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An Overview Of The Philosophy Of Nursing Essay

An Overview Of The Philosophy Of Nursing Essay

While it may not have been a formal profession at first, nursing has been around since the start of human history. Beginning with heath practices that focused on magic and religion (Cherry & Jacob, 2017, p. 3), nursing has evolved to its current definition by the American Nurses Association (ANA) by expanding and changing its scope throughout history. Many different nursing pioneers and theorists have affected the definition of nursing, but there are two that have really stood out to me. The theories of Florence Nightingale and Jean Watson have helped shape the course of the profession of nursing, and have been instrumental in my understanding of the philosophy of nursing.An Overview Of The Philosophy Of Nursing Essay


The nursing profession today includes much more than it used to, nurses are no longer just assistants to the doctors, they are healthcare providers in their own rights. The ANA’s definition of nursing is: the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.” (ANA, 2015, p. 1)
This is a very all-encompassing definition that address not only the typical view of nurses that involves taking care of the sick, but also wellness promotion and role in their community. It speaks of the physical actions of a nurse as well as the mental attitude nurses should have. This current definition of nursing is only as inclusive as it is due to the actions of nurses throughout history. Nursing has evolved from the prehistoric magical ideas it was into the science and profession it is today due to these nurses.

Nursing philosophy is quite a complicated and individual concept because it requires integration of many character traits and skills. It’s a mix of principles, beliefs and values that are used in practice.An Overview Of The Philosophy Of Nursing Essay

As for me, nursing philosophy is about integrity, empathy, culturally sensitive care both to patients and their relatives. Though, every patient needs not only care, every patient needs someone who will be a leader, teacher, advocate, provider and manager. This means that a patient needs full-fledged support in all spheres of life in order to recover as fast as possible. Nursing is about understanding on all levels: physical, emotional, scientific and so on. Nursing requires such traits as wish to learn the whole life, readiness to get new experience and being responsible.

When describing my personal nursing philosophy, I am to use three main concepts: person, environment, nursing and health. I’ll try to explain why in this nursing philosophy paper.

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Person in nursing philosophy is obvious because nursing is care about people. Patient is center of nursing. It’s also important to mention that approach to the person should be holistic. This means that nursing is not about curing one single illness, but the whole organism, taking into account all the aspects of patient’s life.

Environment is important because people exist in it and interact with it closely. Nursing is impossible without taking into account the way environment influences us, our families and health.

Health is the next concept of great important. Health is not static; it’s a very dynamic state, which depends on many internal and external factors. It changes from wellness to illness, influenced by environment.An Overview Of The Philosophy Of Nursing Essay

Nursing. The last and the most obvious part of nursing philosophy. Nursing requires empathy and being engaged with a patient right here and right now. I work in a hospital and know that we, nurses, are to pay attention to every feeling and detail around the patient. These things around are significant and a nurse is to know how everything that can be felt, smelt, touched and seen can influence patients’ condition.

My nursing philosophy is about building meaningful relationships with patients.

Nursing is a science in which all the needs of a person are met through the proper use of the nursing process. With health care as a universal human right, it encompasses a process that involves a collaborative care of people of all ages and communities in all settings. Nursing is essential in promoting health, prevention of illness, care of the sick and disabled people in the society. Nursing advocates for the promotion of a safe environment, research, shaping health policies, education and patient health management systems. The philosophy of nursing examines the truths and ideals in nursing. It is the result of the intellectual effort to understand the relationship among people, environment and health. An Overview Of The Philosophy Of Nursing Essay
The nursing profession majorly focuses on using the element of caring, to improve the health of people within their environments. An essential theory in nursing enhances better health care offered to the patients, better communication between nurses and proper guidance, for research and education. In general, the nursing theories are used by practitioners to improve their practice. The nursing paradigms are patterns that are used to show the relationship between the concepts in the theories and practice of nursing. They are essential in developing a better understanding of the nursing profession. The meta-paradigm concept in nursing is a core-unifying element that provides a common and conducive ground for communicating between nursing theories. The nursing meta-paradigm involves research, practice, philosophy, theory, knowledge base and the wider educational experience associated with the nursing practice. There are four concepts in the nursing theory that highly influence and determine the nursing practice that include the person, the environment, health and the nursing roles, goals and functions (Rich, 2011). The person is the recipient of the care and in most cases is the patient. This care may be given to people, families and communities. The environment includes the external and internal aspects that influence the person.An Overview Of The Philosophy Of Nursing Essay

Personal Philosophy of Nursing
The purpose of this paper is to describe my personal beliefs, convictions and values as
they relate to my practice as a nurse. To begin with, my definition of nursing is “the protection,
promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation
of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and
advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations” (American
Nurses Association, 2017). The purpose of a nurse as a caregiver is to help a patient heal from an
illness using her knowledge and skills. As a practicing nurse, my nursing principles are aligned
with the notion about nursing philosophy that it is an attitude toward life and reality that evolves
from each nurse’s beliefs (Edwards, 1997). My personal values are the key drivers for my
philosophy as a nurse.
My Values and Beliefs About Nursing
My core values and beliefs as an individual are compassion, honesty, integrity,
understanding, hard work and collaboration with others to achieve common goals. I try to keep
these values and beliefs in mind when making personal decisions as well as providing care to the
patients under my care. I decided to pursue career in nursing so that I could provide some help in
healing, easing pain and suffering of others. In my view nursing is about compassion and trying
to help the patients by providing care, medications, and by understanding them on all emotional,
physical, and social levels. I am a hardworking, dedicated, honest, and compassionate
professional nurse who is very cooperative with other nurses. I am a good listener, and I try to
understand the patient and their family members’ situation. I am always mindful of the fact that I
am dealing with people who are in pain, sick or whose family member is suffering. Paying
sincere attention and listening to what they have to say helps alleviate some of their anxiety, if
not pain. Also, nursing is a profession that involves continuous learning of new technological
advances in the field of nursing and caregiving.An Overview Of The Philosophy Of Nursing Essay  As a professional nurse, I feel committed to a
life-long learning and hands-on experience to make myself a better nurse.
Principles That Guide My Nursing Practice
One of my principles in dealing with the patients is to try to connect with them as a
friendly human being. Friendly conversation with them makes them comfortable talking about
their situation. It helps me understand the bigger picture so that I can address their issue in a
more holistic way, if possible. For instance, I came across an elderly woman with mental health
issues who was frequently being readmitted to the hospital for primarily psychiatric issues. I
learnt from her medical history, and during my conversations with her that she had been through
real rough life. Two of her sons as well as her husband had died recently due to drug overdose.
Drug issue was rampant in her rural community. Her third son was in jail, and she had no close
relative around to help her in any way. Just talking to nurses in the hospital made her feel better
and connected with the society. I tried my best to provide her the best care and comfort I could
during my shift. I have realized that a nurse contributes to overall healing process far more
significantly through their conversations with patients than simply delivering medications.
Personally, nursing is my way of fulfilling my promise to my mother to help others. I enjoy
taking care of and helping others. Besides getting a paycheck it is kind of a spiritual experience
for me (Puchalski, 2001). I feel a great sense of satisfaction when I hear appreciation from a
patient or their family member. Caring for someone becomes a spiritual interaction which
provides a therapeutic basis to promote the healing process. It is certainly a different view than
when I started in my associated degree program in nursing. At the time, it was about achieving
my new skills and learning the ability to provide health care. Now I realize that healing is lot
more than just delivering medication.
Nursing care involves the patient as a person and not just the health problem that is being
addressed at the time. Without getting too personal, a nurse needs to consider the patient’s
background, family situation and other factors that may help in nurse’s understanding to help the
patient. There are many things in their family or community environment that can have huge
influence or implications in the patient’s life, their well-being and recovery. I have come across
patients whose living conditions, communities, abusive families etc. were either directly cause of
their illness or would be an impediment in their healing.
Another principle that guides my professional practice is collaboration and sincerity. It
has more to do with my colleagues in nursing than my patients. “Nurses eat their young” is
common expression on how experienced nurses treat new nurses. There has been some research
in bullying within nursing community from a micro-sociological perspective and the interactive
mechanisms contributing to its causes and continuation within the nursing profession (Lewis,
2005). I have personally experienced lack of cooperation and being ridiculed for inadequate
professional skills at my workplace as a fresh nurse. I am amazed at the indifference of many
experienced nurses towards this kind of behavior towards new nurses who are entering the
profession. The new nurses would immensely benefit from the advice and guidance of
experienced professional nurses in a profession that can literally make a difference between life
and death. Although I still consider myself to be a relatively new nurse, but I am already treating
other fresh graduate nurses with dignity and respect. I am determined to make it part of my
philosophy to collaborate and help other nurses in any way I can, especially the new graduate
nurses. Cooperation and collaboration should be a key characteristic for any team, but it is even


more relevant in the nursing profession.An Overview Of The Philosophy Of Nursing Essay  I am always trying to help other nurses in performing
their job function in times when they are overwhelmed, which very common in our profession. I
notice that not only it has encouraged others to reciprocate, it has also helped foster a positive
team environment.
Nursing is facilitation of healing, helping recover from suffering through the diagnosis
and treatment, and caring through understanding of individuals, families, groups, and
communities. My core values of compassion, honesty, integrity, understanding, hard work and
collaboration with others are my part of my nursing practice philosophy in providing care to the
patients under my care. One of my key principle in the nursing practice is to connect with the
patients as human beings in order to understand their situation, which provides me with a better
opportunity to help them in their treatment and healing process. Genuine appreciation from the
patients and their families gives me a deep level of satisfaction. Another rule that I try to follow
is to focus on collaboration with my colleagues in nursing profession. Specifically, I want to help
new nurses gain confidence through experience and support from more experienced nurses.
This assignment has compelled me to think about and articulate key factors that keep me
motivated about my profession. Although I knew in my heart what I enjoyed, and why I enjoyed
working as a nurse but I had never thought about aligning my values, beliefs and general
philosophy with my profession. Of course, I get a paycheck for the services I provide, but there
is more than the paycheck that I receive in turn. An Overview Of The Philosophy Of Nursing Essay

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