Wit: a Critical Analysis

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CRITICAL ANAYLSIS OF THE FILM WIT
LORI NUFRIO
KEAN UNIVERSITY

Abstract
This is a critical analysis paper about the highly acclaimed film Wit. The film is centered on a middle aged professor who has just been diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. She agrees to undergo chemotherapy which is still in the experimental stage. During the film the physician’s focus is on research and there is very little consideration for the patient. This paper will discuss the nursing practices and theories that were used by the nurse in the film while caring for this patient at the end of her life. In our changing society nursing theories are an important guide for nurses to utilize in this dynamic field of medicine.

Introduction
Nurses are trusted to care for people at their most vulnerable moments. In today’s modern healthcare system it is imperative that we utilize nursing theories to provide the best care to clients. Since the time of Florence Nightingale, nurses have been following various nursing theories to provide optimum care to their patients. These theories act as a guide to assist nurses in making changes in health care for the benefit of their patient. Nursing theories can also support professional autonomy and credibility within this field. The nursing theories that we utilize help us to provide the highest level of care to our patients. These nursing theories can also help us to become well rounded as nurses so that we give the most appropriate care to people that need our services. In doing so we assist them to become individuals that can manage their healthcare needs. When individuals are unable to care for themselves, they need to trust that the nurse has the capability to attend to their needs in an effective way.

This paper will summarize the film Wit, list the theorists used and explain their concepts. It will analyze how these concepts related to the nursing care provided. The two theorists that this nurse mainly used to care for her terminally ill patient were the conceptual theories of Hildegard Peplau and Dorothea Orem.

Summary of the Film Wit
Wit, the movie is a film brought to the screen by Mike Nichols in 2001 to tell the moving tale of a lonely woman just finding out that she has stage four ovarian cancer. Vivian Bearing is a 48 year old College Professor who has lived alone, and has no friends or family. This story is about her valiant struggle to fight to live and ultimately, it ends up to be her struggle to accept her impending demise. Most of the scenes are that of Vivian alone in her hospital room as she copes with the awful side effects of the drugs being given at full dose. Vivian’s physician and the young intern Jason are both focused on the wonderful research that they will have and therefore show very little concern for their patient and the misery she is going through. The only person to give support is her primary care nurse Susie Monahan RN. Throughout the movie there are many incidents where Susie advocates for her patient. One incident was when Vivian was in terrible pain and Susie fought with the doctors to allow her to have a pump for pain management. She knew that Vivian wanted to remain in control as long as possible. The physicians didn’t listen to her but this showed that Susie had wonderful insight into what her patient felt. During the course of the film, Vivian through flashbacks does come to realize that maybe she could have been kinder to her students. She also comes to realize that she should have attempted to connect with people, but sadly hadn’t bothered. The viewer realizes during the film that Vivian had preferred her poems by John Donne to human contact. It is not until the end of the film that she finally sees that she had missed out on life. One of the very last scenes is that of her Professor coming to visit her and finding her almost gone. She attempts to console her by reading her the poems of John Donne, Vivian protests and instead she reads her a...
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