The field of nursing encompasses a wide range of philosophies and practices. Many theorists have written their own nursing theories over the past century. While a nurse must recognize the importance of these theories, a nurse also must develop his or her own philosophy regarding the practice of nursing. By recognizing what values of nursing most appeal to him or her, a nurse may create a personal philosophy that brings meaning to the profession.
Through this philosophy, a nurse may further assist their clients in obtaining the best outcomes. Also, the nurse may find an enriched sense of personal satisfaction in performing his or her professional duties. For me, I believe that nursing must embrace a holistic aspect that encompasses the desire to achieve the best outcomes through this approach.
Choice of Nursing
I chose nursing as a career because I believed it offered the best avenue for my desire to assist others in their times of need. I strongly feel that the purpose of the human life is to assist other human beings; a human being cannot have a meaningful existence if his or her entire life focuses merely on personal gain and enrichment. True personal enrichment comes from the sense that a person has accomplished something that benefits others. It is only through serving others that we can become complete ourselves.
I believed nursing offered me a chance to explore and embrace my holistic thoughts on the health of a person. While there are many aspects of healthcare, most of these do not strive to assist the entire being. Areas of healthcare often focus on one body system or one aspect of a person’s life. I do recognize the value in this; by strengthening individual parts, the person as a whole may grow stronger and heal. However, I believe that my personal views of health tend towards a more comprehensive view of a person. Since nursing focuses on the entire person, I thought this would be a good fit for me. The founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, also focused on the holistic aspects of the profession. She believed that nursing care needed to emphasize the “unity, wellness, and the interrelationship of human beings and their environment” (American Holistic Nurses Association, 2012).
Essence of Nursing
I believe the essence of nursing rests in its consummate support of the person and his or her lifestyle. A nurse needs to support the client emotionally, physically, and psychologically in an effort to allow the person to regain optimal health. In today’s society, this remains even more crucial. The modern lifestyle often places tremendous stress on a person; this may limit the amount of support systems a person has in place. Therefore, the nurse must offer support to a client. Jean Watson’s theory of nursing indicates that caring must be an interpersonal activity that supports the client as he or she currently is and supports the changes the person wishes to make (Craig & Daniels, 2004, p. 46-47). I also believe the essence of nursing needs to focus on the definition of health from the World Health Organization (2003) that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
The theory of caring applies even more significantly to today’s world. Often individuals become hurt and injured due to the actions of others. This may create a negative psychological and spiritual outlook for the victim. Therefore, the nurse must offer the client the knowledge and hope that the world still contains caring, loving individuals. This positive outlook may help the client achieve a better health and wellness outcome.
Beliefs and Values
I believe that clients are the partners of the nurse. A nurse cannot assist a client in achieving his or her desired outcomes without steady input from the client. The client knows his or her desires and also what he or she is able to accomplish regarding health outcomes. While clients should be encouraged to achieve the best possible outcomes, not all clients want to focus on all aspects of their well-being. A nurse needs to encourage health in a client, but also accept a client’s autonomy regarding his or her lifestyle choices.
I believe the client’s family and social support system are important to the overall well-being and health of the client. Humans are not solitary creatures by nature; we crave companionship and compassion. Therefore, the nurse must encourage the client’s family and friends to offer undivided support on the client’s road to recovery. However, the nurse must also respect the client’s autonomy and confidentiality at all times.
I believe health care professionals need to focus on the team aspect of client care. One health care professional cannot attend to all the potential needs of a client’s health. Therefore, we need to support and assist one another in the goal of achieving the desired outcomes. I firmly believe that the purpose of a team is to enhance one another’s strengths and diminish our individual weaknesses. This can only occur if those involved focus on the team aspect of health care delivery.
I believe my health remains my most valuable asset. Optimal health allows an individual to pursue dreams and goals that poor health would prevent. I attempt to take good care of my health. While I am not perfect in this regard, I still pledge to myself to care for the only body I have. I also must recognize that since I am not perfect in my goals, my friends, coworkers and clients will also fall short of perfection. This human aspect of our lives should bring us closer together, not farther apart.
Vision for the Future
My vision remains rather simple. I believe I need to focus on my career and continue learning. My career goals are to continue learning about my clients and assisting them as needed. I believe learning is a way of life, not a means to a degree. I hope to continue learning and exploring; this learning needs to focus not only on nursing, but also on the other passions I discover in life. I do hope to obtain my master’s degree within five years.
I believe nurses need to care for themselves, their coworkers, their clients and the community. A meaningful existence can only occur through a life of caring and attempting to make the world a better place. The goal of a nurse and a human should always be to leave a person, place or thing slightly better than when it was discovered.
- American Holistic Nurses Association (2012) What is holistic nursing? Retrieved April 16, 2013, from: http://www.ahna.org/AboutUs/WhatisHolisticNursing/tabid/1165/Default.aspx
- Craig, C. & Daniels, R. (2004) “Evolution of nursing practice.” In R. Daniels (Ed.), Nursing fundamentals: caring and clinical-decision making. Clifton Park: Delmar Publishers.
- World Health Organization (2003) Definition of health. Retrieved April 16, 2013, from: http://www.who.int/about/definition/en/print.html