly in a nursing context, whether aspects of our practices could be signs of carelessness, negligence, insensitivity, or generally poor conduct.

Knowing that caring is such an important part of the nursing profession but then not being able to tap into her caring nature would cause any nurse to have to rethink her choice of profession. Therefore, nurses who personally know who they are and what they value will know that they are a caring person, or they never would have entered the nursing profession in the first place. Clearly, self-discovery is a critical part of being a successful nurse because it allows us to better recognize our strengths and weaknesses.

Summary and Conclusion

My nursing philosophy incorporates all four aspects of the nursing metaparadigm, as well as other factors that involve the critical concept of caring. Nurses need to be empathetic and put themselves in the shoes of the individuals they are treating. This will help them to better understand what the patient is going through and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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