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I define my philosophy of nursing within the three nursing domains of person, health, and environment. My goal is to communicate the importance of nursing as a knowledge-based career, depending not only on the nurse fulfilling her role but also on the patient’s compliance. A patient must learn to provide self-care at home in the same capacity as the nurse would provide care in the clinical setting. I discuss various subjects within nursing. I explain why I want to be a nurse, what I believe a nurse’s role is, the different domains of nursing, and where I believe nursing will be in the future.
My philosophy demonstrates the interdependence of the nursing domains. You cannot fully evaluate a person without evaluating their health, nor can you contemplate an environment without encompassing the person. Likewise, health cannot exclude the influence of the environment. These factors build upon the concept of nursing and elaborate on what nursing really is. Keywords: nursing, philosophy, health, person, environment, beliefs, nursing domains Philosophy of Nursing
My name is Quyen Thi Napiontek, and I am 24 years old. I have a husband and beautiful 2-year-old daughter. I was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, and I have spent most of my life here. I have an innate curiosity about people and science, and I like to combine that curiosity with assisting others. I feel a nursing career would provide the perfect platform to do this. I aim to make a difference in the lives of others while at the same time pushing myself intellectually. I am currently practicing nursing as a student at The University of Southern Mississippi located in Long Beach, Mississippi. Once I receive my bachelor’s degree in nursing, I plan to continue my education and pursue a Masters of Nursing. I love the notion of becoming a traveling nurse after I receive my degrees. The idea that I can live and work in a new city every few months agrees with my perpetual curiosity and willingness to experience new things. Define Nursing
I personally define nursing as aiding in the recovery and survival of another person using the specialized knowledge, ability, and critical thinking skills attained through study and experience. The word nurse translates in Latin to nourish. This Latin translation reveals that nurses nourish when a person is in need. Angelo Gonzalo (2011) states, “Nursing is an art through which the practitioner of nursing gives specialized assistance to persons with disabilities which makes more than ordinary assistance necessary to meet needs for self-care” (Major Concepts section, para. 1). Nursing requires a diligent and hardy person to be able to assess the situation, access the appropriate knowledge and skills, and accordingly provide the care a person needs.
Regrettably, the existence of nursing depends on the medical inadequacy of others. Unfortunately, nursing exists because people get hurt, cannot care for themselves, or need assistance with daily activities. Carol Taylor (2011), author of Fundamentals of Nursing: The Art and Science of Nursing Care, writes, “Nursing care involves any number of activities, from carrying out complicated technical procedures to something as seemingly as holding a hand” (p. 5). Taylor explains it is the duty of a nurse not only to learn the pertinent skills but also to bond with and comfort others.
Nurses have to do and become many things: They must be stern when necessary, compassionate when needed, open minded when assessing others, knowledgeable when performing duties, and quick thinking when emergencies are present. I practice nursing because I cannot imagine doing anything else. I grew up watching emergency room stories on television, imagining myself as the healthcare provider. I took an allied health class in high school. After visiting nursing homes and aiding the nurses, it confirmed my belief that I could not consider any occupation other than the medical field. I anticipate being able to go into work one day and make a difference in one person’s life or to even save that person’s life. I am currently proud to say I am a nursing student at The University of Southern Mississippi. After I receive my nursing license, I will be even more proud to be able to say I am a registered nurse. Underlying Beliefs
Nursing enables us to contribute in the health and wellbeing of others. Nurses continually practice infection control, primary prevention (such as vaccines), and supportive care for those who cannot care for themselves. A nurse creates a safe and trusting environment for a patient while he is in need. Nurses also assist with “basic needs, with an intentional caring consciousness; administering human care essentials, which potentiate alignment of the mind-body-spirit, wholeness, and unity of being in all aspects of care” (Masters, 2014, p. 53). I believe a nurse plays many roles while caring for a patient: They have to be a friend, a healthcare provider, and at times, the authoritative figure in a patient’s life. Patients, the people requiring care, are everywhere around us.
As a nurse we will find ourselves caring for “people of varying cultures, racial and ethnic origin, religion, language, physical size, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, socioeconomic status, occupational status, and geographic location” (Taylor, 2011, p. 24). Each and every person needs to be cared for regardless of his background. I believe every patient should be treated as if he was your family or friend. A patient arrives at the clinic because he needs care, just as a nurse is at that clinic to provide care. Healthcare providers and communities are located throughout the United States. The variety and number of healthcare providers available facilitates specialized care in certain fields, such as cardiology and nephrology. The existence of diverse fields ensures that all patients receive the best care available. Healthcare communities provide a support system for patients that need specialized care. Domains of Nursing
The nursing domain of people is defined as “ ‘men, women, and children cared for either singly or as social units’, and are the ‘material object’ of nurses and others who provide direct care” (Gonzalo, 2011, Major Concepts section, para. 2). While it is a nurse’s job to care for people, I believe a person is also responsible for learning to care for themselves. For example, a patient diagnosed with emphysema who continues to smoke tobacco daily can only receive a limited amount of assistance from a nurse; ultimately, the patient still has to take responsibility for his own health.
The domain of environment includes both internal and external factors. Internal factors of environment include outlook on life, mood, and reaction modality when faced with a problem. I believe a nurse’s positive outlook ultimately influences the patient’s outlook creating a more comfortable environment. External factors include culture and upbringing, ingested foods, tobacco or alcohol use, air pollutants, and even work surroundings. Often, environmental factors are beyond the patient’s control.
A third domain of nursing is health. As Taylor (2011) states, “a classical definition of health is that health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being” (p. 41). Health is not merely a disease-free state. It also involves nurturing the correct state of mind and being fit to the best of one’s ability. I believe the physical body can be fit; however, the body cannot be considered fully healthy if the emotional or spiritual outlook is damaged. I believe one not only has to diet and exercise to be fit, but also has to nurture a happy or positive outlook to be completely healthy. Summary of Nursing
I believe people, health, and environment are fundamental domains that build the concept of nursing. These three domains are interdependent. A person can be healthy in body, but unhealthy in mind, or even unhealthy because of the influence of the surrounding environment. For example, if a nonsmoker works at a casino, they can still suffer the effects of smoke entering their lungs, because they are constantly in an environment that contains tobacco smoke. All domains are equally important and interrelated in contributing to a person’s health. It is my vision as a nurse to teach and empower each and every person to develop the knowledge and willingness to properly care for themselves. Imagine a future where we are all responsible and in control of our own health; a future where we do not rely solely on healthcare professionals and pills to be happy and healthy.
I also envision less invasive procedures in our future, shortening the postoperative recovery period drastically. With all the positive advancements in medicine, there will still be negative developments in the future. For instance, I believe the excessive chemical processing of food will create more health issues, which in turn, will create more jobs for nurses and healthcare providers. I anticipate many challenges as a nurse. It will be a challenge to keep up with the new medical treatments being discovered at such a rapid pace.
Managing time constraints will be another challenge. There will always be an abundance of patients, and I will not always have time to see each and every patient right away. I must manage my time correctly and learn to prioritize. I hope to be able to continue my education after I attain my bachelor’s degree. I plan to work toward my master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner, enabling me to work alongside a doctor in a clinical setting. Eventually, I aim to achieve my doctorate and possibly work as an instructor, so I might help other people grow and learn as nurses––for nothing is greater than knowing you aided in a fellow nurse’s professional development and growth.
Gonzalo, A. (2011, January 1). Dorothea E. Orem. Retrieved August 30, 2014, from http://nursingtheories.weebly.com/dorothea-e-orem.html Masters, K. (Ed.). (2014). Role Development in Professional Nursing Practice (Third ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC. Taylor, C., L, C., LeMone, P., & Lynn, P. (2011). Fundamentals of Nursing: The Art and Science of Nursing Care (Seventh ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.