Nursing and Person

Good Essays
The nursing metaparadigm is a group of statements that identifies phenomena and incorporates philosophical assumptions that guide the development of nursing theory (Fawcett, 1984). Nursing scholars have historically agreed that the central concepts of the nursing metaparadigm include person, health, environment and nursing. Recently, the inclusion of a fifth concept, social justice, has been discussed in the literature as part of the metaparadigm. This paper will outline the meaning of these five metaparadigm concepts illustrated through the author’s personal nursing practice. Throughout the paper the author refers to "person" as "she", but acknowledges that in practice, person includes both she and/or he.
Person
The person is a complex and dynamic being with unique values, behaviours and attributes that must be considered through a holistic approach (Pender, 1990). As a nurse in the intensive care environment it can easily become commonplace to see the person laying in the bed as nothing more than a diagnosis with issues that require fixing based on scientific facts and technical competence (McCormack, 2003). From this perspective, the person’s dignity and values will be overlooked and the holistic needs of the person will not be met.
McCormack (2003) presents a conceptual framework for person centered practice where a therapeutic narrative between nurse and person is built on mutual trust, understanding and sharing of information. Adopting this approach in the intensive care unit (ICU) enables the nurse to gain more understanding of who the patient is beyond the obvious indicators of gender, race, religion and geographical location. Due to the critical condition of ICU patients, involvement of the patient’s support system through open dialogue and organized family meetings is essential to gain a better understanding of the whole person.
Environment
A person embodies both an internal and external environment. Biological, physiological, cultural and

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