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Professional Identity and Professional Nursing

Questions:

1.Read the ABC News article titled: “‘Just a nurse’: Queensland woman writes open letter to woman at corner store.

2.Provide a one to two paragraph reflection on your thoughts in relation to your own professional identity.  

1.Professional identity is an important resource, which aids people to sustain and develop motivation to obtain maximum productivity and produce results in the particular domain at their workplace. It enables people to reflect on their work and personal achievements (Hoeve, Jansen, & Roodbol, 2014). The aim of this assignment is to investigate the different elements that constitute performance of Caitlin Brassington, a nurse. It illustrates the professional identity of a registered nurse and the factors that promote accountability for her professional development.

Does Caitlin Brassington demonstrate a professional identity?- This essay sheds light on the professional role of a nurse and how the society undervalues it through a global conversation, which sparked off when an acquaintance told Caitlin Brassington that the latter was ‘just a nurse’ (Abc.net.au, 2017). From her account it can be deduced that she has performed CPR on patients, helped babies in their birth and to take their first breath, brought patients back to life, provided empathy and compassion towards patients and their family, have worked continuously for 12 hours without a break and have missed her children’s birthdays and school events for work. This demonstrates that she has demonstrates a professional nursing identity.

Professional identity and professional nursing- Nursing is considered as one of the most ethical and trusted profession. It is a physically challenging task. Often, it becomes demeaning while cleaning blood, vomit or body fluids of patients (Chen et al., 2014). However, nurses are always caring for the needs of their patients and are trying to achieve a professional identity in their workplace, which includes both professional and personal development. It involves utilization of certain core values, which are integral to the science and art of nursing. A nurse’s critical learning depends largely on reflection of their clinical experience and its utilization to improve their practice (Masters, 2015) (as shown in Figure 1).

Figure 1: Professional identity of a nurse

Source: (Masters, 2015)

There are different attributes that can lead to development of professional identity of a nurse. Interpersonal skills involve compatibility between behavior towards others, compassion, commitment and confidence. Narration of shared experiences and self-reflection capacity are some of the major precursors for a successful professional development. Independent thinking and increased realistic professional image help in improving therapeutic performance.

Attributes that lead to development of professional identity of a Nurse

Discerning professional aspects of a nurse’s role- Caitlin Brassington writes about educating junior nurses, patients and other caregivers. While helping next generation of nurses and patients about the conditions of the disease, its prognosis and preferred management techniques, teaching provides personal satisfaction to the nurses. A staff nurse plays an essential role in providing clinical nurse education. Positive clinical learning helps in recruitment of nursing staff in future. Application of classroom concepts to practice provides a simulated experience to the young nursing students. Clinical faculty and staff nurses cultivate their partnership while providing education and this bridge the gap between practice and education. Therefore, they work as both a teacher and a registered nurse. They provide education on a plethora of subjects, from general nursing techniques to specialization areas. A nurse who is passionate about teaching can encourage and inspire students to focus on the patients (Richardson, Percy & Hughes, 2015). She effectively interacts with the family members of the patient with a positive approach that provides them all necessary information regarding the health implications. Involving family improves chances of utilization of the therapeutic instructions because family plays an essential role in managing healthcare. Excellent instructions have shown dramatic patient outcomes in multiple cases. However, there can be certain challenges in clinical teaching like poor patient attitude and shortage of clinical sites.

Another aspect which she has written in her blog is performing CPR to revive patients. CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is a life saving technique. It is used to maintain oxygenated blood flow to the heart and brain during emergency situations. Nurses are responsible for attending a patient of cardiac arrest quickly through CPR. Their competency is critical in preventing impending death and improving patient outcome. Nurses are often present first on the scene of a cardiac arrest and need to initiate resuscitation immediately (Chen et al., 2014). They analyze if the patient is unresponsive, check the pulse at carotid artery and start compressions within 10-15 seconds of cardiac arrest identification. They compress the chest at a measured rate of 10 compressions per minute for adults, allow chest recoil, minimize interruptions and provide effective breathing techniques. They also delegate junior staff for collection of supplies and equipments and document the cardiac rhythm and vital signs of the patient. Therefore, a nurse should be competent enough in CPR skills to provide advanced life support during emergency situations (Roh & Issenberg, 2014).  

Discerning Professional Aspects of a Nurse's Role


She also writes about her role in providing emotional, social support and comfort to the patients and family members. Studies have proved that nurses empower and engage their patients through empathetic attitude. They acknowledge and respect the concerns of the patient and make the latter feel validated. It helps in building effective communication and a sense of trust. Listening to the patient’s woes helps in better understanding of their discomfort and designing care based preference. Interaction and socialization with the family members make a patient more relaxed and helps them to stay calm. They are able to reciprocate socialization and also start respecting the healthcare givers. This reduces chances of non-compliance. It influences the behavioral and cognitive components of the patient and leads to positive health outcomes (Turner, Chur?Hansen & Winefield, 2014). It improves patient satisfaction. However, a certain amount of neutrality should be exhibited by the nurse to avoid compassion and emotionality from interfering with care providing mechanism.

It can be concluded from this part of the assignment that nurses play an important role in promoting patient wellness through a range of health services. They care for the sick with kindness, compassion and knowledge and even sacrifice their family life to work for the betterment of their patients. An analysis of the blog concludes that nursing is a rewarding experience for all practitioners.

2.I was quite surprised to read about the duties of a registered nurse. The blog helped me clarify the misconception that a nurse’s role revolved around bedpans and sponge baths only. Although, I was not naïve about a nurse’s role, I did not have a complete idea about their responsibilities. The blog helped me understand that nurses are responsible for providing hands-on care to each patient by managing CPR, monitoring their conditions, maintaining records, understanding the physiology and anatomy behind a particular disorder (McCloskey et al., 2015). I gathered information on the sacrifices a nurse makes while she is on duty and how she treats a patient with utmost priority by setting aside children and family matters (Urden, Stacy & Lough, 2015). My knowledge base and awareness increased. It gave an insight that the life of a nurse can be fulfilling in spite of the tedious tasks one has to perform every day. I was also amazed to see the response from social media. I had heard about the negative aspects of social media like online crimes and cyber bullying. However, this incident helped me realize that social media can be used as a platform for promoting ideas and empathizing with others. It helped in creating empathy towards all those working women who constantly face discrimination. However, I also identified some underlying challenges associated with nursing practices like shortage of trained staff, workplace violence and noncooperation from patients, working hazards and long working hours. Therefore, I realized that being a nurse is a demanding profession but not without some challenges

References

Abc.net.au. (2017). 'Am I just a nurse?'. ABC News. Retrieved 16 August 2017, from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-11/just-a-nurse-queensland-woman-writes-open-letter/7919422

Chen, M. J., Yu, S., Chen, I. J., Wang, K. W. K., Lan, Y. H., & Tang, F. I. (2014). Evaluation of nurses' knowledge and understanding of obstacles encountered when administering resuscitation medications. Nurse education today, 34(2), 177-184.

Hoeve, Y. T., Jansen, G., & Roodbol, P. (2014). The nursing profession: public image, self?concept and professional identity. A discussion paper. Journal of advanced nursing, 70(2), 295-309.

Masters, K. (2015). Role development in professional nursing practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Richardson, C., Percy, M., & Hughes, J. (2015). Nursing therapeutics: Teaching student nurses care, compassion and empathy. Nurse education today, 35(5), e1-e5.

Roh, Y. S., & Issenberg, S. B. (2014). Association of cardiopulmonary resuscitation psychomotor skills with knowledge and self?efficacy in nursing students. International journal of nursing practice, 20(6), 674-679.

Turner, M., Chur?Hansen, A., & Winefield, H. (2014). The neonatal nurses' view of their role in emotional support of parents and its complexities. Journal of clinical nursing, 23(21-22), 3156-3165.

McCloskey, R., Donovan, C., Stewart, C., & Donovan, A. (2015). How registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and resident aides spend time in nursing homes: an observational study. International journal of nursing studies, 52(9), 1475-1483.

Urden, L. D., Stacy, K. M., & Lough, M. E. (2015). Priorities in critical care nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences.

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