My philosophy of nursing is associated with the assistance to people aimed at improving their health outcomes by providing treatment and also preventative measures. I believe that nursing is the sphere that requires the constant enhancement and evidence-based practices. The rapidly changing environment, innovations in treatment, development of new approaches, and varying needs of patients cause the need to elaborate on the nursing activities. However, I consider that the traditional metaparadigm suggested by Florence Nightingale reflects the very essence of nursing.
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The Four Metaparadigms of Nursing
In my point of view, each of the following concepts of this metaparadigm is rather significant as it focuses on the fundamental values: person, health, environment, and nursing. The first concept of a person focuses on the holistic care and embraces people in general rather than only one individual. The patient’s friends and family also require some part of nurses’ attention (Smith & Parker, 2015).
The second concept is health that refers to the patient’s well-being that may involve a range of factors, such as genetics, physical, psychological, and other aspects. However, I understand the concept of health as something relative as there are no standards for all people that differ from each other by age, sex, body type, etc. Environment is the third concept that is associated with both internal and external factors, including social, economic, personal, geographic, and plenty of others. It seems to me environment plays a huge role in identifying one’s health and nursing care strategies.
The last concept is nursing that covers knowledge, skills, and experience of a person to become a compassionate nurse, having empathy to patients. My personal philosophy corresponds to all the mentioned concepts as I consider that patient-centered care with the focus on environment is the best way to ensure the appropriate nursing assistance.
My Additions and Deletions to the Metaparadigms
The four metaparadigms of nursing developed by Florence Nightingale cover every aspect of nursing, so there is nothing to delete or take away. However, I would like to detach the concept of Comfort and treat it as a separate metaparadigm. Comfort is a concept that has roots in all four of the major metaparadigms and yet cannot be assigned to only one. It is defined as an immediate experience of improvement through having their needs relieved. Comfort is important to both the patient and the nurse, as low levels of comfort in a patient would inevitably lead to a drop in satisfaction and the quality of life, whereas a sense of discomfort in a nurse would lead to gradual stress buildup and a decrease in the quality of provided care.
The integration, development, and understanding of Florence Nightingale’s four metaparadigms into my nursing philosophy helped me gain a broader and deeper understanding of what nursing is really about. Although the concepts of patient, nurse, environment, and health may seem like broad generalizations, they are also very versatile as they can be applied to virtually any situation in nursing practice, thus reflecting the very essence of nursing.
Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.
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Part 2: Questions
1) As an art and science, how has your personal nursing philosophy unfolded?
During my nursing practice, I found that my personal nursing philosophy shifted more towards science than art. Readings, x-rays, bacterial floral analyses, blood analyses, and other tests performed during treatment are all very exact and less prone to interpretation. However, I found art in the process of restoring the patient back to health, helping them regain their natural beauty bestowed on them by God. It is not unlike architectural restoration, which turns collapsed structures of old into beautiful monuments of art.
2) Have there been ideas that have challenged your personal values or assumptions?
One idea that keeps challenging my personal values and assumptions is the idea of triage during emergency situations. The mission of nursing is to promote health and quality of life equally, without discrimination by gender, race, or the presence of any disabilities. While I understand that desperate times call for desperate measures, I find it deeply unsettling that one day I might be unable to fight for every patient’s life, and would be forced to prioritize between them.
3) Have there been ideas that have caused you personal conflict and may lead to deconstructing those dispositions in a critical manner?
One of the ideas that I encountered during my practice is the concept of foregoing patient consent. Some nurses feel that patient consent is just a formality. I find this opinion to be born out of burnout and tiredness rather than factual evidence and concern for the patient. I believe that patient consent and understanding of the healthcare processes is paramount to assuring a successful outcome.
4) What actions have you taken that illustrate your personal nursing philosophy?
As a firm believer in the four metaparadigms of Florence Nightingale, I incorporated elements of all four into my nursing practice, treating them as elements of a whole. I focus on facilitating improvements in nursing, environment, and patient care, which affect the patient’s health, thus leading to a better outcome and improvement in the quality of life.
5) Describe your own definition of the concepts involving the meta-paradigm of nursing.
In my practice, I developed short working definitions of the metaparadigms, in order to simplify and connect them to the realities of medical practice. Nursing is the efforts I make to improve my patient’s condition. The environment is the patient’s surroundings and their cultural background. The Patient metaparadigm relates to how the patient feels like before, during, and after treatment. Health is the end goal of nursing, and it is subjective to change based on my actions, the patient’s actions, and the environment.
6) Has your first written philosophy of nursing changed? In what ways?
I believe that my nursing philosophy changed a little, departing from theory and becoming more down to earth, as I had to experience the challenges and realities of nursing practice. However, in its essence, it remained the same, with slight alterations that reflect my present standing.