Theoretical Framework in Nursing Process - Introduction to Theory

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Pocholo N. Isidro R.N.
Philippine Women's University, Master of Arts in Nursing

Theoretical Framework for Nursing Practice – Module 1

A. There are defining characteristics that determine nursing practice. Based on your clinical experience, explain the meaning of the following: 

1. Nursing as a practice-oriented discipline – Nursing exists to provide nursing care for clients who experience illness, as well as for those who may experience potential health problems. When we say that nursing is a practice-oriented discipline, we simply mean that nursing has a primary mission related to practice. Its members seek knowledge of what nurses as professionals do, why they do it and when they do it. Basic understanding of various phenomena is essential for the subsequent development of applied knowledge. Applied knowledge is that which provides guidelines to maintain, develop, inhibit, support, change, advocate, clarify or suppress some of these basic phenomena. The goal of knowledge development then, is to understand the nursing care needs of the people and to learn how to better care for them; therefore the caring activities that nurses are involved in on a daily basis maybe the focus for knowledge development. To put it in simpler terms, “knowledge is achieved not just for the sake of knowledge, but to provide better nursing care” (Meleis, 2012). To give a more palpable example of what nursing as a practice-oriented discipline is all about based solely on my own clinical experience, I would like to cite my institution’s striving mission to be granted accreditation for the Joint Commission International. Here, definitive guidelines are already set in place with regards to what is needed in order to comply with a standard that is being recognized globally for nursing care. In other words, in order for the institution to fulfill its nursing requirements specific rules and policies should be implemented.

2. Nursing as a health-oriented discipline – In earlier times, the responsibilities of nurses were centered on sanitation, hygiene and comfort, prevention of cross-infection and relief of prime symptoms of illnesses. Nurses functioned not only as nurses, but as housekeepers, dietitians and cleaners. Nursing since then has shifted from being primarily illness-oriented to being a profession that is health-oriented. Nurses practise in a growing variety of settings and nursing roles continue to expand as the focus of nursing care expands. Current nursing theoretical models reflect the trend to address the total person, in all dimensions, as an individual in interaction with the family and the community (Funnel, et al., 2009). In my practice, we nurses participate in all sorts of interventions that maybe widely varied in its application but working under a unified premise: The client is the center of our care. Our client maybe the patient, the relatives or the entire community. All of our efforts are made to ensure our client’s safety and well-being. Part of our job as nurses is to employ our independent nursing interventions carefully amassed during our education and continuous training. However, a large part of what we do for our everyday work revolves around our constant interdisciplinary transactions with all the other members of the whole health team, more specifically our interactions with the doctors. Nursing becomes more health-oriented during these times primarily because of the nature of the medical officer’s duty: to alleviate, if not totally cure, the patient’s illnesses. However, going beyond this, the nurses in my institution also engage in other areas of health-promotion. To cite an example just earlier this month our institution, spearheaded by the Department of Nephrology, joined in celebrating the “World Kidney Day”. Nurses participated in the campaign towards healthier lifestyle through information dissemination and volunteering by manning and running the various diagnostic booths being offered at...
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