A Study of Nurse Caring
University of Illinois at Chicago
A Study of Nurse Caring
Although there are many common themes in both nursing practice and nursing theory, the concept of caring in nursing may be the most central theme of them all. In nursing, the one word ‘caring’ can both refer to the verb meaning ‘the action of carrying out the interventions and needs of a patient’, or the emotion or feeling of empathy and/or the altruism that puts the patient’s best interests first. Examples of three different articles were compared and contrasted, all studying the concept of caring in nursing with different approaches to understand this concept more deeply, and find both similar and differing themes in their conclusions. The first of these three articles, “Descriptions of Caring Uncovered in Students’ Baccalaureate Program Admission Essays,” is by Judith J. Sadler in the International Journal for Human Caring. This article is unique amongst the 3 that are being compared in that since they are statements written by those who are not yet nurses, they represent “conjecture” of what these would-be nurses think nurse caring looks like, rather than actual experiences that have occurred (Sadler, 2004). Its method was extracting themes from the 250-300 word essays that 302 applicants wrote for application into a BSN program. This made its central question to ask what did the applicants who wish to become nurses perceive the qualities of a good nurse to be. The central theme of these admission essays emerged as identifying compassion as a characteristic of a “good” nurse; while breaking down the attributes of a nurse further into the five sub-categories of Multidimensional work, Creative process of using presence, Holistic connection, and Individually and socially defined. The best part of this kind of study seemed to be that although these student’s definitions were ignorant of what it is like to actually be a nurse, their idealism about nurse caring...
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Morse, J.M., Bottorff, J., Anderson, G., O 'Brien, B., & Solberg, S. (2006) Beyond empathy: Expanding expressions of caring. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 53(1), 75-87.
Sadler, J.J., (2004). Descriptions of caring uncovered in students ' baccalaureate program admission essays. International Journal for Human Caring, 8(3), 37-46.
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