There is no doubt that nursing is an extremely challenging profession that requires not only a good education but also sincerity and devotion. According to Florence Nightingale, a prominent English nurse, nursing is not a profession, but a form of art that requires compassion and persistent preparation (Kutin, 2003). The essay aims at determining and describing my personal philosophy of nursing, based on such factors as four metaparadigms and peculiarities of nursing. Special focused is made on the strengths and weaknesses of the personal nursing philosophy.
Since early childhood, I have always dreamt to become a nurse. However, at that time, I was deeply convinced that the main responsibility of any health care worker was to wear white uniforms and caps. However, over time, my understanding of the nurses’ roles and responsibilities has drastically changed. In the process of getting an education, I have understood that nursing is a complex activity that involves a huge number of moral and ethical peculiarities. I believe that nursing is one of the most honored, rewarding, and, at the same time, challenging professions in the world. Besides, a skilled and compassionate nurse may be compared to a guardian angel as they provide many people with a second chance in lives. Moreover, because of the fact that their skills are universal, it is possible to state that nursing is crucial in the everyday life of any society. I suppose that I have chosen the right profession because the main mission of nurses is saving people’s lives. Besides, I have always dreamt about helping people from all walks of life, regardless of their financial status, religious beliefs, race, lifestyle choices, and disabilities.
In my point of view, an effective nursing practice should be based on the main theories of nursing or, in other words, four metaparadigms of nursing. These theories are considered important as they turn the nursing occupation into one of the most complicated, time-consuming, and exhausting professions in the world (Masters, 2008). Moreover, these pillars provide nursing practitioners with a direction or guidance them in education, research, and practice. The basic metaparadigms of nursing include a set of theories that describe how the nursing industry should function; they were created in order to help nurses develop their unique nursing philosophy. It should be stated that the basic metaparadigms of nursing focus on such key areas as a person, health, environment, and, finally, nursing itself (Masters, 2008).
In terms of the first metaparadigm – a person, I would like to emphasize that it is extremely important in the nursing process as it focuses on human beings. It motivates encourages nurses to deal or, in other words, cooperate with the patients that need help. In such a manner, it encourages nurses not only to care about patients because of a sense of duty but also to nurture them and help them manage their health issues to the best of the own abilities (Masters, 2008). In my opinion, as a nurse, I have to convince every patient that I am not indifferent and truly make all efforts in order to help them cope with health problems. In general, nurses are responsible not only for the physical health of their patients but also for their spiritual, mental, sociocultural, and, finally, psychological well-being.
Therefore, the second metaparadigm of nursing that is usually referred to as the environment is no less important in my practice area (Masters, 2008). I am convinced that this theory considers the surrounding that may affect the health of patients either positively or negatively. It is important to note that the environmental component consists of numerous internal and external factors that should be controlled and managed effectively by nurses. Interactions with relatives and friends are included in the environmental paradigm. In addition, culture, geographic location, and even economic conditions are the other integral parts. I believe that one of the vital responsibilities of nurses deals with controlling and regulating the negative environmental influences because they may impact the recovery process or wellbeing of patients. Thus, as a nursing practitioner, I should create positive internal and external conditions in order to improve the life of patients in their environment. Moreover, I believe that every professional nurse should remember that such external environmental factors as fresh air, quietness, as well as cleanliness, should be successfully managed. The failure to provide these benefits destroys the harmony in patients, as well as affects the external and internal environments that influence their health.
I suppose that such metaparadigmatic factor as health should be included in the personal nursing philosophy of every nurse that values this profession. In general, the health component refers to the access of patients to the quality healthcare services (Masters, 2008). The absence of illness is not always a direct synonym to such terms as physical and mental health and general well-being. The health metaparadigm motivates professionals, as well as beginners, in the sphere of nursing to contribute not only to the physical health of patients but also to their feelings of happiness, contentment, and pleasure. In many cases, intellectual, spiritual, and, finally, the emotional wellbeing of patients depends on nurses and the ways they treat their patients.
Finally, according to the fourth metaparadigmatic principle that involves the nursing component, the delivery of healthcare services by nurses influences the optimal health outcomes for patients (Masters, 2008). I believe that such efficient tools as communication, as well as well-developed personal skills and knowledge, will assist me in the process of maintaining good relationships with my patients and, consequently, in contributing to their physical, mental, and emotional health.
Taking into account the four basic metaparadigms of nursing, I would like to stress that my personal nursing philosophy is based on such beneficial features as fulfillment, patient-centered care, and, finally, professional clinical competence. To be honest, looking back at my nursing education and practice, I understand that caring for patients brings me a sense of fulfillment and pleasure. In my opinion, intelligence, knowledge, respect for dignity, care, and involvement in the processes of decision-making are the most widespread patients’ expectations of professional nurses. My nursing philosophy is characterized by such features as holistic and culturally sensitive care for people who need my help. Furthermore, I try to do my best in order to be not only a nurse but also a friend, teacher, effective leader and manager, and even a patient advocate. However, like any other person engaged in the sphere of nursing, I make mistakes. In other words, except numerous benefits, my philosophy of nursing is characterized by several weaknesses or limitations. For example, such negative features as nervousness and inability to cope with external pressures or stressors are my biggest weaknesses. Taking into account the limitations of my personal philosophy of nursing, I would like to confess that it does not allow me to disguise the feeling of anxiety, fear, despair, regret and to fight back the tears when I look into the eyes of patients knowing that he or she is hopeless while I am powerless. In other words, the so-called psychological and emotional exhaustion is the biggest limitation of my nursing philosophy. Moreover, despite the fact that such positive features as care, compassion, and devotion are the pillars of my philosophy, these values blur the line between my professional duties and personal feelings and hopes.
As a result, having analyzed the nature of nursing, I can summarize that nursing is not an easy profession and involves numerous hardships and challenges. However, at the same time, it is one of the most emotionally and mentally rewarding occupations in the world. According to the nursing metaparadigms, every professional nurse is responsible not only for the physical health of the patients but also for their emotional and spiritual wellbeing. In general, nursing is not a job, but a way of life that involves compassion, patience, love, respect, care, and altruism.