Nursing philosophy is a declaration, occasionally written, which proclaims a nurse’s values, ethics, and beliefs concerning their treatment and care of patients while they’re in the nursing profession (Masters, 2014). It expresses our conviction or opinion on what we as nurses believe to be true concerning the essence of nursing profession and offer a foundation for nursing activities.
Just like life, a personal philosophy of nursing is a work in progress. It’s always evolving as we transform and the world around us develops. Articulating one’s values in a statement is an important learning plan for health care providers especially in relation to our efforts to offer high quality care to families and children. Personal philosophy provides us with a valuable opportunity to really assess our beliefs and how such beliefs fit with our professional and personal lives (Masters, 2014). Additionally, an effective personal philosophy provides a basis of aligning our professional values with personal beliefs and values in a situation where the two seem to be incongruent. It gives the motivation to adjust these differences.
Development of personal philosophy gives us a chance to explore our beliefs. It’s a growth-productive and inspiring experience. Articulating a personal philosophy of nursing improves the ability of nurses to assess, challenge, critique, and debate nursing situations which jeopardize the safety of patients and ethical clinical care. A personal philosophy act as tool for preparing nurses as moral agents in their respective areas of practice (Bruce, Rietze & Lim, 2014). Also, it provides an insight fundamental to nursing practice by enabling us to communicate and capture our objective in our practice environment. Personal philosophy of nursing has been used by various scholars to highlight the objective of nursing care in health care environment.
Meta-paradigm refers to a set of propositions and concepts which introduce a phenomenon concerning a particular discipline. It’s the broadest perspective or view of a discipline. Meta-paradigm provides a structure of how a specific discipline should operate. It also explains how a particular discipline deals with focus of interest through use of concept models, theory and philosophy. Nursing meta-paradigm also demonstrates how nursing, environment, person (patient), and health are interconnected (Bruce, Rietze & Lim, 2014).
Meta-paradigm revolves around four fundamental concepts namely person, health, environment, and nursing. Meta-paradigm serves as the cornerstone when it comes to the construction of nursing theories. The four concepts of meta-paradigm are important as far the holistic nature of nursing and patient care is concerned. They are also crucial to integral nursing model since they are integrated within the quadrants of the human experience.
One of my enduring values which attracted me to these meta-paradigm concepts is the value of connecting to people and being with them especially when they need help. The concept of Person, which falls under meta-paradigm, can be effectively realized the moment we integrate caring in it. Caring extends to partnering with the patient, their families and friends for the purpose of establishing an effective plan of care (Carlson, 2017). The value of caring also touches on the concept health. A significant part of the recovery process entails demonstration of the act of care, social justice, altruism, and human dignity.
The concept of nursing largely focuses on making sure that patients retain their vital energy. Nurses have the responsibility of facilitating the healing process by putting the patient in good environment so as to allow nature to influence the wellbeing. This obligation calls for commitment, sympathy, caring, human dignity, and altruism. These are values and beliefs which attracted me to these meta-paradigms.
This word alone proves that it’s something to do with patients, which nurses serve. Nevertheless, it is more that. The component encompasses patients, families and friends. According to Florence Nightingale’s model, mankind, one of the concepts of four meta-paradigms, refers to the individual receiving the treatment or care. Her view of the mankind is that mankind is a multidimensional being, which includes psychological, cultural, biological, spiritual, and social components. (DeLaune, Ladner, McTier, Tollefson, & Lawrence, 2016). The cultural and psychological components entail self-concept, social interactions, feelings, and though-processes. The spiritual component is intertwined with her spiritual beliefs. Nightingale believes that mankind is valued. She also believes that the theory of person is based on the component of holism which integrates the social, biological, psychological and spiritual with the environment.
Every other element, whether external, internal or social which affects the health issues or recovery of a patient is grouped under this component of meta-paradigm. Examples of internal and social elements which influence the health of a patient include mental state, personal relationships, culture, and geographic location (DeLaune, Ladner, McTier, Tollefson, & Lawrence, 2016). Environment plays a crucial function in maintaining health and enhancing recovery from illness. We have five environmental factors that are all fundamental to the health of a person. These five factors are collectively referred to as “health houses.” The basic principle of maintaining “health houses” is to place the patient in the best condition to enable nature act upon them. Environment which promotes wellness enables a patient to recover energy for self healing.
Health is perceived as a integration of psychological, environmental and physical elements, and not just absence of illness (DeLaune, Ladner, McTier, Tollefson, & Lawrence, 2016). Health is relational and contextual. Wellness, in this perception, refers to lived experience of the compatibility between one’s realities and possibilities and is based on the feeling of being cared for. According to Nightingale, “health is not only to be well, but to be able to use well every power we have.” This is consistent with how we view health today. One doesn’t have to be free from illness to be healthy. One is regarded as healthy the moment he or she maximizes his or her potential. Disease is described as lived experience of loss or dysfunction which can be corrected by caring relationships.
Nursing refers to all the specific skills which an individual must have to qualify as a nurse. These special skills include technical skills, medical knowledge and nursing care. According to WHO, nursing entails independent and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, communities, groups and families, well or sick and in all environmental setups. It encompasses prevention of diseases, promotion of wellbeing and care of the sick, dying and disabled people (Carlson, 2017).
Nursing plays a crucial and dynamic function in healthcare more specifically in health promotion. Health promotion is the process of allowing individuals to improve control over the health determinants hence enhancing their wellbeing. The purpose of nursing is to promote health through advocating, mediating and enabling activities with the intention of reducing poor health outcomes. Apart from advocating, mediating and enabling activities, nursing provides an avenue through which results of a particular research can be applied in clinical practice. The integration of evidence-based practices in healthcare has led to significant improvement of the quality of care.
One of the primary responsibilities of nursing is to help patients recover and move forward. After treatment, patients experience relief from their initial symptoms. However, they may also start experiencing new symptoms as a result of the treatment. This is where nursing comes in to ensure that the patient moves through the process of recovery smoothly.
The second responsibility involves facilitating the treatment process. For some individuals, treatment can be fast and simple. Nevertheless, for others, the process of treatment may involve trial and error. Every stage of treatment requires a person who will inform, care and support the patients and the families (Delaney, 2017). A nurse will be required to carry out this responsibility.
To the community, nursing, through community health workers, helps to promote health by advocating for health standards which people should observe to remain healthy (Delaney, 2017).
Meta-paradigm refers to a set of assumptions and concepts which introduce a phenomenon concerning a particular discipline. Meta-paradigm provides a structure of how a specific discipline should operate. Philosophy of science is the worldview assessment of a particular body of knowledge and the methods or approaches used to study that body of knowledge (Okasha, 2016). From their descriptions, we can infer that the relationship between the two emanates from the fact that both focus on how a particular phenomenon should be approached. They set out the rules of approaching a particular situation.
Bruce, A., Rietze, L., & Lim, A. (2014). Understanding Philosophy in a Nurse’s World: What, Where and Why?. Nursing and Health, 2(3), 65-71. doi: 10.13189/nh.2014.020302
Carlson, K. (2017). The Central Importance of Nursing – Ausmed. Retrieved from https://www.ausmed.com/articles/central-importance-nursing/
Delaney, L. J. (2017). Patient-Centred care as an approach to improving health care in Australia. Collegian.
DeLaune, S. C., Ladner, P. K., McTier, L., Tollefson, J., & Lawrence, J. (2016). Fundamentals of Nursing: Australia & NZ Edition-Revised. Cengage AU.
Masters, K. (2014). Role Development in Professional Nursing Practice (3rd ed., pp. 100-102). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Okasha, S. (2016). Philosophy of Science (2nd ed., pp. 1-71). Place of publication not identified: Oxford Univ Press.