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There are six world views in nursing: organicism, mechanism, change, persistence, totality, and simultaneity. I identify most closely with totality. I believe in not only caring for the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual. I believe ones environment can positively or negatively influence one’s health and adapting to it as it changes is important for soundness of body, mind, and spirit. It is important to have knowledge of health norms to guide nursing goals and have desirable outcomes. Each of the six nursing world views vary in its interpretation of nursing’s metaparadigm. The metaparadigm includes human beings, environment, health, and nursing.
Interpretation is a major component of an individual’s frame for nursing practice. To illustrate the concept of interpretation consider the following story: Two blind men encounter and elephant. One describes it to the other as a tree as he attempts to wrap his arms around one of the elephant’s legs. The other is convinced it is a snake as he moves his hands along the elephant’s trunk. Neither is entirely correct as it is in fact an elephant and not a tree or a snake, yet neither is entirely wrong in their interpretation of a snake and a tree. This illustrates how each individual’s interpretation of the same thing can be radically different. Nursing’s Metaparadigm
I believe human beings are created equal. They are to be respected, valued, and treated with compassion regardless of color, race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Humans are complex beings. They are biophysical, psychosocial, and spiritual beings. One cannot tend only to the spiritual needs of a person when in fact what is needed most at that moment is a warm meal and a safe place to sleep for the night. Thus, not one part can be treated and another ignored without treating the other.
I believe environment is that in which human beings exist. There is an external environment of the physical world and an internal environment, not only of biophysical processes, but of secret thoughts and emotions of the processed external environment. Environment includes socioeconomic factors such as gender, family, community, and culture. It encompasses that which can be experienced through the senses. An individual’s overall well-being can be negatively affected if unable to adapt to a change in environment.
I believe health is a state of overall well-being, not merely the absence of disease. It is being physically, spiritually, and emotionally sound. Though I believe there to be different interpretations for health, I believe there are parameters by which to measure and promote optimal health. Just because an individual may not physically feel unhealthy with a blood pressure of 140/90, doesn’t mean he or she is healthy. There are long-term consequences when a heart continuously works that hard that can be irreversible.
I believe nursing is a service to humanity. It is promoting and maintaining health while also preventing illness and caring for those who are ill. It is helping return a person to his or her optimal health-state physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Nursing is advocating for the rights of patients when they themselves are not able or aware of their rights. Nursing, as an art and a science, is to provide individualized care in restoring him or her to totality.
Frame for Practice and Views on Nursing Education
My frame for nursing practice has its foundation in the world view of totality. I believe every nursing curriculum should be based on a theoretical framework and have a strong emphasis on scientific clinical knowledge and skills. Nursing educators have a tremendous opportunity to mold and teach nursing students to be the fruit of those who have labored before to make nursing its own respected discipline.