The nursing profession is considered to be one of the most challenging and demanding. It requires a lot of skills and emotional resources. While nursing is usually considered to be a scientific field, it does not limit to pure knowledge as it promotes the need for soft competencies. Thus, the artistic side of this work is just as valuable.
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The Two Dimensions of Nurses’ Work
The Value of Science
The primary responsibility of a nurse is to ensure the patient’s safety and well-being. People who come to hospitals usually have concerns about the quality of medical treatment that would be provided by doctors. However, post-surgery time, for example, is just as crucial. Depending on the quality of care, a patient will receive during this time may affect the overall outcomes of the treatment. Moreover, the well-being of a whole community might be influenced by the skills of local nurses. Their use of skills may determine the public opinion towards the particular health care center, thus impacting the number of people willing to undergo various procedures there.
The Value of Art
While there is no argument about the fact that the primary measure of quality care is the patients’ improved health, there are debates over the nurses’ soft skills, which could affect the treatment process. Answering the people’s needs requires not only the knowledge of medical procedures but also the understanding of how to distinguish and correctly address these needs. From ancient times, nurses were merely helpers that assisted doctors during and after the procedures. Even currently, some places in the world have this old system, where women are united by a particular religious organization to help people suffering from illnesses implementing the fundamental values of mercy and compassion. The fact that these organizations still exist proves the importance of nursing as the art of communication.
It is crucial to understand the psychological state of people who come to a hospital to discover the expectations they have regarding nurses. The situation of trauma or illness is endangering the person’s sense of security. Formerly a healthy human, he or she is put into conditions where work, family duties, and plans cannot be performed. Sometimes the time spent in a hospital may result in the loss of financing, thus causing more insecurity. Besides, people who do not possess any medical knowledge may be concerned about the possible outcomes of the treatment. Family members are also engaged in the process. Since they usually cannot help the patient, they rely all their hopes on the medical personnel. Various cases prove that families usually tend to remember the patient-centered care and communication delivered by nurses (Palos, 2014, p. 248). It is important for nurses to use all the techniques for ensuring they address the patients’ needs in the best possible way, for it may positively affect their psychological state and decrease the level of fear they have regarding health and social issues.
A good nurse is the one who has the skills to understand the patients’ needs. According to Robinson (2014), the presence of nurses is achieved when they “can determine what’s most important to patients by listening to what they say, what they don’t say, and how they describe things that were done, and by noting nonverbal feedback such as facial expressions, gestures, and silences” (p. 44). It is evident that a person must possess some essential human values for implementing those steps. Compassion is one of such values. All people want to have a decent quality of life despite the situations they are placed in at the moment. A hospital is a place where doctors are interfering in the most personal matters, like privacy and body access. That is why it is so important to ensure that people feel welcomed and comfortable even in these conditions. The skills of providing quality care like communication are not taught in educational institutions. They come naturally, making nursing the art of intuition and dialogue.
Not all patients translate their fears and concerns to the medical personnel. The paragraph above mentions the opinion regarding the ways of determining the patients’ needs. There are several guide rules that describe the techniques for nursing practices. One of these techniques is noticing the necessity of care. For instance, if a person who is usually talkative stays silent, this might be the first alarm sign to a nurse, as it may be the start of the depression. Some people are shy and do not contact anyone in case they need hygienic procedures. It is the responsibility of a nurse to notice this fact and provide the necessary service. This initiative does not only improve the patients’ health but also takes away the pressure from them of translating the uncomfortable facts. The ability to notice the patients’ needs may strongly affect the experience they receive in hospitals (Watson, 2014). This ability has much to do with diplomacy, thus nursing requires the artistic implementation of character traits.
There have been several types of research conducted among the nursing students on how they perceive their work. The results show that most of them believe that “applying the knowledge obtained through science to patient care defines the artistic aspect of nursing” (Duran & Çetinkaya-Uslusoy, 2015, p. 308). It is true that people expect medical personnel to have a strong scientific knowledge. However, while doctors are allowed to be official and serious, nurses are required to show compassion and involvement. Since people in hospitals are vulnerable, they seek the kind of support they would expect from a family member. No other job, except for working with children, requires such a high emotional input. The art of communication is based on constantly having a positive attitude despite personal problems.
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Nursing is one of the most demanding jobs, yet it is very underestimated. Doctors are paid several times more, although they use only the scientific approach in their work. The nursing sphere is currently experiencing problems, several of which are low wages, staff shortage, and extended working hours. These difficulties have an adverse effect on the nurses’ performance, as they do not have the time and resources to provide patient care beyond the scientific approach. Some representatives of this profession argue that this kind of work must be more rewarding, and nurses do not have to automatically agree to the bad conditions while choosing this career (Norman, 2016). Moreover, the artistic sides of this job, like communication, are not taught enough in institutions, leading students to be unprepared for future challenges.
Nursing is not only the scientific process but also the art of communication. People choosing this job must be compassionate and willing to help everyone. Despite the high requirements, the input of nursing is not valued enough. The challenges of working conditions and prior education must be solved to improve patient care.
Duran, E. T., & Çetinkaya-Uslusoy, E. (2015). Opinions of nursing students on the art of nursing: A qualitative study. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 8(2), 308-316. Web.
Norman, K. (2016). Performing the art of nursing. British journal of nursing, 25(12), 668. Web.
Palos, G. R. (2014). Care, compassion, and communication in professional nursing: Art, science, or both. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 18(2), 247-8. Web.
Robinson, S. G. (2014). True presence: Practicing the art of nursing. Nursing, 44(4), 44-45. Web.
Watson, F. F. (2014). The art of noticing: essential to nursing practice. British Journal of Nursing, 23(10), 514-517. Web.