Professional Nursing Philosophy and Practice
Nursing is a profession that combines diverse theoretical, practical, ethical, philosophic, and many other concepts, which is why a nursing specialist continues developing them even after graduation from an educational institution. This ongoing self-learning process assures the development of various metaparadigms and metatheories, which nursing practitioners implement in their practice. A good starting point that guarantees the relevance and validity of both personal and professional development is the definition of these paradigms and theories. This approach is critical, because having an adequate vision of one’s professional philosophy, an individual can improve his or her education and practice obtaining the best of possible benefits.
This paper presents an individual philosophy of a nursing student and practitioner, articulates concepts relevant to a specific practice, and clarifies and organizes a particular professional foundation. The presented assumptions made from personal professional nursing practice allow to establish core metaparadigms and metatheories that constitute the basis of the individual framework of a nursing theory. The identified theoretical and conceptual basis of one’s professional philosophy enables nurses to ensure that he/she can pursue the chosen career and grow as a qualified specialist in the selected domain of practice. The prepared analysis is valuable for any nursing professional, because it enhances the understanding of individual peculiarities of practice as well as philosophical principles that guide a person at the workplace.
Nursing autobiography is a useful tool that makes it possible for a person to analyze oneself by describing the most important aspects of one’s life and professional practice. My name is Eva Medina and I am a nursing specialist that is interested in continuous professional and individual development. I was born and raised in Cuba, and I can proudly say that I have strong Cuban roots. Currently, I live in Miami with my two beautiful daughters that are 11 and 6 years old. I work for the Medscience Research Company on the position of a clinical manager. My professional duties include provision of direct patient care and education of health care providers regarding the procedures associated with the performance and interpretation of allergy skin test. I consider myself to be an experienced specialist, since prior this job I worked as a case manager in acute setting at Select Specialty Hospital. I gained a valuable working experience at this hospital due to the opportunity to learn the principles of implementation, evaluation, and meeting patient’s health needs while promoting quality and cost-effective medical interventions.
My long-term objective is to become a Nurse Practitioner and make a difference in patient’s treatment by providing the most compassionate and comprehensive care available. To my way of thinking, the realization of this goal consists of reaching different smaller goals first in professional education and practice with this course. As for this course, I aspire to identify and select the proper nursing theories that are congruent with the patient’s situation. Realizing this goal would help me to achieve the desired patient health outcomes by means of advocacy of relevant, valid, and safe health care interventions. I grasp various opportunities in my life and want to ensure that individual and professional development as well as international travels are inseparable parts of these opportunities. I have been to such countries as Spain, Canada, and Mexico, and this experience broadened my vision of health care needs of these countries and also my own country. I tend to believe that the workplace and travelling experiences mainly contributed to the enhancement of my vision of the framework of individual nursing practice in terms of its philosophy and practice-related concepts.
The Four Metaparadigms of Nursing
Nursing metaparadigms are important components of the nursing knowledge and activity, since they form the basis of any professional intervention. The nurses should be able to adequately define them, as a relevant definition grants correct understanding of the tasks and challenges of the chosen occupation. The metaparadigm differs from other professional concepts, because it is a highly abstract notion that embraces a particular activity or phenomena and has a range of idiosyncratic qualities. Among them one can name the identification of a domain that is distinctive from other domains, encompassment of all area of interest of this domain, and a perspective-neutral character that is global in scope and substance (Fawcett & DeSanto-Madeya, 2012). In nursing, it is defined as a map which guides a nurse through one’s professional world or “an organization of the growth of nursing knowledge” (Fawcett & DeSanto-Madeya, 2012, p. 5). The latter means that nursing expertise constantly changes because of the need to meet the requirements of changing societies due to biological, technological, economic, historical, and other factors. However, the peculiarities within the framework of a nursing activity define that it has at least four constant metaparadigms which include human beings, environment, health, and nursing (Fawcett & DeSanto-Madeya, 2012). Each of the defined metaparadigms embraces critical knowledge and assumptions about the identified domain ensuring their relation to health care knowledge and activities.
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The metaparadigm “human beings”
It refers to any individual or a group of individuals involved in the process of care. The components of this paradigm are my colleagues, who require knowledge or my assistance; my patients, who require care and treatment; their families; and my supervisors and administrators. All of them are adaptive systems that are permanently growing and developing within a changing environment (Fawcett & DeSanto-Madeya, 2012). I recognize that each of them is a subject of the healthcare system and an individual with his or her personal beliefs, values, experiences, and knowledge, which requires understanding and acceptance. For instance, if I care for a patient who represents Jehovah’s Witness and avoids blood transfusion, I have to make a balanced decision that respects the patient’s choice and promotes his/her health.
The metaparadigm “environment”
It embraces the context of the health care domain including the clinical and domestic setting and available resources that impact care and treatment etc. Experts divide it into internal and external environment where the first one represents “the composition, quantity, temperature and distribution of body fluids” and another – patient’s parameters (Fawcett & DeSanto-Madeya, 2012, p. 60). The external environment incorporates objects, events, situations, and forces that impact the patient’s adaptation (Fawcett & DeSanto-Madeya, 2012). For example, if my patient is under psychological pressure imposed by his/her family, I have to mitigate its causes to resolve the psychological atmosphere and enhance the patient’s well-being.
The metaparadigm “health”
Furthermore, the metaparadigm “health” is a reflection of a person’s adaptive interaction with the environment, a factor that amplifies the purposefulness of human existence allowing people to freely integrate in the society (Fawcett & DeSanto-Madeya, 2012). Therefore, my duty as a health care practitioner is to assist people with this critical adaptation and share the valuable knowledge I possess with my colleagues. My actions should lead to a person feeling the integrity “and the ability toward effective unity of the adaptive models,” because the “lack of integration is a lack of health” (Fawcett & DeSanto-Madeya, 2012). For example, to promote the quality of health, I provide my colleagues with the up-to-date knowledge about health care systems and procedures associated with allergy skin test. This aspect is of the utmost importance, since in case they misinterpret a patient’s skin test results, they would break the integrity of an individual’s health by promoting irrelevant care and treatment.
The metaparadigm “nursing”
The last metaparadigm contains the basic motives for becoming a nurse including its ethical and emotional aspects. Experts characterize it as “reciprocal transpersonal relationship in caring moments guided by carative factors and caritas process” (Masters, 2012, p. 52). This metaparadigm involves a variety of reasons that guide me in assisting the patients and colleagues in promotion the patients’ wholeness, adaptation, and independence. Compassion, justice, and eagerness to help people, relieve their pain, and assist in removing their problems are the basic motives that determine my workplace activities. I regard my patients’ and colleagues’ success as my personal achievement, and this feeling of a shared success makes me feel proud of being a part of the health care system. Hence, my understanding of the four nursing metaparadigms ensures their relevant consideration at the workplace and my continuing employment as a nursing professional, when applying my knowledge and experience into practice.
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Practice is a drastically important aspect of nursing, because it includes the actual deeds of health care practitioners which promote health, safety, and well-being of their patients. As a consequence, a nursing professional has to identify nursing concepts that are important for his or her nursing practice to deliver the best possible care and treatment. The nursing concepts that are unique to my professional practice are educational competency or intelligence, self-efficacy, and patient-focused care. Experts claim that a nurse should develop practical intelligence as it correlates with success at the workplace (Dahnke & Dreher, 2011), which is important in my case, because I am a nursing educator who has to guide colleagues and educate patients, require them to be aware of the need for the development of this concept (Fitzpatrick & McCarthy, 2016). Apart from this, the concept of self-efficacy is critical, in my view, because my results directly impact patients’ outcomes and promote the quality of their lives. Self-efficacy also directly affects motivation and reflects the professionals’ ability to perform correct interventions regardless of obstacles (Fitzpatrick & McCarthy, 2016).
Being inefficient in a clinical setting for me means being ethically incorrect, since the patients trust my decisions, knowledge, and experience. Furthermore, a focus on the patient is a concept that unites both personal and professional aspects of care, since efficient interpersonal communication promotes therapeutic nurse-patient relationship (Dahnke & Dreher, 2011), whereas individual-focused care increases its quality. Experts state that this method is surprisingly challenging for many nurses and it is frequently manifested through their failure to motivate patients to accept treatment and care (Dahnke & Dreher, 2011). I adequately recognize and implement this concept in my own practice so that my patients are always thankful for the assistance, as they obtain not only care but instructions to improve the quality of their lives. As a result, my progress in the adequate identification and enhancement of the practice-specific concepts ensures individual sustainability as an efficient health care educator and a nurse.
According to my understanding of the practice-specific concepts, they are closely connected with the health promotion model, skill acquisition, and role and change theory. My practice adheres to the principles of health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment as I exercise planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful theoretical and practical interventions (Fitzpatrick & McCarthy, 2016). Due to my progress at the workplace and because of implementing relevant knowledge, I acquire more skills and experience that make me a valuable specialist. My self-development and professional training undergo such stages as precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance which are core changes necessary to become a professional in the chosen domain (Fitzpatrick & McCarthy, 2016). Consequently, the analysis demonstrates that my individual nursing philosophy may be termed as “Rationalized Compassion” as it constitutes the two main components. The first one is emotions which lead me in my professional practice and make me a good medical specialist concerned with the well-being of others. The second component is knowledge and practical experience that are propelled by emotional motivation to perform relevant and useful health care practices. I believe that my personal nursing philosophy is well-applied to the Medscience Research Company, because I efficiently educate my colleagues and promote patients’ health, safety, and well-being.
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Any professional philosophy requires a gradual update to be consistent with the changes of environment and successfully mitigate unexpected challenges. Therefore, as a rationally thinking nursing practitioner, I realize that professional sustainability in the future requires specific changes.
- First, I have to become a member of a professional organization to deepen my knowledge, awareness of the medical issues in the country, and latest technologies and policies. To reach this aim, I must tackle such problems as the need for finances, time, and adaptation (Finkelman & Kenner, 2010). However, the number of benefits would be more important as the membership in professional organizations develops leadership and networking skills, finds mentors, and gives voice in professional and health care issues (Finkelman & Kenner, 2010). This step would be a critical boost in my nursing career in terms of knowledge, practice, and opportunities for both self-development and professional growth.
- Second, I have to familiarize people with various means of utilization of nursing informatics and interprofessional collaboration. The first aspect is important, because in the contemporary medicine, this issue is closely intertwined with health care interventions. The most relevant example in this sense is electronic health records, which may dramatically optimize the process of treatment and transference of nursing knowledge. In modern conditions, when a nurse is pressured by time and other workplace factors, the reduction of unintended inattention due to the usage of information systems benefits both the patient and caregiver (Roussel, 2013).
- Third, nurses rely on interprofessional collaboration, because they cannot embrace all areas of knowledge in medicine and require assistance from other practitioners. A typical situation in a clinical setting is a cooperation of nurses, surgeons, and anesthetists at operative units where the success of the operative intrusion depends on any specialist. Thus, in case I manage to establish a mutual connection with other specialists at my workplace, I would improve the quality of my interventions because of the shared empirical knowledge and assistance.
- Finally, two last recommendations relate to the aspect of diversity of the population and incorporate the need for updating knowledge in care system for the populations of different age and ethnic background. The first aspect is relevant, since the US is a multinational country where a nurse can expect to care for a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or a representative of any other religious confession as well as ethnicity. As a result, these patients may require diverse strategies for treatment that are connected with ethical aspects of their individual assumptions and beliefs (Roussel, 2013).
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The awareness of the needs of each category of the identified populations would allow me to bypass some ethical issues and delays promoting timely care and qualitative treatment. Moreover, professionals claim that some nurses fail to recognize that the needs of the patients, which include emotional and spiritual ones, may differ according to their age (Finkelman & Kenner, 2010). Hence, I have to raise awareness of the needs of newborns, children, and adolescents as well as the needs of the young, middle-, and old-aged patient groups. This knowledge would improve the accessibility of the performed interventions and directly promote the well-being of the people under my supervision. The identified perspectives would enable to improve individual nursing care excellence within the framework of my philosophy of “Rationalized Compassion.”
To summarize the presented information I must conclude that my professional nursing philosophy “Rationalized Compassion” combines emotional and rational components that motivate me and ensure that I continue working as a nurse educator and a caregiver. My duties as a worker of Medscience Research Company require such an approach for a specialist of this kind, because it fuels motivation for being a nurse, necessary knowledge, and skills to educate colleagues and promote the patients’ health, safety, and well-being. My personal philosophy is based on the interpretation and understanding of the metaparadigms of human beings, environment, health, and nursing that help me to form my own key practice-specific nursing concepts. Intelligence, self-efficacy, and patient-focused care are the practice-specific nursing concepts that compose my philosophy of “Rationalized Compassion” and assure my professional and humanitarian competency and sustainability. The reason for it is that such analysis allowed me to envision the perspectives of my development, which ensures professional and individual growth in the future. Therefore, I will follow the identified steps to maintain progress at my workplace and promote health care in my medical company and the entrusted communities.
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