Establishing my own personal philosophy of nursing was as painful as having my teeth pulled at the dentist. I struggled deciding on what I considered to be my own personal values and beliefs as a nurse. Values & beliefs give meaning to life and are freely chosen ideals held by individuals or groups (Chitty & Black, 2011). Teachers have instilled the importance of “patient care” to students over the course of the five months that I have been in the nursing program. During our first month as nursing students, the professor introduced the seven components of “The Art of Nursing” which were: Caring, Advocacy for Patients, Advocacy for Populations, Supporting Spirituality, Response of Compassion, The Presence of the Nurse & Caring for Oneself (Cooper, 2001). These seven components of “The Art of Nursing” have been ingrained in our minds as the “bible” of what constitutes a good nurse. Constructing my own values and beliefs as a nurse has been a difficult process because I believed that these seven components of “The Art of Nursing” are all I needed to remember to be an accomplished nurse.
My nursing philosophy is a composite of the concepts from Cooper’s “The Art of Nursing” (2001) and my own personal code of ethics of which self-care is the most important. My philosophy is based on experiences and challenges I have failed or conquered from my past to present life. Applying my nursing philosophy in my nursing career will assist me in becoming an excellent nurse.
First among my values and beliefs is self-care. I often find myself sacrificing and neglecting my own needs to fulfill someone else’s. When my own needs are compromised, I am angry, frustrated and depressed thus jeopardizing my own well-being. This is why Dorothea Orem’s self-care model resonates to me because she understood the importance of taking care of one’s self (2001). Second among my values and beliefs is respect. Respect is an important value in my life because without it, I would not care about anyone. Compassion, the third value, is the ability to empathize without judgment. I believe that these three values and beliefs can be applied in the nursing metaparadigm because they are the basic components of what makes a human being “human.”
Chitty and Black defines “person” as a “term used to describe each individual man, woman, or child” (2011, p. 274). Every individual is unique and able to make his own decisions without interferences from others. Therefore, a person’s belief about health and wellness may differ from another individual and it is my duty as a nurse to respect their beliefs. Growing up, I have always been reminded to be compassionate and to be respectful of people especially to my elders because they have a vast amount of knowledge and experiences I can learn from. My grandmother’s stories of the World War II death march she was forced to participate in when she was eight years old reveals the struggles my family had to go through to get to where we are now. The respect I have for my grandmother’s strength and courage to remain calm and finish the death march motivates me to become an excellent nurse so that I can repay her back for all that she has done for our family.
Self-care in an important factor for individuals to do daily. If people do not care about meeting their own needs, providing care with respect and compassion may become difficult. Resentment and frustration may cause the nurse to provide less compassionate care.
The environment is an important aspect of nursing because surroundings can influence how a person and family respond to a situation. Often times, people have no control of their environment. Social background often determines just how well a person will react to his environment. A person who is living in poverty will have a difficult time meeting Maslow’s basic safety needs of life because of environmental...