PersonalNursing Philosophy Philosophies in nursing present anurse’s personal belief system or worldview of nursing (Kearney-Nunnery, 2012,p. 15). It is the nurse’s personal definition of what nursing is to them. Theirphilosophy is what guides them throughout their profession as they care forpatients. This paper will explore the values as well as moral and ethicalbeliefs that I plan to follow throughout my nursing profession. Although mynursing philosophy incorporates my own ethical and moral beliefs such ascompassion and caring, it extends far beyond that. Nursing to me is much morethan the medical aspects, as I believe in a holistic model, which says thathealing is contingent upon the health of not only the body but also the mindand spirit.
MyNursing Philosophy Compassionand caring are the building blocks of nursing. Nurses deal with the sick andinjured and their families daily. Having a strong ability to empathize withpatients from all walks of life goes a long way in improving patient care andoutcomes. Jean Watson’s theory of nursing “emphasizes that the total person ismore important to nursing care than the individual injury or disease processthat produced the need for care” (Catalano, 2015, p. 61). This means thatnurses must not only care for the physical aspects of the disease, but alsoneed to be able to care for the mental, spiritual, and emotional aspects of thepatient themselves. For example, there was a time during clinical that I caredfor a patient who was in hospice.
Although this patient was in the activestages of dying, she was still able to communicate. She expressed that she wasafraid of dying alone, but that she was the last living member of her family,so she knew it was unavoidable. As her nurse, I needed to care for the physicalaspects of her disease by repositioning her and keeping her comfortable throughthe administration of pain medication, but I also knew I needed to do more. Asher breathing rate and heart rate slowed, I knew it was almost time for her topass. I went into her room and pulled a chair up next to her bed.
I sat thereholding her hand and praying with her until she passed. I think she knew shewasn’t alone. Although losing patients is one of the most difficult aspects ofnursing, they are also the most memorable.TheBody-Mind-Spirit Watson’s theory “views the client assomeone who has needs, who grows and develops throughout life, and whoeventually reaches a state of internal harmony” (Catalano, 2015, p. 61). Aperson reaching a state of internal harmony is contingent upon the caring ofthe body, mind, and spirit both individually and together.
In Maslow’s theory,self-actualization is only met when all other needs are met first, while Watsonbelieves the most basic human need is one’s spiritual self, while all otherneeds are of less importance (Falk Rafael, 2000). In order to address one’sspiritual self, the nurse needs to be aware of and sensitive to their patients’spiritual needs. These needs could include spiritual care activities such aspraying, reading of scripture passages, and listening to and counseling relatedto spiritual concerns.
Many nurses are comfortable addressing these needs, butif they are not, then they can work as a team with a Chaplain. In the example Iused previously, I addressed my patient’s spiritual needs by praying with andfor her. The body aspect of a holistic careapproach is where nurses address the individual injury or disease process whichled to the need for care (Catalano, 2015, p. 61). Ideally, if we can addressthe underlying causes of an illness then we are able to prevent itsreoccurrence.
Through assessments, deficits can be identified, andinterventions can be implemented to address them. Going back to the example ofmy patient who was dying and on hospice, the assessment I completed uponentering her room revealed that she was experiencing some discomfort due to herdifficulty in breathing. As stated, I addressed her physical needs byrepositioning her on a regular basis and administering pain medication. The final aspect of the holistic approachis the mind. This includes caring for the patient’s psychological and emotionalneeds. The caring of these needs includes things such as preserving theirdignity, asking how they are feeling and sincerely caring, and asking how youas the nurse can reduce their anxiety or pain. In the example of my hospicepatient, I cared for her psychological and emotional needs just by sitting withher and letting her know that she was not going to die alone as she hadthought. This ultimately brought her comfort and relieved the anxiety she wasfeeling about her impending death.
Knowledgeand Skills “Knowledge is fundamental to nursingpractice, nursing science, nursing philosophy, and ethics” (Jacobs, 2001). Accordingto Watson, this knowledge comes in many forms including empirical, aesthetic,ethical, and personal knowing (Falk Rafael, 2000). Empirical knowledge isreceived through assessments or observations, while aesthetic, ethical, andpersonal knowing are obtained through the nurse’s own experience, moral andethical beliefs or the perception the nurse has of the patient and their needs.
As each patient presents with different diseases or injuries, nurses must beable to adapt and utilize all types of knowledge and skills to care forpatients effectively and safely. Knowledge is also needed for nurses to developtheories, which are needed to understand and reflect on nursing practice. TranspersonalCaring Relationship In her theory, Watson expresses theneed for a transpersonal caring relationship as it focuses on helping patientsachieve a complete sense of harmony within the mind, body, and spirit. Thistype of relationship puts the focus not only on the patient, but also on thenurse and is “one of mutuality in which the whole nurse engages with the wholeclient, each bringing her or his own experience and meaning to an actual caringoccasion” (Falk Rafael, 2000). Nurses who practice transpersonal caring show agenuine desire to be present and centered in their interactions with theirpatients.
The example I have used throughout my paper is an example of atranspersonal relationship or transpersonal caring as I centered my intentionson caring, healing, and wholeness instead of the disease, illness andpathology. Conclusion A holistic approach to the care ofpatients, families, and communities is followed throughout many healthcareorganizations. My personal nursing philosophy is a standard of care based on myown personal, moral, and ethical beliefs that I plan to follow throughout myprofession as a nurse.
The care that I provide to my patients is focused on acaring relationship that encourages healing of not only the body, but also thehealing of the mind and spirit. Nurses continue to be the heart and soul of healthcareorganizations, changing health care and the lives of individuals and familiesfor the better. It is a profession that I am proud to be part of.