According to the American Nurses Association, nursing is defined as “protection, promotion, and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (American Nurses Association, 2004, p. 7).However there is much more to nursing, as a whole and throughout this paper I will be discussing my own personal nursing philosophy, which is what I believe to be the core characteristics of nursing.The aspects of my nursing philosophy and value/belief system are as follows: knowledge, time management, compassion/caring, advocacy, respect, honesty and patient privacy.For the above reasons and my own personal value system I chose a career in nursing.Nursing is a career one strategically chooses to help and care for others and many men and women who do choose this career share many common value and belief systems.
Knowledge is the core of success in this career.As a nurse you must know your diseases and disease processes.You must be able to apply classroom knowledge and skills to the work place in order to be effective as a nurse.Just because you can take a nursing exam and be successful does not mean that you will be effective at applying it in the health care setting.Therefore, I believe that application of knowledge is much more important.Personality and bedside manner are also extremely important when caring for patients as well; however it is not the only aspect of nursing that will allow success.As a good nurse you must be able to think holistically, constantly anticipating the needs of your patient.You must be able to prioritize health care issues within your patient’s personal diagnosis and among the number of patients you are responsible for on a given day and be effective at intervening with these patients.Along with this idea of prioritization, you must be skilled in time management.With all the daily responsibilities to juggle on a given shift, poor organization and time management will contribute to inadequate health care for your patients.
My personal value/belief system has always been to be compassionate and caring.This was instilled in me from my family upbringing.In the nursing profession you need to have an overwhelming amount of compassion and caring for your patients and their families.You are not only caring for the patient’s physical health, but also their emotional needs.For example this semester in clinical we are on a palliative/oncology floor, which is quite different than the previous semesters of clinical where we have been doing more acute care.With palliative care or chronically ill patients, there are a lot of complicated emotional issues that need to be recognized and addressed by the health care professional.I found that these patients, once you build a rapport and trust, are the more humble and neat patients to work with.We spend a lot of our time just talking to them about life and their interests and although we are still taking care of their medical needs, we are supporting them emotionally more often than not.In order to do this kind of nursing you must have a lot of empathy and compassion.
The last four characteristics of my nursing philosophy are more ethical issues and basic human rights.Patient respect, advocacy, honesty and privacy are four issues that any human deserves and are especially important in the health care setting.The American Nurses Association states this idea well; the nurse promotes for, and strives to protect the health, safety, and rights of the patient (American Nurses Association, 2001, p. 12).However, it is important to understand that though these are clear nursing roles, all health care professionals such as doctors, therapists, dieticians, social workers, case managers, etc. all must collaborate and work together to maintain the patient’s rights and needs.With ineffective collaboration across the health care spectrum the patient will not get the managed care that they need and deserve.
After thinking about and discussing my nursing philosophy, it is important to understand and relate it to our current health care system.At this point in time are country is experiencing a great nursing shortage which is only going to get worse in the future.As most people are aware, health care is expensive, insurance is expensive and often times not available to everyone.Also with our baby boomer generation getting older, the demand all of our knowledge, values and idealism into our job sites and apply them.If we are able to incorporate all the core characteristics of nursing, such as knowledge, time management, compassion/caring, advocacy, respect, honesty and patient privacfor health care is going to be greater.Another issue with the baby boomer generation is that many nurses at this time are approaching retirement and will again contribute to the decreased number of nurses in the health care field.
Finally, we need to take a closer look at our society and the main health care issues we are seeing.What health problems are our patients’ presenting with?The leading causes of death in this country are diseases or conditions that are lifestyle choices.We need to concentrate on wellness of the population, instead of being treatment orientated as a health care system.This means, as health care providers, encouraging screening and early interventions such as education to reduce the number of patients presenting with these conditions and illnesses.If, as nurses, we are successful in health promotion then we are doing our jobs to best of our abilities.
To conclude, as graduating class of nurses, we need to take all of our knowledge, values and idealism into our job sites and apply them. If you are able to incorporate all the core characteristics of nursing, such as knowledge, time management, compassion/caring, advocacy, respect, honesty and patient privacy we will be successful and well respected in our career not only by our patients and their families but also by other health care professionals and colleagues as well. I will strive to maintain and adhere to my personal nursing philosophy throughout my career. Nursing, as a whole, is a well respected, rewarding and self-fulfilling career and I can't wait to play a part in it.
Resources American Nurses Association, 2001.Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements.Washington DC, The Publishing Program of ANA. American Nurses Association, 2001.Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice. Washington DC, The Publishing Program of ANA.