The role of nurses in handling patients

The critical role of nurses

Nurses play a very critical role in handling patients and assisting them through the recovery path. In addition to their professional qualification and experience, nurses can derive their approaches to their work from a wide range of nursing philosophies developed by renowned theorists such as Jean Watson, Dorothea Orem, and Florence Nightingale. Personally, Jean Watson’s theory of transpersonal caring matches my attitude towards the profession. I consider the four concepts of the model as the cornerstone of successful nursing practice. They include; human being, health, environment, and nursing. Every nurse should be aware of all these elements and integrate them into their work for desirable outcomes. This philosophy can, however, be a bad fit in some situations. Nevertheless, it plays a critical role in ensuring that all the needs of the patient are fulfilled for short and long-term recovery and wellbeing.

The principle that all nurses should uphold

As a nurse, the primary principle that I maintain is that the entire nursing process should be patient-centered. Different patients exhibit discreet problems and issues. Subsequently, every intervention should be based on the uniqueness of each case instead of applying a general approach. The need for a patient-centered approach to nursing cannot be overlooked as it is the one that defines all the requisites necessary for positive care outcomes. As a nurse, I believe that the nurse-patient relationship is essential for understanding the needs of every patient and formulating the most appropriate methods to restore their health. Relating to patients at a personal level is the cornerstone of my nursing philosophy.
At the same time, the nurse’s role as a care provider should extend beyond the hospital setting with a view of understanding all the factors contributing to sickness. Nurses should always strive to form a robust collaborative network with their patients and use that as a platform to enhance long-term wellbeing. Customizing nursing care to meet the individual needs of diverse clients is the doctrine on which I have built my nursing philosophy.

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the philosophy of transpersonal caring

Developed by renowned American nursing theorist, Jean Watson, the philosophy of transpersonal caring outlines the fundamental requirements for nurses to effectively execute their mandate for a healthy society. Watson’s theory affirms that nursing prioritizes on promoting health, preventing illness, caring for the sick, and restoring health (Ozan & Okumuş, 2017). The philosophy underlines that caring is central to nursing, and it promotes wellness by observing every individual separately to ascertain their needs and address them comprehensively. The theory entails four major concepts, including; society, human being, health, and nursing. Nursing encompasses considering patients as whole beings in need of various needs shaped by different factors such as their environments, culture, and personal interests.
According to Watson, societal values determine nursing by providing values that influence behavior. On the other hand, the theory defines a human being as a valued person who needs to be cared for, understood, respected and nurtured. On the other hand, health is a culmination of harmony within the mind, body, and soul (Norman, Rossillo & Skelton, 2016). Lastly, Watson defines nursing as a human science of persons and illness experiences mediated by personal, professional, scientific, esthetic, and ethical human care transactions.

Watson’s theory as an integral component

Watson’s theory as an integral component of nursing is founded on seven underlying assumptions which underline the core areas that determine clinical outcomes. The first postulation is that effective caring thrives on an interpersonal scenario (Pajnkihar, Štiglic, & Vrbnjak, 2017). The theory underscores that nurses need to initiate and maintain a positive interpersonal relationship with their patients for them to manage their conditions and enable them to recover quickly. In this regard, I uphold the belief that as a nurse, I need to interact with every patient at a personal level to understand their needs, expectations, and problems and use the knowledge as the basis for initiating care (Norman et al., 2016). Establishing positive relationships with patients prepares the ground for nurses to enhance patient results.
The second assumption is that caring entails creative factors that are essential to the satisfaction of specific human needs. According to Watson, the creative elements which include values, the expression of negative and positive feelings, and the provision of a protective and supportive care environment, significantly determine care outcomes. These elements are essential to my viewpoint of nursing as they complement skills and knowledge for better outcomes.
The third assumption of Watson’s philosophy is that effective caring enhances health and individual and family growth. This concept obligates nurses to examine patients from a broader perspective by taking into account their social and environmental exposures so that they can be in a better position to promote wholesome recovery for long-term wellbeing (Ozan & Okumuş, 2017). Subsequently, I concur that while the patient’s condition should be of utmost focus for the nurses, it is critical to assess other factors beyond the self in a bid to provide the most effective intervention measures that enhance health and growth for the patients and their families.
Watson’s fourth assumption is that nurses should accept patients in their original state and embark on assisting them to become better. Nurses should respond to the patient’s needs promptly and in line with the appropriate standards with the view of enabling them to regain their health through a future-oriented approach (Ozan & Okumuş, 2017). Ultimately, Watson asserts that nurses should try as much as they can to provide care to all patients.
The fifth supposition of Watson’s theory of transpersonal caring is that the environment plays a vital role in the execution of care as well as the patient’s ability to make critical decisions central to their recovery. The philosophy points out that while the nurse is the ultimate decision-maker in the care process, they should provide a supportive environment for patients to participate in all stages of the decision-making process (Clark, 2016). In tandem with this assumption, I agree that care should be patient-centered to accelerate recovery and empowering patients to exercise self-care.
According to patients, the discretion of making some of the decisions is, therefore, a significant step towards achieving timely and positive outcomes. Watson also states that caring for complements curing (Ozan & Okumuş, 2017). While drawing the line between the two nursing responsibilities, Watson emphasizes that curing minus caring is inconsequential, and as such, nurses should fulfill both roles equally. As Watson states, it is irrefutable that treatment cannot lead to comprehensive recovery unless it is accompanied by the appropriate care measures which should be initiated by the nurse.
While Watson’s theory is an essential framework for nurses, it is essential to pinpoint that it can be ineffective in some situations. As it is notable from its curative factors and major assumptions, the philosophy obligates nurses to demonstrate a high level of flexibility so that they can fit across all situations in their interaction with patients (Pajnkihar, Štiglic, & Vrbnjak, 2017). This requirement provides the foundation for patient-centeredness, which is a critical factor in modern nursing.
Meeting all these provisions is, however, challenging especially as other factors that are beyond the control of the nurse play a part. For example, when the biophysical needs of the patient outweigh the psychosocial ones, a majority of the components cannot apply. When dealing with patients who require emergency intervention to restore their physiological wellbeing, applying the theory’s elements can become a hindrance to care provision. For instance, the nurse can make all the decisions single-handedly to administer a cure since any delays can have detrimental effects on the patient’s health.
In reference to the scenario above, Watson’s theory is considered a bad fit since it provides a generalized approach to nursing. Although it can be applied in a wide variety of situations to improve care, it is apparent that it puts more pressure on the nurse to approach patients in the context of their family, community, and culture (Yeter, 2015). Ultimately, it is the nurse who is required to adapt to these dynamics, adding more strain to their work and increasing the potentiality of poor outcomes.
Nurses should, for instance, make all the decisions by taking into account the severity of patient needs rather than just complying with the theory’s recommendation for inclusivity as the basis for nursing practice. At the same time, depending on the level of emergency, sometimes nurses can limit their administration of cure and care to the factors exclusively within the patient while overlooking other external aspects such as the environment and family (Yeter, 2015). Even though they violate some of the components of Watson’s philosophy, it is compelling to do so for timely intervention.
Advanced nursing practice, therefore, thrives on the application of the relevant skills, knowledge, and personal philosophies. Nursing philosophies highlight all the fundamental values that nurses need to succeed in their profession, especially their ability to trigger and oversee care. Since I view patient-centeredness as the ultimate pillar of contemporary nursing, my philosophy matches Watson’s theory of transpersonal caring. As the model underlines, nurses should work with patients by identifying and adapting to their unique needs and other factors around them to attain impressive care results. Although it can be a bad fit in some cases, the theory contains critical concepts that can be applied to nursing for effective practice.

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