The motive of this essay is to concentrate on a nursing theorist, Florence Nightingales', as well as my personal philosophy of nursing. The essay will paper further explore the personal nursing philosophy I plan to implement in my nursing career. The paper will also compare and contrast my philosophy with the ones of Florence nightingales' and will integrate Betty Neuman's system model with my philosophy. The implementation of the four meta-paradigm concepts of person, health, environment, and nursing will be throughout this paper to describe the similarities and differences between different philosophies of nursing.
I play a lot of roles in my life. Being an adult, son, brother, friend, nursing student, and volunteer are my primary roles. Just like the interconnecting roles that I play to be the person that I am today, Nursing, as a profession has foundation pillars also known as meta-paradigm that supports the profession. The central meta-paradigm concepts of nursing are person, health, environment, and nursing. Depending on the particular needs of the patient, as nursing students we must prioritize these ideas and provide the best care suitable for the situation. My goal is to provide a holistic and unbiased care to those in need regardless of spiritual beliefs, race, financial status, lifestyle choices or disability.
I am seeking a baccalaureate in nursing and aspire to be a CRNA in future. I chose nursing as my ambition because I believe that I am intended to help people with healing and that it is my vocation. The development of these parts continues to alter and refine my nursing education. My philosophy as a student nurse is that nurses must have a liability to the society to present safe, holistic, patient-centered care. My patients are not labeled as room numbers or the illness that they have so I must recognize that my patients are individuals that need and deserve individualized care and attention. As nurses, we are our patient's advocates, and we should enable them by encouraging them to become active allies in their care. I think the best way to connect with the client and their families is by educating them about their diseases, treatments for their illness and healthy behaviors to intensify the healing process. With the aid of formal education and life experiences that we go through, I believe that we learn invaluable lessons and can educate our patients in an efficient manner.
The meta-paradigm concepts of nursing are person, health, environment, and nursing. These concepts very crucial for both nurses and well as their patients because all four of those elements are important when it comes to patient care. Executing the treatments plans for patients won’t be efficient if all four of the concepts are taken into consideration. Let’s take a look at them on an individual level through my perspective.
The first concept is person. Person can be more than just one patient. It may also consist of the family members associated with the patients as well. The concept of a "person" might as well be the most important component of the meta-paradigm. As we know, without an individual or a patient, there is no need for a nurse. A nurse's prime focus should be nurturing the patient with an incredible amount of affection and genuinely care about them and their wellbeing. The attitude of a nurse, whether it was to be a positive one or negative can affect the well-fare of their patients.
The next component is health. The idea of health is variable from patient to patient. For an example, a 97 patient feels healthy because of absence of pain that day, but a different person may see him as ill patient. A nurse should be able to assess a patient based on their individual health concerns and not upon how an ordinary person would feel and handle the illness because “health is a continuum of wellness to illness, dynamic in nature, that is always subject to change” (Neuman, B. 2011).
The third concept is environment. The environment plays a vast and vital role in sustaining health and improving recovery from sickness. The first nursing theorist and also the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale once said the goal of nursing is “to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him” (Dossey, B. M. 2010). I believe that the environment comprises of everything and anything around the patient that influences their recovery and disease. Other than the things around the patients to comfort them, their state of mind is also an area to focus on. What good would the things around the patient do if he or she is depressed about their disease? It would more likely deteriorate the patients’ health.
Nursing is the last component of the meta-paradigm and also the most compassionate one. A skilled nurse is one who is kind and caring. The nurse must exhibit this philosophy to their patients at all times. Since “nursing is a unique profession concerned with all variables affecting clients in their environment” (Neuman, B. 2011), it would only be honorable, if the nurses were compassionate and caring regardless of spiritual beliefs, race, financial status, lifestyle choices or disability.
My philosophy of nursing correlates with the philosophies of Florence Nightingale as well as Betty Neuman. Florence Nightingale was the philosophical founder of modern nursing and the first recognized nurse theorist. She had a holistic and integrative perspective, as she focused on the individual and the collective, the inner and outer, and human and nonhuman concerns” (Dossey, B. M. 2010). Dr. Betty Neuman is a modern theorist whose “Health Care Systems/Model” grows on Nightingale’s original ideas to encompass issues of the mind such as emotions and feelings, expectations and matters of personal life such as finances, relationships, etc. (Neuman, 2011).
One of Nightingale's "central themes was the importance of nursing’s role in the management of the patient environment” (Selanders & Crane, 2012). We must keep in mind that she was working in the late 1800’s. Nightingale believed that the health of patients was related to their environment. “She recognized the importance of clean air and water and adequate ventilation and sunlight and encouraged the arrangement of patients’ beds so that they were in direct sunlight” (Black & Chitty 2014). Person, environment, health, and nursing are the four components that fall under Nightingale’s philosophy of nursing. Nightingale concentrated on the person as the recipient of nursing care. She believed that nurses should focus on the patient and their needs, not the illness they were troubled with. “She knew that people were multidimensional and wrote about their physiological, mental, cultural and religious requirements” (Selanders & Crane, 2012).
The environment was the main component in Nightingale's nursing beliefs. She certainly stressed the promotion of sanitary environment; fresh air, controlled temperature, noise control and control of garbage and smells were different ways that the environment could be modified in such a way as to promote conditions so that nature could act to cure the patient. “The relationship of health to the environment seems obvious today, but for nursing in the second half of the nineteenth century, Nightingale’s work was radically different. Nightingale recognized nursing’s role in protecting patients” (Black & Chitty 2014). The nurse whose practice are “guided by Nightingale’s philosophy is sensitive to the effect of the environment on the patient’s health or recovery from illness. This philosophy provided the foundational work for theory development that proposed changing patients’ environments to effect positive changes in their health” (Black & Chitty 2014).
Nightingale’s perspective on health component of health contradicted with Neuman’s idea of health. She was mainly focused on the physical state of the patient. She believed that “by controlling the environment and taking care of the body, health was achieved” (Dossey, B. M. 2010). Nightingale saw nursing as a way to “facilitate healing and restore health by manipulating a person's environment” (DeLaune, S.C. 2011).
We can now compare Nightingale’s philosophy with Neuman’s systems model. Neuman sees the person/patient as “a total open system in interaction with the internal and external environments. A composite of five variables: physiological, psychological, sociocultural, developmental and spiritual. The client is considered an open system in total interface and exchange of matter and information with the environment” (Neuman, 2011). A person may be an individual, a family or a community.
Neuman perceives health as being associated with wellness. According to her, “Health is related to available energy to support the system” (Neuman, 2011). In Neuman systems model, the environment is a collective of “Internal and external factors affecting and affected by the system” (DeLaune, S.C. 2011). These forces include the intrapersonal, interpersonal and extra personal stressors which can affect a person's normal line of defense and so can influence the durability of the system. Neuman defines nursing as actions that help individuals, families and groups to support a supreme level of wellness. The primary aim is durability of the patient/ client system, through nursing interventions to cut down stressors (Neuman, 2011). So, in essence, Neuman has successfully established upon the original, groundbreaking concept of Florence Nightingale to design a contemporary healthcare system model that incorporates seeing the patient as a whole, living and interacting with his or her entire environment.
My perception for nursing practice concentrates on doing what is most helpful to my patient. I hope to build caring, trusting rapport with my patients as well as play a decisive role in their well-being. To live out my worldviews every day, I must remember that even though I will always try to do my best in any given condition, I am a human being, and am not flawless. If something does not go as anticipated, I will investigate the circumstance, and try to learn from it. I will recommence my work with conviction that I am a better student nurse than the day before. Furthermore, I will be a better student nurse tomorrow than I was today.
Black, B., & Chitty, K. (2014). Nursing Theory: The Basis for Professional Nursing. In Professional nursing: Concepts & challenges (7th ed., pp. 239-283). St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier.
Dossey, B. M. (2010). HOLISTIC NURSING: FROM FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE'S HISTORICAL LEGACY TO 21ST-CENTURY GLOBAL NURSING. Alternative Therapies In Health & Medicine, 16(5), 14-16. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=awh&AN=54052507&site=ehost-live
Neuman, B. (2011). Appendix A. In The Neuman systems model (5th ed., pp. 327- 337). Boston: Pearson.
Nursing Theory. (2011). In S. C. DeLaune (Ed.), Fundamentals of Nursing: Standards and Practice. (4th ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from Nursing Resource Center via Gale: http://find.galegroup.com/nrcx/start.do?prodId=NRC
Selanders, L., & Crane, P. (2012, January 31). The Voice of Florence Nightingale on Advocacy. Retrieved December 1, 2014, from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-17-2012/No1-Jan-2012/Florence-Nightingale-on-Advocacy.html