Philosophy of Nursing

Abstract

Nurses should develop a personal philosophy to guide their practice during care delivery. My philosophy focuses on the need to create positive connections and interactions with patients to support effective care. The philosophy resonates with the patient-centered nursing model used in various healthcare organizations to support quality objectives. I believe that patients should be at the center of the care delivery process and should be engaged throughout their treatment. The model should be implemented in my healthcare organization to improve service delivery. The paper focused on my philosophy of nursing, a discussion of the nursing model and framework, the relationship between the model and the philosophy, and two examples based on philosophy as informed by the model.

 

Introduction

My journey to becoming a professional nurse has been long but fulfilling. I am motivated by the opportunity to care for patients. For a long time, I have focused on the need to relieve the suffering of people afflicted with various illnesses and injuries because I understand my role in the healing process. Nurses are placed in a prominent position to provide safe and quality care to diverse patient populations. The process entails establishing a positive therapeutic relationship with patients and their families. Nurses should understand patients’ needs and create effective interventions to address them. While many aspects of care may affect the quality and safety of care provided to patients, nursing models, frameworks, and personal philosophy of nursing are among the most important aspects because they influence how nurse practitioners work.

Philosophy of Nursing

Nurses develop philosophies that direct their caregiving role. The philosophy focuses on the delivery of safe and quality care. The interactions and interrelations with the patient underlie the importance of practical philosophy for every nurse. Many factors determine the philosophy that each nurse holds in the caregiving environment. Values, self-concept, and culture are among the forces that influence philosophy. Each nurse has different standards that guide their practice and relationship with patients and other professionals. Self-concept also affects what nurses think about themselves as caring professionals (Alligood, 2017). The culture within which a person is born and grows also affects the concept. Besides, the culture within which one works inspires the philosophy. Such factors influence the personal beliefs in the relationship between the nurse and patient in the health care setting.

The three factors, values, self-concept, and culture, have affected the development of my philosophy. They have influenced my philosophy of nursing, which harmonizes my relationship with my patients (Alligood, 2017). My values relate to beliefs connected to the delivery of optimal care. Some of the values that influence my role as a nurse are human dignity, altruism, honesty, integrity, and social justice. These values are a reflection of the things I believe to be important in the care-giving role. Besides, the self-concept, which is my beliefs about myself concerning others, has influenced my nursing philosophy. For example, I believe that I am placed in a position to help other people who are suffering as I become a caregiver. I also grew up in a culture where caring for others was very important. My family and community always put the needs of others first. I grew up knowing that I had an obligation to care for others. Factors such as values, self-concept, and culture have defined my philosophy of nursing.  

My upbringing and interactions within the community have influenced my personal philosophy of nursing. My philosophy is based on the commitment to serving and caring for others to relieve their pain and suffering. I have a strong desire to help people in need. The belief goes beyond treating the sick and focuses on the provision of quality and safe care to diverse patient populations. It is also about customizing care to the needs of an individual because each patient comes to the hospital with unique medical needs. I also believe in continuing to improve the quality of care provided to individuals and populations. A nurse should advance medical experience and competence to support safe and quality care. Their knowledge should inform effective therapeutic relationships to uncover patient needs and implement effective treatment plans (Dahnke & Dreher, 2015). Nurses should also look at the patient as a whole being in pursuit of healing and recovery. I have developed the philosophy over the years of education and experience and when interacting with the organizational nursing model and framework.

The Nursing Model and Framework

Organizations apply different nursing models and frameworks to support their care delivery. However, my organization lacks an explicitly stated nursing model or framework to guide practice. The organizational culture supports a patient-centered approach, which also resonates with my philosophy of nursing. The patient-centered model of care has been applied for decades in various health care organizations to achieve quality objectives. In 1969, the concept was used by Edith Balint to define the patient’s role in the care process. The aim was to unveil the nature of the patient as an exceptional being capable of taking an active part in the care delivery process. The care provider should understand patients’ needs and preferences and implement interventions to meet them (Santana et al., 2018). Therefore, the patient should be at the center of the caregiving process.

The patient-centered model or theoretical framework still informs care provision in various organizations. Regardless of the numerous conceptualizations of the model, such as “patient (and family)–centered care, relationship-centered care, personalized care, and user/client-centered care,” it still defines the holistic approach to care that puts the individual at the core of the treatment (Santana et al. 2018, p. 429). The framework covers all the dimensions of the patient’s general well-being, including personal expression, context, beliefs, and preferences. The patient-centered nursing framework is a model that enables nursing professionals to implement patient-centered care. The framework also supports the evaluation of practice development and reveals the outcome of care delivery (Wolstenholme et al. 2017). Thus, the framework ensures that nurses address the needs of patients efficiently to achieve quality outcomes.

The patient-centered nursing model relates to the role of the patient in the treatment process. According to McCance and McCormack (2017), nurses and other care providers initiate decisions after considering the preferences of the patient. Therefore, they should involve the patient in making choices relating to treatment and disease management. Current policies in the health care organization have focused on the opinion of a person in understanding the care provider’s perspective on the kind of care they give to patients (Santana et al. 2018). The model is critical in the improvement of the quality of care as well as patient experience and outcome. It is a useful model of service delivery, especially during the current age, characterized by increasing cost of care. Organizations should adopt the model to improve services and enhance relationships between nurses and their patients. The patient-centered nursing model relates to my philosophy of nursing, which focuses on collaboration between caregivers and patients.

The Patient-Centered Nursing Model and my Philosophy of Nursing

Through studies and experience, I have discovered that the patient-centered nursing model supports my philosophy of nursing. My philosophy relates to the importance of developing relationships with the patient to achieve quality of care outcomes. I believe in patient interactions and interrelations to understand their needs and implement effective interventions. Patient-based care is the most effective approach to providing quality and effective services. Over the years, I have learned to define the main recipient of health care services. Nursing focuses on the importance of caring for the patient. However, the patient is a reasonable being with an opinion over the kind of care they receive. Therefore, I believe in engaging the patient from the moment we meet to ensure I offer the most appropriate care.

Example 1

I have various examples of the implication of the patient-centered nursing model on my philosophy of nursing. While working in a healthcare setting, I encountered a patient from a minority culture in the community. The patient was reluctant to receive blood donations. The doctor and other health care providers believed that the course of treatment would save the patient’s life. As a result, they were adamant about the need for immediate transfusion. Although the opinion of the care provision team was justified, I believed in the need to understand the patient’s point of view. Since my philosophy relates to the need to create a connection with the patient and consider their opinion in the course of treatment, I initiated a conversation regarding potential treatment options. In the course of the discussion, I discovered that the hindrance to the treatment was based on religious beliefs. The information assisted me in making a decision that focused on other options, such as the use of supplements because of the need to support the patient’s wishes.

Example 2

The second example is a case of an agitated patient who appears to be dissatisfied with the kind of service he received from the hospital. I found the patient in a conversation with a nurse, but they seemed dejected. I remained silent for a while to understand the cause of the conflict. From the conversation, the patient was worried that he was not informed about the diagnosis and the kind of treatment he received from the hospital. Although the doctor who had treated the patient had left, he let out his anger on the nurse. After listening to the conversation, I felt that the patient was right. The care provider violated the right of the patient to information and education. The patient-centered nursing model, which I subscribe to, requires the patient to be part of the treatment process. Patients should be involved from the beginning to the end of the treatment schedule. I used my personal belief in the need to inform the patient to gather the necessary information and share it with the patient. With the help of the nurse, I took the patient’s file and discussed areas of concern until he was satisfied.

Conclusion

Philosophy of nursing can support health care delivery. The idea is based on the beliefs and values that a nurse holds. My philosophy relates to connecting and interacting with patients to support quality care outcomes. It resonates with the patient-centered nursing model. From the two examples, my current hospital has limitations that the implementation of the model can help to address. The hospital administration should understand the instances that the model fits in the caregiving process, creating a policy based on patient-centeredness in care delivery. Overall, a needs assessment will inform the implementation of the model in practice.

 

References

Alligood, M. R. (2017). Nursing theorists and their work-e-book. Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Dahnke, M. D., & Dreher, H. M. (2015). Philosophy of science for nursing practice: Concepts and application. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

McCance, T., & McCormack, B. (2017). Person-centered practice in nursing and health care. Theory and practice (2nd ed.). Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Santana, M.J., Manalili, K., Jolley, R.J., Zelinsky, S., Quan, H., & Lu, M. (2018). How to practice person‐centred care: A conceptual framework. Health Expectation, 21(2): 429-440. doi: 10.1111/hex.12640

Wolstenholme, D., Ross, H., Cobb, M., & Bowen, S. (2017). Participatory design facilitates Person Centred Nursing in service improvement with older people: a secondary directed content analysis. Journal of Clinical Nursing26(9-10), 1217-1225.

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