Nursing is one of the oldest professions in the world that revolves around caring for the sick and bringing them back to health. Despite the differences in cultures, timelines, and geographical locations, the basic principles of nursing appeared to have transcended the borders of space and time. Evidence-based nursing identifies these principles as four metaparadigms of medicine: Health, Nursing, Person, and the Environment. The purpose of this paper is to identify, discuss, and document my personal perspective on these major concepts.
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Identification of the Four Metaparadigms
Nursing is the first metaparadigm of medicine, which establishes a relationship between all the parties involved, with a high degree of emotional attachment (Alligood, 2017). The concept defines the responsibility of a nurse to use all of their knowledge and skill to achieve a lasting state of physical, emotional, and cultural well-being. The second metaparadigm is that of Person, which is very important in medicine, as it defines the object of the discipline’s existence (Alligood, 2017). It acknowledges the inherent value of every individual, which is not affected by appearance, age, race, gender, and social background.
The third metaparadigm is Health, as it identifies the physical and psycho-emotional states of the patient while making an important distinction between health, illness, and disease (Kelly, Dowling, & Millar, 2018). The concept of Health is different from that of well-being, as the former is an objective term, whereas the latter describes the patient’s subjective assessment of oneself. Illness and disease share a similar relationship when it comes to definitions. Finally, the fourth metaparadigm is the Environment, which acknowledges the influence of numerous external factors on a patient’s health (Alligood, 2017). It also accounts for not only the immediate physical environment surrounding the patient, but also the abstract surroundings, such as the economic, ethical, and psychological spheres of influence.
Discussion of the Importance of Paradigms
The four metaparadigms of nursing form not only the basis for the practice as a whole but also a framework for nearly every existing theory of medicine. Although these theories have different views and approaches that define their application, all of them begin with addressing their perception of the pillars of nursing (Alligood, 2017). No matter the definition, these concepts cannot be excluded from the practice, as the entire discipline would then fail to make sense. Nursing, Patient, Health, and the Environment are always at play when someone is performing a nursing duty, be it a civilian assistant or a highly-trained professional nurse.
Documentation of Personal Perspective
I have a clear view of the four metaparadigms of nursing and can imagine the ways to apply them in my practice. As a nurse, I will implement the first concept by providing physical and emotional care to my patients while using all of my available knowledge and skills to bring them back to health. The Person paradigm, for me, means a focus on patient-centered care and innate respect of their individuality, which will not be affected by their personal characteristics. The concept of Health will be my end goal, as I would want all of my patients and their communities to be healthy and well. Lastly, I would influence the surrounding environment in accordance with best practices and clinical guidelines, while reaffirming my commitment to patient-centered care by changing the abstract environments through advocacy and affirmative action. The implementation of the four metaparadigms will help me become a better nurse.
Alligood, M. R. (2017). Nursing theorists and their work. New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Kelly, M., Dowling, M., & Millar, M. (2018). The search for understanding: The role of paradigms. Nurse Researcher, 25(4), 9-13.
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