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The Notion of Care as Primary in Nursing Philosophy

To develop a personal philosophy, a key element should be chosen around which a system of beliefs would be built and revolve – for my nursing philosophy this element is care. Nursing is a medical field that primarily emanates from the action of caring. The way society functions, human sociality, and cooperative behavior reflect the inherent quality of the notion, as it helped Homo sapiens to arrive at the present point in societal progress. Researchers may even go as far as to name our culture, “a culture of care” (Alligood, 2017, p. 346). A personal philosophy is structured considering such factors as its applicability in professional practice and its potential to alleviate difficulties in decision-making. Moreover, it should correlate with personal experience and be derived from it. In this way, this essay serves to amalgamate all the fragmentary ideas apropos to the topic and organize them into a comprehensive view that could operate as a personal philosophy of nursing.

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The four nursing meta paradigms constitute a framework for contemporary practices in the field. The meta paradigm of the person/client emphasizes the role of a person as a receiver of medical care. Interconnectedness is a characteristic that may be prominent in the nurse‑patient relationship’s description, the end goal of which is a patient’s well-being. From the perspective of a medical worker, the primary function of these relationships is to promote health and establish healing processes. The patient is the focal point of a nurse’s work life as, virtually, the sole basis for the existence of the profession is the experiences with health that people have without which nursing would not be possible (Bender, 2018). I believe that the concept of person/client is at the heart of nursing – it unites all the others together, and essentially gives them a reason to be. Hence, in my opinion, this meta paradigm reflects the relations of mutual dependence between a patient and a nurse.

Environment as a meta paradigm takes the focus away from a patient to the setting that affects their healing process. The idea that comes from this meta paradigm concerning a nurses’ potential to modify an environment to improve a patient’s health confirms that it plays a crucial role in the nursing process (Branch et al., 2016). Except for the immense capacity to impact patients, in my estimation, it also affects nurses as general moral and emotional ambiance at a workplace may correlate with the quality of provided medical services. Additionally, this meta paradigm may damage or enhance the quality of nurses’ life – profession-related circumstances transcend a workplace and have a bearing on personal matters. The work environment for medical staff may be stressful – that is why I think that maintaining a positive and amiable climate for their own and the patients’ positive experiences is crucial.

Human health is in the core notion of nursing and other medical branches. Patients’ well‑being and accessibility to healthcare services are the principal areas of the health meta paradigm. Besides being one of four crucial concepts, as I see it, health is an overarching theme and the final objective of nursing practices. It is strongly linked to the environment as these two meta paradigms correlate directly (Bender, 2018). In this way, it exceeds the paradigmatic relationships between nursing, patient, and environment.

The nursing component synthesizes all the previous three, focusing on delivering optimized care, in an adequate environment, taking into consideration a patient’s peculiar characteristics. According to Branch et al. (2016), “each patient needs to be valued and understood, with the nurse always being authentically present and each patient deserves the right to have their dignity maintained and protected at all times” (p. 124). Nursing practices are supposed to be organized in such a manner that would meet a patient’s needs to a maximized extent with appropriate material and human resources involved (Bender, 2018). In this way, the nursing meta paradigm, in my opinion, embodies the value of the quality of the medical services provided and conceptualizes the philosophy of caring, which is central in the field.

A system of views on the relationship between nurses, patients, society, and the environment gives a solid basis for medical workers to build their professional lives. Kari Martinsen, a Norwegian theorist, and a nurse established a rather popular theory to which I would like to adhere. It is best reflected in one of her quotes, “nursing is founded on caring for life, on neighborly love… At the same time, the nurse must be professionally educated” (Alligood, 2017, p. 120). These words establish the main principles for the philosophies in the field, that is, the importance of personal qualities, such as altruism and compassion, combined with strong theoretical and practical knowledge. The synthesis of the two allows an individual to be a manifestation of what Martinsen considers an exemplary nurse. Although the researcher’s views are an idealization and an exaggeration of positive qualities that may be difficult to sustain daily in a workplace, my philosophy stems from them. The importance of personal characteristics, especially emotional intelligence and competence for nursing, is hard to deny.

Philosophical basis and awareness may be essential components for the success of nursing practices. Well-reasoned and theoretically grounded believes concerning one’s professional activities provide a foundation to base decisions and actions. From my standpoint, the core value that underlies nursing and on which my professional philosophy is built is the concept of caring. This notion may be an inherent personal characteristic or developed to a degree in the course of education; nevertheless, in combination with theoretical competence, caring constitutes an essential quality in the domain.

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Alligood, M. R. (2017). Nursing theorists and their work. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Bender, M. (2018). Re-conceptualizing the nursing metaparadigm: Articulating the philosophical ontology of the nursing discipline that orients inquiry and practice. Nursing Inquiry, 25(3), 1–9.

Branch, C., Deak, H., Hiner, C., & Holzwart, T. (2016). Four nursing metaparadigms. Undergraduate Research Journal, 16, 123–133.

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