As the healthcare system undergoes major transformations and the role of the professional nurse is expanding, having a definition of the goals and responsibilities of a nurse relative to other professionals within the healthcare community is vital. Nursing theories establish the scope and the significance of a nurse’s role as a healthcare provider. They provide a universal description of nursing that can be applied to nurses practicing within a variety of settings. This paper will examine how the theories of Jean Watson and Madeleine Leininger impact the manner in which professional nurses practice, specifically within the school nurse setting.
Jean Watson’s Philosophy and Science of Caring shows how caring is at the core of nursing practice and is more important than curing. Additionally, she believed that a holistic approach to care is central to the practice of nursing. Watson devised a framework for understanding nursing by developing the ten carative factors. The term carative is used instead of curative to emphasize the distinction between nursing and medicine. According to Blais and Hayes (2011): Watson considers her work to be a philosophical and moral/ethical foundation for professional nursing and part of the central focus for nursing at the disciplinary level. It includes a call for both the art and science that embraces and intersects with art, science, humanities, spirituality, and new dimensions of mind-body-spirit medicine and nursing. (p. 109)
Madeline Leininger was the founder of transcultural nursing. Leininger defined human caring within the context of culture. She recognized that there was a lack of knowledge among nurses in regards to how different cultural backgrounds impacted human behaviors. She identified that care and beliefs about health and illness are imbedded in the values, worldviews and life patterns of people (Cohen 1991). Leininger like Watson also viewed caring as the essence of nursing and unique to the profession. However, she emphasized the aspects of care within a cultural context. Blais and Hayes explain that central to Leininger’s theory is the belief that cultures have differences in their ways of perceiving, knowing, and practicing care but that there are also commonalities about care among cultures (p 109).
A core principle of Watson’s (2008) theory is that nurses have a moral commitment to form transpersonal relationships with others. Nurses, “seek to recognize, honor, and accurately detect the spirit of the other through genuine presencing, being centered, available in the now-moment” (p 81). It is important for nurses to be present in the moment when caring for their patients. They need to be mindful of what they are doing and do it with the intention to care. Furthermore, the very presence of a caring nurse may be the difference between hope and despair. This aspect of caring is especially significant when working with children who have chronic medical conditions and their families. School nurses can provide this type of care by being engaged with the family and learning what is unique about their child. In the case of children with developmental disabilities, although there is no cure to their condition, nurses can focus on the progress they are making in their daily lives thus giving families a sense of hope and support.
Leininger believes that the goal of healthcare personnel should be to work toward understanding of care and the values, health beliefs, and lifestyles of different cultures, which will form the basis for providing culture-specific care (Blais and Hayes, 2011). Culturally competent school nurse are aware and respectful of the importance of the values, beliefs, traditions, customs and parenting styles of the children and families they serve. They also need to be aware of the impact of their interactions with others and take all of these factors into account when planning care for children and their families. For example, with an escalating number of Spanish-speaking immigrants in the school system, school nurses should provide educational written materials in Spanish as well as English and utilize translators to communicate pertinent health related information to Spanish-speaking families.
School nurses may encounter families who do not believe in immunizing their children because of religious beliefs. It is the duty of school nurses to provide education about the risks and benefits of immunizations and attempt to correct any misinformation or misperceptions that may exist. If the family makes an informed decision not to immunize their child, their religious beliefs must be respected and the child should be protected from communicable diseases. Furthermore, schools should provide frequent in-service programs on cultural competency. By respecting the values, beliefs and cultures of all individuals, nurses can continue to provide holistic and competent care to their patients in all areas of nursing.
The nursing theories of Jean Watson and Madeleine Leininger identify the act of caring as unique to the nursing profession. Nurses should continue to strive to provide holistic and individualized care that transcends cultural boundaries. By doing so the role of the nurse will remain a constant in the rapidly changing world of healthcare.
Blais, K. K. & Hayes J. S. (2011). Professional Nursing Practice: Concepts and Perspectives (6th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Health Science Cohen, J. (1991). Two portraits of caring: a comparison of the artists, Lenininger and Watson. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 16, 899-909. Watson, J. (2008). Nursing: The philosophy and science of caring (rev. ed.). Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.
Nursing Philosophy Essay
The American Association of Nursing defines nursing as the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities…and advocacy (Nursingworld.org). It is important for nurses to have a philosophy in which to work by and different types of nurses will have different viewpoints and concerns depending on the area of nursing in which they work. Although many things will be different certain core things will be the same such as caring for the patient, help those in need, help heal the sick and to continue to gain knowledge to improve the quality of care given. My personal nursing philosophy is based on emergent care, even prior to becoming a nurse I was an emergency medical technician (EMT), after this I worked in a local emergency room as a patient care tech for years. The only side of nursing that I know is emergency care so this is what my personal philosophy is based on.
My personal philosophy is centered on caring for my patient to the best of my ability for me this includes taking into consideration the verbal and nonverbal things being said because I am caring for a person not just a complaint, to stabilize the patient and either discharge them home or admit them to the floor or intensive care unit for further treatment, care and evaluation, and most importantly to appropriately educate my patients and their parents/family members.
Nursing The emergency room (ER) is a distinct place, the way in which it works, the relationships that are formed and the people who chose to go into emergency medicine are unique. It takes a special type of person to be an ER nurse just like it takes a certain type of person to be a hematology/oncology nurse, hospice nurse or a cardiac nurse. As an ER nurse I am responsible for taking care of my patients while I am at work this means that the other aspects of my life should not negatively affect or impact my job performance. No one wants to spend hours waiting to see the doctor and then deal with grump and unprofessional nurses. An ER nurse needs to be able to quickly and efficiently asses the patient, but also hen dealing with pediatric patients I have to speak to them not just their parents, make them as comfortable as possible with everything that I do and know when to incorporate additional resources such as child life specialist, who can help minimize the adverse effects of a child’s hospital experience (Allday 2010).
Person It is easy to see a patient as only a complaint, especially in the ER because they came to be treated for a medical problem and the doctors and nurses want to fix it. As nurses we have to remember that are patients are also someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, daughter or son and is special to someone. Keeping that in mind helps me to better care for the patients, how would I like my family to be treated? In the book Caring in Nursing Classics: An Essential Resource, author M. Smith describes existential presence which basically means that...
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