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Philosophy of Nursing Jentry N. Nielsen Dixie State University

PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING Philosophy of Nursing

One of the main reasons I chose this profession was to change lives and care for others in their most vulnerable times. When I started nursing school I questioned if I had made the right decision as I struggled with the thought I was never going to be able to master all of the material in time. I no longer felt smart compared to the many other brilliant minds in the classroom. After having an experience with a nurse who shared many of my same worries in nursing school herself and same caring values now; I realized I do not have to be the smartest in the classroom to be an amazing nurse. I just have to care for my patients wholeheartedly and in the end that will make the biggest difference. You treat a disease: You win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you win no matter the outcome. (Adams, 2012, para. 3) The Story One unforgettable nurse who helped shape my nursing philosophy has still to this day been one of my biggest role models. Throughout the whole day she inspired me nonstop with attributes I aspire to possess as a nurse. I felt she was not there just to do a job; she was there to genuinely care for her patients. It started when we were getting report on a young girl who had recently become septic due to the use of needles and illicit drugs. As a result her liver and kidneys were beginning to shut down. During the report the nurse prior mentioned that when talking with the young girl she acted as if she did not believe her issues were due to the drug use. The nurse I was working with listened intently, but never took those assumptions to heart and later mentioned she would rather find out for herself and start with this patient on a fresh slate. When we went in a little later as the patient was awakening, she seemed down and depressed. The nurse asked the patient how she was feeling and what brought her into the

PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING hospital in the first place. The patient quietly replied, I'm sure you know. What happened next will always replay in my memory as a moment that shaped my nursing philosophy forever. The nurse sat down on the corner off the patients bed and calmly replied that yes she had received report on her condition, but that she still wanted to hear her story. The nurse went on to explain

that the best way to care for a patient is to ensure that they are both on the same page about what is going on. The nurse mentioned it did not matter what was causing the patients health to decline exactly, if it was a choice made by her or an uncontrollable health factor. The patient remained quiet for a few moments, not making eye contact. The nurse then said, I'll be caring for you the same no matter what, and I hope you realize that. It blew me away how quickly the young girl opened up to her after this. She truly felt cared for, and most importantly, respected. Later in the day the nurse and I were discussing sepsis and a certain medication the patient was prescribed. I had asked a question about how that medication was working on the body, the nurse was completely honest in saying she was not exactly sure, so we looked it up together. I had explained my worries that I was never going to memorize and learn all of this before I take my exam. She had said she had similar worries herself and that I should not stress. She explained, I'll be honest, no I do not understand the exact pathophysiology or medication actions behind everything for every single one of my patients all the time, but we have been trained to be able to look up and find the information. What I can do for every single patient is to show them compassion and be there for them emotionally, that's something no textbook can give them. At that moment I realized it is more important to be there emotionally for your patients than to put my face in a book studying why their body is doing what it is. This nurse did not know every disease under the sun nor could she tell me the mechanism of every medication as some nurses I worked with have, but she sincerely cared for her patients

PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING more than I have ever seen. Watching her with her patients I saw that this made much more of a difference than any medical facts could for them. While the mind can cure the disease, it is our hearts that show the compassion and sympathy for our patients in these times of need. Concepts To truly care about your patients you cannot look at them as a disease process, another septic patient, or just another drug use case. We must look at each and every one of our patients as an individual and truly care about them as human beings. Tasks performed by the nurse become routine if they are performed without compassion (Lukose, 2011, p. 3). We need to

understand that they have a family they need to get back to who love and respect them. A family that would expect nothing less than that same love and respect from me, just as I would expect from a nurse caring for my loved ones. Looking at a patient as an individual means taking in every aspect that makes them who they are. I know I must genuinely get to know my patient to care for them. Providing care for their health means so much more than maintaining their physical health needs. I need to care for their psychological, social, spiritual and cultural needs to truly harmonize their overall health. This also includes making their environment, internally and externally, as comfortable as possible in helping them to feel cared for and safe. As nurses we must not only care for our patients overall health, we must equally care for our own. Nurses must learn to care for themselves just as much, if not it will affect the quality of care they provide their patients (Yaremich, 2012). As a nurse how could I promote health in others and get my patients to listen to me, if I myself am not of good health. As nurses our daily work is guided by our own morals, ethics and advocacy for our patients. We must be true to our character and ourselves as nurses to have the ability to fully restore our patients health. Unlike

PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING some other professions, as a nurse I cannot only be knowledgeable in my field to succeed. Nurses must have good character to succeed at our profession. Watsons Philosophy of Nursing Jean Watson's philosophy of nursing is one that I most closely relate to and feel the greatest draw towards due to as the fact it is centered on caring. Her theory focuses on the authentic relationship between nurses and their patients (Lukose, 2011). While I believe the nurse should in fact know what is going on with her patients

physiologically to ensure they are providing adequate care. I also believe to emotionally be there for your patients, to put yourself in their shoes, can have a far greater impact on them rather than if you know the ins and outs of their disease or condition. Understanding Maslows hierarchy of needs I am aware that physiological needs are shown as the most fundamental of all. That without patients physiological needs being met they cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. A nurses focus should be on these aspects and ensuring their patients physiologic needs are met to help them physically heal. Yet caring about your patients wholeheartedly is ultimately going to help them in healing as well. A science of caring is complementary to the science of curing. (Watson, 2012, para. 2) Conclusion I believe as nurses we must truly have a passion to care for our patients and get to know them in all aspects of their health. Learning all we can in our field will help us to master our skills, yet nothing compares to the heart of a nurse who sincerely cares for their patients.

PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING References Adams, P. (2012, October 10). 6 rules to live by as a nurse. Scrubs: The Leading Lifestyle Nursing Magazine Featuring Inspirational and Informational Nursing Articles. Retrieved from Lukose, A. (2011). Developing a practice model for Watson's theory of caring. Nursing Science Quarterly, 24, 27-30. Watson, J. (2012, January 26). Jean Watson's philosophy of nursing. Nursing Theories. Retrieved from

Yaremich, M. (2012, April 11). How nurses can care for themselves. Phoenix Forward: Careers. Retrieved from