The gap between theory and practice in nursing may be quite tangible, yet the effects that a solid theoretical foundation has on the efficacy of interventions are undeniable. Therefore, for a nurse, it is an absolutely imperative step to create a system of values, beliefs, and ethical principles that will represent a nursing philosophy and become the bridge between a nurse and a patient. By learning to perceive nursing as a combination of art and science, as well as remaining open to innovative techniques, professional development, and especially patient-nurse communication, I have built a solid nursing philosophy.
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As a set of principles and standards based on which patients’ needs have to be approached, my nursing theory consists of four major elements, which including the definition of health, the role that environment plays in its improvement, the goals of nursing practice, and the promotion of communication in the clinical setting. The described elements allow my nursing philosophy to unfold both as art and science since the study of environmental factors and the role of theory in improving patients’ health is linked to science (da Silva & Ferreira, 2016). In turn, communication and the search for an individual approach toward patients often need an artistic angle.
Over the course of developing my professional philosophy, I have faced several ideas and experiences that have challenged my professional practice. Most of them concerned with the application of relevant and useful communication tools in the scenarios that involved cross-cultural communication. It was very tempting to reduce the extent of the nurse-patient dialogue and make decisions based on other factors. At some point, the difficulty in conveying the message of health literacy importance to a patient in the situation of a high language barrier nearly made me capitulate and sacrifice my principles to avoid a case of professional burnout or development of a conflict with a patient. However, I managed to retain professional integrity and the essence of my nursing principles by involving family members in the process of patient education and utilizing a combination of different types of media to convey the key information (Townsend et al., 2015). Thus, in its essence, my philosophy of nursing has remained intact and fully ethical.
To illustrate my personal nursing philosophy, I have been focusing on the development of a patient-specific approach and the tools for conducting a comprehensive analysis of environmental issues that may influence patients’ health. Thus, I managed to embrace not only physiological but also emotional, economic, cultural, social, environmental, and technological factors that cause changes in patients’ well-being and lead to the development of health problems or aggravation of chronic health concerns. The ability to conduct a full analysis led to more accurately diagnosing and improved treatment quality.
Therefore, in my personal philosophy, the meta-paradigms of nursing are represented in a slightly new light. A person is seen as an active agent, whereas nursing is transformed into a reciprocal process of communicating and maintaining health. Environment, in turn, is defined as a combination of factors affecting a patient, while nursing is deemed as the process of improving well-being and encouraging patient education (Bauchat, Seropian, & Jeffries, 2016). With the focus on patient communication and literacy health can be defined as a skill that a nurse has to teach, hence the introduction of the fifth component of the paradigm, which is communication.
Viewing nursing both as art and science, prioritizing patient communication and innovations, and creating a strong ethical foundation for decision-making, I have created the nursing philosophy that will help me act in the best interests of the target demographic. Overall, it has not changed significantly over time, although new ideas such as the continuous improvement of patient literacy and the focus on communication have been introduced to it. With a close focus on patients’ needs and communication, I will be able to address public health concerns on a community level.
Bauchat, J. R., Seropian, M., & Jeffries, P. R. (2016). Communication and empathy in the patient-centered care model – Why simulation-based training is not optional. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 12(8), 356-359. Web.
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da Silva, R. N., & Ferreira, M. D. A. (2016). Users’ participation in nursing care: An element of the Theory of Goal Attainment. Contemporary Nurse, 52(1), 74-84. Web.
Townsend, A., Leese, J., Adam, P., McDonald, M., Li, L. C., Kerr, S., & Backman, C. L. (2015). eHealth, participatory medicine, and ethical care: A focus group study of patients’ and health care providers’ use of health-related internet information. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(6), 1-12. Web.