As the first semester of my nursing education comes to a close, I am able to reflect on the values and beliefs of the nursing profession in a more personal approach. I have not only learned about caring for patients in the scientific aspect, but also gained a new perspective for the nursing profession that I can carry into my future career as a nurse. The nursing metaparadigm encompasses the four aspects of nursing: person (the recipient of care), environment (internal/external factors), health (patient’s level of wellness), and nursing (actions/interventions of nurses) (Masters, 2017, p. 50). From this overall idea, many well-known nursing theorists have created personal nursing philosophies that have combined the four aspects of nursing and have ultimately helped shaped the nursing profession as a whole.
Throughout my history and essentials courses, I examined several theories and beliefs regarding what it means to be a nurse and have used them to help shape my own nursing philosophy by connecting the four aspects of nursing. Creating a personal nursing theory allows a nurse to determine what he or she believes to be important and enables them to carry that into the work environment. Nurses must be compassionate, caring, respectful, and empathetic. Rather than only treating the current diagnosis, I believe that it is important to treat each patient as a unique individual and approach him or her with kindness and compassion. The patient is why we go to work each day and should remain at the center of his or her care.
Similarly, focusing on creating a positive environment will determine the quality of treatment and adherence related to patient care. Patients typically enter our lives when they are most vulnerable, and we, as the nurse, have the opportunity to change their lives completely. The patient’s environment, both internal and external, influence the effect of the patient’s recovery. As a nurse, I hope to foster positive relationships with my patients and treat them as unique individuals. My personal experience working as a Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) with patients diagnosed with Dementia and Alzheimers has opened my eyes to the importance of individual patient care. Often times, these patients were not the easiest to work with and I witnessed healthcare professionals acting rude or dismissive just because they were having a “difficult day”. Rather than allowing this behavior to pull me down, I viewed it as an opportunity to understand my patients’ individual histories and family relationships. Yes, they were difficult at times, but these patients are real people and we, as respectable healthcare professionals, must create a positive environment for each of our patients.
Typically, patients enter the hospital because of an illness, whether it be surgery, an emergency, or simply a precautionary measure. A person’s health is subjectively defined and is based on the individual’s perspective (Thompson, 2018). Health does not simply mean a person is sick or healthy, but instead refers to whether or not a person believes he or she is at his or her optimal well-being. As a nurse, I believe that it is important to understand how “health” is defined by each of my patients, allowing me to create a personalized care plan to return them to their ideal level of comfort.
Throughout my first semester of nursing school, I have learned more about the nursing profession than I ever thought possible. The role of the nurse is pivotal in changing the lives of the patients and is more than simply caring for the sick. Nursing is both an art and a science. It combines the technical skill and medical knowledge with creativity and instinctive listening. As a future nurse, I plan to advocate for my patients and be the voice that they need during the most difficult times.
My personal nursing philosophy will enable me to provide quality level care as I begin my first clinical rotation next semester. After graduation, I hope to practice in the hospital setting and ultimately continue my education to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Over time, my current nursing philosophy may change, however, I know that I will always be the nurse who advocates for her patients.
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