Purpose of nursing as field of knowledge and professional service is nurturing people, growing caring and living caring.
In accordance to the National League of nursing (2007), as well as the American association of college of nursing (2008), caring is the foundation for the nursing profession. Shultz (2009) explains that education in nursing is meant to guide the progression of a nurse personnel from an individual’s identification as a caring person to a professional identification of caring. Benner (2000) postulated that caring is mandatory for the advancement of critical thinking ability. Stowe (2006) on the other hand, examined the educational strategies in the education that were designed to enhance the understanding of the caring concept as an abstract, and his conclusion was that the efforts of the nursing education was to impact on a conscious caring person in the society.
In this line, Purnell’s (2009) also adds that, caring involved themes of discovery, struggle, humility, struggle, hope and spirituality. Rafael (1996) also observes that this aspect has emerged from being an ordered or required caring into an assimilated caring as nursing continues to develop into a self governing profession, and then into an empowered caring as the nurses comes to understand how the nursing interactions support the connections in caring. In essence, caring is an integral part of the nursing characteristics. A caring nurse can make patients not to be scared and its absence will affect the patients both physically, emotionally and psychologically. Also caring distinguishes the profession of nursing from others and is paramount for providing clients with holistic care. Caring also enhances the nurse’s competencies ensuring that they will appropriately evaluate the patients and perform the skills. Caring and competencies are interrelated. Nurses need to develop and sustain these traits so that they could move the nursing profession forward, by doing so they will make a great impact in the nursing profession.
Why Caring Concept is of Interest to the Nursing Profession
Much of the nursing conferences and literature are advocating for a comeback to the caring approach as been a hall mark to the nursing profession. In the past two decades, much research in the field of nursing has been focused on the caring concept. Several of such studies have particularly focused on defining, and understanding the caring concept and also recognizing the attributes of this caring from the patient/ customer and nurse perspective. Recent studies of caring have been focused on how the caring concept is taught in schools, its economics, the relationship of the nurse caring and the nurse burnout, caring and issues of ethics and so on. This concept has been acknowledged and legitimized as an appropriate study area for nurse practitioners (Bauer, 1988).
As the nursing educators understand, establishing a program with a strong philosophical framework with faculty that is committed to the implementation of the program philosophy is paramount for positive outcome of the program. Employing the caring framework in the nursing education exposes the students to the empirical aspect in the nursing practice. In addition, it is considered as a holistic approach for nurses to understanding humans as being of great worth, and that the focus of content should be the needs of these humans.
Within the nursing field, care and compassion for the client have always been the nurse’s priority. Years of research on the nursing history has affirmed that the concept of caring is a reality in the medical world. It should however be remembered that there was a time when the nursing profession did not have much control regarding the really needed patient care. This is one of the reasons why the theory of nursing care has been of much interest in the nursing profession today.
In the history of nursing, there was no defined nursing theory some few generations ago. Instead, the nursing models that were in existence just followed the orders that were given by the doctors. During these years, the nurses did not take into consideration the client’s special needs owing to the fact that the doctors were the main controller of the client’s care. However, this does not translate that the nurses care at this time were substandard, rather, it was just their duty considering that the doctors were the controller of the patient’s needs. From the perspective of multicultural, the nursing practice utilizes the specific knowledge with regard to the needs of the patients, differences and features in the values, ideas, customs and experiences of people from divergent ethnic and racial groups of people (White, 2003). Additionally, there is a notion that nurses offer their services in an independent and different ways typical of the nursing practice (Donnelly, 2006). The nursing practice should understand their function as being agents of change, and therefore, each client, irrespective of his or her background or condition requires a quality nursing care.
Definition of Caring Concept
According to Watson (2012) the concept of caring and nursing are intertwined, making a comparison of the two a complex and subjective issue. The development of this concept as a theoretical discipline that deals with the relevance of the caring features has brought with it many novel issues that transcends beyond the medical field. Watson is a registered nurse practitioner at Anschutz Medical facility. According to the model which he postulated, caring is a philosophy that underpins the nursing profession. His perception with regard to the caring concept is that it is a discipline that is grounded in the field of nursing, but which impacts on other health and educational professionals.
As defined by Sadler, (2012) the concept of caring is an individualized and creative procedure of utilizing the presence as described by the nurse practitioners and as a multidimensional work, where holistic relation is made with an individual in meeting an identified need. The author adds that the features of caring are observable in the practice of nurse practitioners in clinical setting. Sadler continues to explain that the concept of caring is very crucial and widely employed in the nursing practice.
Morse et al (1990) observes that if caring is to be regarded as the foundation of nursing, and if research in this field is to grow, then the perspective of caring ought to be clarified further. In addition, the weaknesses and strengths of this conceptualization ought to be evaluated and the use of caring as a model of nurse practice. The authors identify caring as having five epistemological perspectives namely: caring as an ideal or moral imperative, caring as an effect, caring as a human state, caring as a nursing intervention and caring as interpersonal relations. The outcome of caring in accordance to the authors includes the physiological responses in clients and also caring as a subjective experience.
Attributes to the Caring Concept
Caring which the foundation of nursing is is recognized as being among the core values of medical practitioners globally, and is actualized in clinical settings. The caring attributes is a complicated and focused product of the nurse practitioners within the clinical setting. Nurses are supposed to work in harmony with other nurses and other health practitioners in order to focus their attention to the care of the patient so as to facilitate the patient’s comfort and healing process.
All nurses come from different backgrounds. However, they have a common education and legal designation relating to their work. This aspect permits them and offers them an opportunity in delivering a professional personalized care system for their clients. Their numerous duties may not be so obvious to their patients but they are all crucial for the quality of the patient services. The nurse personnel offers this care by being part of the continuous evaluation process of the patient, the implementation of the doctor’s orders, documentation of the client’s dynamic condition, discernment and other duties. This team of nurses begins their work in education environment. Although it may not be obvious, the various aspects of expertise, supervision and experience are integrated in the day to day patient care that is offered by the nurses. This inclusivity of the efficient care includes the point of care nurse, supportive nurses, managers, and divisional managers as well as others within the organizational structure to the chief nursing executive. All these positions are highly integrated to one another and are absolutely important for offering effective services to the patients.
Effective nursing care is not a product of a single nurse but is a result of cooperation of nurses in the entre health organization. There is a team that supports the nurses and their roles directly such those responsible for recruiting the nurses, educators, case manager’s specialists, and so on. This effort necessitates harmonious relationship at all levels of nursing in the entire organization.
In making sure that nurses perform their work in accordance to philosophical perspectives relating to their profession is identified as an important factor in work satisfaction and therefore, crucial to the recruitment and retention of the nursing employees (Baumann et al. 2001). Nurses have responsibility with their employers, professional bodies and other associations that enhance the environments that support quality professional care (Canadian Nurses Association 2001). For high quality care to be achieved in a clinical setting, the practitioners are expected to make clear the expectations that are related to the nursing practice (Hoffart and Woods 1996). Most of the nursing theories and concepts typically address the nurse’s need for accountability and autonomy which is considered crucial for to the empowerment of the nursing profession and the establishment of effective and efficient work teams (Spence Laschinger and Havens 1996). The set of expectations and values that are ascribed to all nurses are important in establishing a culture of excellence in the nursing practice.
Relation of the Caring Concept to the Nursing Practice
The concept of care assists nurse including myself to understand better the valuable relationship between a patient and the nurse practitioner. This relation is usually regarded as a dynamic one, between the patient and the nurse for the sole purpose of assisting the patient. Furthermore, this relationship is critical to the nursing operation. Its emphasis is on the patient and is purposeful, therapeutic and goal oriented in particular. The unique position of the nurse in offering the nursing care facilitates the promotion of advocacy for patients.
Using this concept, the client nurse relationship will be the basis for my clinical practice. Moreover, I will employ this concept as a force to protecting and promoting the dignity of my clients. I will always endeavor to affirm my clients irrespective of whatever condition they may be. Additionally, I will be at the forefront of helping the patients to make their decisions and also find meaning regarding their ailments. I will also ensure that I shore case the aspect of accountability and responsibility during my practice so as to give a competent and safe care especially when the client may not in a position to care about himself/ herself
During my nursing practice, I will not only concentrate on caring about the patients alone. I will also take into account about caring about my own self s well as other nurses in my organization. This is because caring knowledge is acquired by experiencing the caring practices and fellow practitioners which further cultivates sensitivity to myself and others. Through the concept of caring, I will rely on the basic constructs of caring including support, empathy, concern, nurturance, involvement, sharing, helping behavior, compassion, and comfort. Another dimension of caring will involve the factual “caring for” which in this case relates to being accountable and responsible for the client in a competent manner. The process of nursing is an essential tool component that offers the structure for the practice of caring.
The Value of the Caring Concept to Nursing Knowledge
The nursing theory or rather concept of caring offers a wide philosophical ground with practical impacts that could be essential in transforming the nursing practice. In respect to the caring concept, the emphasis and purpose of nursing as field of knowledge and professional service is nurturing people, growing caring and living caring. This concept seem to be grounded in the assumption that caring is a natural aspect of any human being and the features of the nursing discipline and the profession as a whole are combined in coming to understand persons as caring and also nurturing them as individuals who are growing and living in caring.
Created intention as well as authentic presence directs the nurse in choosing and organizing knowledge for practical use in every unfolding and unique nursing circumstance. Since caring is uniquely established in response to the call and experience of a nurse practitioner, the caring experienced by these practitioners ought to be valued. In essence, caring, with regard to nursing is an expression of love. It is also recognition of value as well as the connectness. The consideration of nursing as a profession focuses on caring as its main value, basic interest and direct intention of the nursing practice.
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