Compassion and Caring: My Philosophy of Nursing Practice
In nursing, it is important to have a personal philosophy of the profession. It dictates how a person deals with the day-to-day tasks and obstacles that nurses will face. Patient populations are ever-changing, with some much sicker than others, and various lengths of stay expected. The nurse will encounter different cultures and beliefs in their practice, some contrary to their own. Their philosophy of nursing will be evident with how they handle the various aspects of the job.
One thing that all patients have in common is that they are in a vulnerable situation. They are in the hospital, many confined to their room or bed. Some ...view middle of the document...
What influenced my view of nursing was what I saw the majority of the time: a hurried nurse quickly giving medications, and leaving the room, sometimes without an entire sentence being said. I knew that I did not want to be like that, but that I wanted to take care of sick people and be there for them. I wanted to be the nurse that was able to have a conversation with her patients and still manage to keep them healthy.
Essence of Nursing
The core of nursing is and should be knowledgeable patient care. The nurse should be well rounded and possess enough knowledge to know not only the technical aspect of patient care, but also how to tend to the patients’ emotional needs. Kagan, Smith, Cowling & Chinn (2009) say “It can be argued that the overemphasized focus on technological and medical interventions rather than on services underpinned by caring practices and humanist nursing values puts the health of all humans at risk” (p. 75). While medical interventions are necessary, the nurse is responsible for carrying out those interventions in a humane and caring way. If the focus is on the technical side of nursing, the patient as a person is easily forgotten.
I believe that to truly care for a patient, the nurse must act as a patient advocate. In more recent times, the nurses’ role as a patient advocate is expanding and becoming more widely recognized. Influential authors have shown that nurse’s role is to speak up for a patient when they are not able to speak up for themselves. Ann Hamric (as cited in Mahlin 2010, p. 248) says that a nurse’s “primary obligation is to patients – rather than to physicians or hierarchies within the hospitals.” I believe that this quote quite accurately describes how a nurse should view their profession. They are there to serve the patient, not the system that they work in. When a nurse begins to climb the nursing hierarchy, it becomes much easier for them to lose sight of the reason that function, which is to care for and work towards the benefit the health of patients.
Jean Watson’s theory concerned caring for the patient as a whole. She focused not just on their physical needs, but their mental and spiritual needs as well. Watson “proposed that nursing be concerned with spiritual matters and the inner knowledge of nurse and patient as they participate together in the …caring process (Black 2009, p. 384). I believe that people influenced by here are more likely to be more in tune with their patients’ physical and psychosocial needs. By being more aware of their psychosocial needs, the nurse is better able to care for the physical needs of the patient. A patient that feels they can talk to the nurse is more likely to discuss their medical problems that the physician might be unaware of. When the nurse pays attention to all needs, I believe that the patient receives better care, which is what all nurses should be striving to do.
Beliefs and Values
I believe that patients should be a nurse’s number one...