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Nursing is often described as the art of both science and caring.  In this course, we introduce you to a framework of caring.  This framework can be used as a mindful process to consider the care of others and that of yourself.  To provide high quality care, nurses need to practice within professional standards and ensure that their care is based upon quality evidence.  On commencement of your nursing education, it is essential that you consider the role of caring in forming the basis for providing fundamental nursing care. Your nursing education will help you to develop an understanding of caring from a professional context and help you to develop the skills and behaviours considered crucial in providing quality, evidence-based, and patient-centred care.

  1. Identify and demonstrate a knowledge of person centred care as they apply to basic nursing skills.

  2. Enact professional behaviours and communication skills in accordance with standards of practice.
  1. A personal story of caring – (Describe)
  2. Concepts of caring and links with nursing practice (Explain)
  3. New understandings of caring based on the course content (Articulate)

Introduction to Caring in Nursing

Concepts Of Caring And Links With Nursing Practice.

In my life, I have had an opportunity to appreciate the concept of care demonstrated to me by a nurse. It has become my motivation to join nursing school. In my final year in college, I was involved in a car accident while we were heading home from a friend’s party. I was seated on the passenger’s side while my friend Jenny drove us home. A drunk driver hit our car head on and unfortunately my friend passed away instantly. I was just lucky to have survived the accident. I was admitted in hospital for about six months, with among others, a fractured femur. I was badly bruised and had bled profusely. All the healthcare providers did their best to save my life. In my stay at the hospital, there was a nurse that caught my attention while I was recovering.

In as much as I was doing well, my mind was disturbed by the scenes of the accident. I could not take away the picture of the body of mind lying dead beside me eyes completely open. I really struggled with it trying to forget until one of the nurses took keen interest on my behaviour. I refused to respond to her all day when she asked. She worked during the day shift. She never gave up on her quest to find out that the problem was. She even went out of her way to watch me sleep during the night shift and discovered I was having nightmares. She identified that I was experiencing post traumatic disorders. She invited a counsellor to help me out. This act made me understand that she was committed to taking care of me even if I did not want to open up to her. In as much as my physical health as improving, she noticed my mental health was not. She took an action that helped me recover

In Watsons theory of nursing (Smith & Parker, 2015), Watson describes care as the most crucial aspect of nursing. She defined caring as the moral ideal whereby the end goal is protection, enhancement, and a preservation of human dignity. It involves a commitment to care, knowledge, caring actions and consequences. She also emphasizes on the need for actions. Care just perceived in theory is considered futile if there are no actions that can be seen from it. The actions of a nurse are considered ethically and legally binding (Wolf & France, 2017). The law and the ideals of the nursing profession must be upheld at all times. Caring requires a sense of dedication and commitment to the achievement of the highest level of health. It requires the nurse to have the interest of the patient prioritised. Nursing has been founded on the virtue of caring, which has been passed down generations.

Standards of Care and Nursing Practice

Standards of care refers to what is considered prudent and reasonable to do to a similar patient under the same circumstances. Care takes into account all the factors that influence the interpersonal relationships between the nurses and the patients. The standards promote patient safety and ensure clinical competency in practice (Fisher, 2017). One standard of care is maintaining patient autonomy. This refers to the act of allowing the patient to make their own decision concerning the quality of care (Clement, 2018). After the patient has been informed about all the facts surrounding their illness and the viable treatment options, they are allowed to make decisions free of coercion. The nurses are mandated by both the law and professional standards to honor the patient’s decision. In some cases, the best course of treatment may not be the patient’s choice. This standard provides a solution in case there is such a dilemma on the decision to take. This standard is essential especially since empathy may drive the patient to providing the best treatment which may contravene the patient wishes.

Another standards of care requires that the nurses engage in a therapeutic and professional relationship demonstrating cultural sensitivity. The nurse has no control over patients who seek their services. The patients are from diverse backgrounds and cultures. They have diverse processes and patterns. This standard was emphasized by Madeleine Leininger (Jeffreys & Zoucha, 2018). The Leininger theory of nursing puts into perspective the transcultural aspect in nursing. She draws a distinction between professional and generic nursing care. She describes professional care as one that incorporates the cognitive and culturally learned behaviors and patterns that helps the individuals or family to improve or maintain healthy standards (McFarland & Wehbe-Alamah, 2017). Caring is a universal phenomenon but the expressions processes and patterns vary depending on the culture (Leininger, 2015). A nurse is expected to provide culturally acceptable care. The instructions on how to promote health should be customized to fit in the culture of the patient.

How to become a palliative nurse by Maria Curie. Published 4 May 2018. Retrieved       

from:https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/blog/how-to-become-a-palliative-care-nurse/193232

Caring involves a more complex process of understanding the patient and working towards promoting their health. In many cases we fail to offer it in a holistic manner. We leave out the issue of mental health and its impact on the health of patients and the recovery outcomes. The main emphasis is made on the physical wellness because it is easily identifiable. However, we leave out the subtle aspect of mental wellness. Most of the patients suffer from mental illnesses silently. It is only the severe cases which are identified. These are some of the aspects that can be identified by a caring nurse. A caring nurse is more concerned about all the needs of the patient and finds out ways to meet them. Patients need a nurse who shows empathy and concern on their wellbeing (Edvardsson, Watt & Pearce, 2017). They are more likely to disclose their concerns. This makes the process of patient care smooth. In the picture above (How to become a palliative nurse, Marie, 2018) the nurse is keenly listening to the patient. Communication can give ideas of the state of mental health of a patient. One can assess the attitudes and motivations. This will be an integral step in ensuring that they receive quality care.

The Importance of Cultural Sensitivity

My new understanding of care is one that incorporates the diversity of culture. The diversity of culture makes medical interventions be customized to make them more acceptable to the patient. In practice, I will take time to understand the culture and aim at making the care culturally acceptable. From the various literatures, it is evident that the culture will be well understood if the nurse makes a deliberate effort to learn and act. According to Watson, it is futile if one has the knowledge but fails to act. Care will be more meaningful to the patient when actions are incorporated. Incorporating the culture aspect will take care of the attitude of the patient towards the intervention (Wolf & France, 2017). If it is about patient education, the patient can identify with the examples given. This will be a better way to teach and provide care

The issue of mental health is worth taking note of. According to research the state of mental health of patients has a bearing on the outcome expected (Tekta? & Çam, 2017). In this way, to ensure a better outcome, assessing the mental health will be necessary. Addressing this may include just listening to them and giving them assurance. A professional may also be involved. Including the friends and family members may also help address the issue of mental health. In my case, I identified with the nurse who picked out my signs of anxiety and addressed them early enough.

What I have learnt from my personal and professional perspective is that care involves interpersonal relations between the nurse and the patient. Understanding the needs of the patient comprehensively requires a deliberate process of understanding their complaints and the environment they come from. Care can only be properly provided when all aspects are integrated effectively to understand the patient.

References.

Clement, G. (2018). Care, autonomy, and justice: Feminism and the ethic of care. Routledge.

Edvardsson, D., Watt, E., & Pearce, F. (2017). Patient experiences of caring and person?centredness are associated with perceived nursing care quality. Journal of advanced nursing, 73(1), 217-227.

Fisher, M. (2017). Professional standards for nursing practice: How do they shape contemporary rehabilitation nursing practice?. Journal of the Australasian Rehabilitation Nurses Association, 20(1), 4.

Jeffreys, M. R., & Zoucha, R. (2018). CULTURAL CONGRUENCE IN THE WORKPLACE, HEALTH CARE, AND ACADEMIC SETTINGS FOR MULTIRACIAL AND MULTIHERITAGE INDIVIDUALS. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 25(4).

Leininger, M. (2015). Leininger’s father protective care. Leininger’s culture care diversity and universality: A worldwide nursing theory, 119-136.

Marie, C (2018, may 4). Care and support through terminal illness [digital image]. Retrieved from https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/blog/how-to-become-a-palliative-care-nurse/193232

McFarland, M. R., & Wehbe-Alamah, H. B. (2017). Theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality. Nursing Theorists and Their Work, 339.

Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice. FA Davis.

Tekta?, P., & Çam, O. (2017). The Effects of nursing care based on watson's theory of human caring on the mental health of pregnant women after a pregnancy loss. Archives of psychiatric nursing, 31(5), 440-446.

Wolf, Z. R., & France, N. E. (2017). Caring in Nursing Theory. International Journal of Human Caring, 21(2), 95-108.

Wolf, Z. R., & France, N. E. (2017). Caring in Nursing Theory. International Journal of Human Caring, 21(2), 95-108.

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