The philosophy of nursing is a system of ideas and views of the world from the position of a nurse. It reflects the nurse’s worldview concerning his/her activities, social environment, development, and improvement of personality and professional competence. The main link of this philosophy is undoubtedly the patient with all his needs – biological, psychological, social, spiritual, or rather – the patient’s personality. The basic principles of the nursing philosophy are respect for the patient’s life, dignity, and rights.
Nursing from Different Aspects
The philosophy of nursing is always in development: society’s views on specific values are constantly changing, so the opinion about the profession of a nurse is also changing. The philosophy of nursing differs significantly not only in different regions and national groups but also in medical and preventive medical educational institutions. In the philosophy of nursing, to which I adhere, four main concepts can be distinguished:
- nursing as an art and science;
- the patient as a person;
Art has a significant impact on the spiritual world of human. The power of the impact of art on the general condition and mood of a person and its beneficial effect on health was noticed in ancient times. As a science, nursing is based not only on medical knowledge but also on psychology, sociology, cultural studies, history, ethics, and aesthetics. In the process of professional activity, the nursing staff develops a specific conceptual approach, based on which extensive descriptive characteristics of nursing features are compiled. They form a solid foundation for building nursing theory.
The concept of personality inhabits a special area in nursing philosophy. The problem of personality is primarily the question of what place a person occupies in the world. Biological, psychological, social, and spiritual components make up a single whole of a person, a patient. They are characteristic of all people, but each individual forms a unique personality. A nurse needs to be ready to deal with any patient and respect their past and present life values, customs and beliefs.
The environment has always had an impact on human life. The environment combines natural, social, psychological, and spiritual factors and conditions in which human activity occurs. It is subdivided:
- physical, including geographical location, climate, air quality, water quality, and more. In addition to the natural environment, the people’s environment must also be taken into account;
- social, which has a massive role in the patient’s personality (family, school, acquaintances, work team, and others);
- cultural, which includes human behavior, and relationships with other people (language, traditions, customs, faith, manners of communication, and more).
It should be remembered that the environment leaves its mark on the constitution and character of people and, therefore, on their illness and health. The nature of the worldview is formed by the individual’s social environment, upbringing, and self-education. In forming their personal qualities, every person develops a unique idea of health, illness, and the factors leading to it. Then, for each patient, the nurse creates an atmosphere of respect for their present and past, life values, habits, views, and religious beliefs.
Values About Nursing
One of the critical positions in the system of relations between a nurse and a patient is occupied by medical ethics, one of which is the ethical code of nurses. It highlights the basic principles of behavior and assessment of a nurse’s actions, reflecting this profession’s main goals, responsibilities, and values. It constitutes a system of worldviews within which a nurse can think critically, and, thus, make ethical decisions and fulfill the responsibilities to society, colleagues, and profession.
Theories Influencing Choice of Philosophy
Deontology – the doctrine of professional ethics; this term was introduced at the beginning of the 19th century by the English philosopher Bentham. It is the science of duty, the principles of behavior towards the patient and society (Boltayev, 2022). The professional behavior of an average medical worker, aimed at improving the quality of treatment and care, and eliminating the harmful consequences of incorrect behavioral actions, is part of nursing ethics (Boltayev, 2022). Medicine and healing at all times were based on a fusion of special knowledge, skills, and ethical principles. The healthcare profession is a feat; it requires self-denial, purity of soul, and thoughts; not everyone is capable of it.
A medical worker is entrusted with the most precious thing – life, health, and well-being of people. or she is responsible to the patient, his relatives, and the state as a whole. Unfortunately, there are cases of irresponsible attitudes towards the patient: the desire to relieve oneself of responsibility for him/her, to find an excuse to shift responsibility to another, and more. I believe that all these phenomena are unacceptable, and it should be remembered that the patient’s interests are paramount.
Personal Understanding of the Philosophy of Nursing
A nurse is a specialist with knowledge and skills, is responsible for the care process, and shows mercy. It is a unique, socially active person who improves his/her professional, psychological, and spiritual qualities in order to provide the patient with optimal care. A nurse acts independently and in collaboration with other health professionals to meet the needs of society and individual patients for health protection.
The obligations of healthcare worker include respect for patients and their right to independence. In accordance with this, one acts based on the principles:
- Do no harm.
- Do good.
- Be able to cooperate.
- Be devoted to both the profession and the patient.
Nursing has no restrictions on national, racial, age, gender, political or religious beliefs, or social status. It is universal and necessary for a person from birth to death. In providing care to the patient, the nurse should try to create an atmosphere of respect for his ethical values, customs, and spiritual beliefs.
Communication within a Medical Organization
In the medical field, communication is a fundamental clinical skill that includes establishing a therapeutic relationship, understanding the patient’s point of view, exploring thoughts and emotions, and channeling them to improve their health. Communication between nurse and patient, and all those involved in the nursing process, must include understanding, patience, honesty, sincerity, trust, hope, and courage (Chichirez & Purcărea, 2018). Open relationships involve acceptance, empathy, and participation in the communication process. Acceptance is akin to forgiveness: the nurse weighs another person’s behavior, considers the positive and negative factors of this behavior, and deliberately does not attach importance to harmful factors. They focus on the positive behaviors that contribute to developing the desire for health but do not impose directions in which patients should develop. Instead, the nurse allows the interlocutor to determine the nature of the communication, the reaction, and everything that matters for such a reaction. Open relationships also imply empathy, the ability to perceive another person’s internal state and value orientation accurately. The compassionate nurse reflects the patient, demonstrating a sense of presence. In an atmosphere of common understanding, it is easier for the patient to find himself, to find new values in the process of adaptation, more correct and positive.
Strengths and Weaknesses
It should be taken into account that the communication of the medical system takes place in a complex environment where favorable and unfavorable factors coexist and constantly change places and significance. Mutual respect and the pursuit of common goals can be a good impetus for establishing solid relationships in the team. It will become a strength of the organization and will allow doctors, nurses, and other health professionals not to worry about possible problems within the organization related to communication. Instead, the focus will be on patients and their well-being (Chichirez & Purcărea, 2018). Effective teamwork and communication are critical to function safely in complex and dynamic situations such as healthcare.
On the other hand, excessive empathy and empathy can be fatal for nurses to be comfortable in the workplace. High altruism is considered a weakness of a medical worker, as it can lead to irreparable consequences, for example, for the worker’s psyche. Naturally, one should put the patient and his life first, but at the same time not to lose rationality and logical thinking.
My nursing philosophy is that it takes a variety of people with strong skills and dedication to helping make a difference and improve patients’ lives. I intend to use the education and skills gained in nursing school to establish myself in this profession. I believe that if I dedicate myself to pursuing knowledge and personal growth throughout my life, I can influence the nursing profession and help improve the outcomes of the care of my patients and their loved ones. Communication is the foundation for all health system levels but is often problematic. Fortunately, professionals in the field can take steps to overcome many of the common barriers to effective healthcare communication.
Boltayev, A. A. (2022). Professional development of future teachers based on the deontological approach. Web of Scientist: International Scientific Research Journal.
Chichirez, C. M., & Purcărea, V. L. (2018). Interpersonal communication in healthcare. Journal of medicine and life, 11(2), 119–122.