Throughout my years as a nursing student my philosophy of nursing has gone through some changes. The more experiences that I have had such as, in clinical have lead me to grow and expand my thinking about my core beliefs and values of nursing. Within this paper I will be discussing my new beliefs about nursing, beliefs about the clients or human beings that I take care of, and nursing as a professional practice.
I ask myself the question what is nursing? I can’t help but agree with the Nursing’s Social Policy Statement that says:
“Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of heath and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering thorough the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (American Nurses Association, 2003, p.6).
This definition of nursing is a foundation that guides my beliefs and values about nursing. My patients deserve the best care possible. It is my goal to put my patient first and make him/her as comfortable as possible. “Nursing care aims to maximize the values that the patient has treasured in life and extends supportive care to the family and significant others” (ANA, 2003, p.7). I have learned to have compassion for my patients and respect their wishes. For example, I have experienced a patient that refused to have any more tests or surgeries done because he knew he was going to die. I still cared for him with the same amount of respect as I did for any other patient. This coincides with the nurse establishing relationships with patients, “…and delivering nursing services with respect for human needs and values, and without prejudice” (ANA, 2003, p.7). It is my duty to educate my patient about the nature of their health problems. I also must offer my services for the, “…promotion of health, the prevention of illness, the restoration of illness, the alleviation of suffering, and the provision of supportive care to those who are dying” (ANA, 2003, p.7).
My actual patient is not the only one I must care for. I also must acknowledge the family and friends involved in the patient’s life. “The nurse strives to provide patients with opportunities to participate in planning care, assures that patients find the plans acceptable and supports the implementation of the plan” (ANA, 2003, p.10). Often times the plans of care involve the family and they must also agree with the plan of care for the patient.
My core values and beliefs about nursing include respect for the patient, advocacy for the patient and family, and collaboration. First and foremost the patient is the nurses number one concern. “The worth of the person is not affected by disease, disability, functional status, or proximity to death” (ANA, 2003, p.7). Respect for the patient and family includes advocating for them. I have learned through participating in patient care in hospitals that it is vital for the nurse to act as the patients advocate. It is the nurse’s job to ensure that the patient understands what is going on with them. It can be something as simple as explaining the patients medications to them as complex as calling the doctor in the middle of the night because you know something just is not right with the patient. Collaboration is another core value that all nurses must practice. “The complexity of the health care delivery systems requires multi-disciplinary approach to the delivery of services that has the strong support and active participation of all the health professions” (ANA, 2003, p.10).
I believe that all nurses should constantly be educators and promoters of health and safety. It is the nurse’s job to take the initiative to recognize if the patient needs further education. The nurse has the most contact with the patient and therefore is able to determine the need for further education. The Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice state:
“Given that one of the registered nurse’s primarily responsibilities is education, nurses provide patients, colleagues, and others with appropriate information to make informed decisions regarding health care and health issues, including health promotion, prevention of disease, and attainment of a dignified and peaceful death” (ANA 2004, p.2).
It is also the nurse’s job to follow the standard of practice that includes assessment, diagnosis, outcome identification, planning, implementing, and evaluation. In order to provide the best care to the patient the nurse must complete the nursing process on a regular basis. The nursing process encompasses everything that the nurse needs to effectively make decisions about the patient.
The nurse has many standards of professional practice to uphold. These standards, “…describe a competent level of behavior in the professional role-including activities related to the quality of practice, education, professional practice evaluation, collegiality, collaboration, ethics, research, resource utilization, and leadership” (ANA, 2004, p.4). The nurses must continue to educate themselves and take the intuitive to lead by example to their peers. “Registered nurses are accountable for their professional actions to themselves, their patients, their peers, and ultimately, to society” (ANA, 2004, p.4).
My beliefs about nursing have gone through a number of changes. I have had experience caring for patients and realize that respect for the patient is one of my biggest priorities. I understand that to be a successful nurse I must collaborate with other health care professionals as well as the patient and the family. I am going to continually be educating my patient and myself while advocating for my patient. I want to strive to provide the best care possible to my patients.