Contribution of Christian Values to the Nursing Practice
Nurses play a vital role not only in the healthcare system but also in the communities they live and work in. In undertaking their duties, nurses are required to conduct themselves professionally and ethically. Ethical values such as compassion, diligence, patience, and, understanding, borrow heavily from the Christian faith. In addition, Christian values such as altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, and social justice have been incorporated into nursing and act as guiding principles for nurses.
Altruism is selflessness, honesty, and genuine interest in the welfare of others. According to Christianity, Christ died on the cross for the sins of mankind. His death symbolized his selflessness in redeeming mankind from the burden of sin. In exercising selflessness, nurses are required to put the needs of their patients first. To safeguard the dignity of patients who cannot take care of themselves, nurses are encouraged to practice altruism (Slettmyr et al., 2017). They can achieve this by going the extra mile in ensuring that the needs of their patients are met. That may require them to sacrifice their personal or family time.
Autonomy refers to the ability of a nurse to act independently, competently, and professionally to help a patient in need. According to Christianity, God gave man the power to differentiate between right from wrong. In avoiding overdependence on other professionals in decision-making, nurses need to embrace opportunities availed by the pressure of intensive care (Paganini & Bussos, 2014). Professional autonomy can be viewed as an ‘unspoken opportunity’ during work to exercise professional freedom and apply nursing knowledge. In turn, this helps nurses to define their own clinical practice and advocate for both the staff working priorities and conditions as well as the interests of the patient (Pilgrim et al., 2018). Therefore, nurses are encouraged to exercise autonomy and take advantage of demanding environments to improve their decision-making abilities.
While discharging their duties, nurses are required to conduct themselves in a manner that upholds human dignity. In the field of nursing, human dignity is not only a basic human right but a moral responsibility (Khaghanizade et al., 2016). Nurses are required to treat patients with dignity while recognizing that people are special in different ways. Social justice and human dignity are closely related; in nursing social justice refers to equal access to medical care for all, irrespective of religion, race, gender, or social-economic status. According to Wilbur et al. (2020), inequalities in the healthcare system have led to high medical costs and poor health care. Christians believe that to maintain the sanctity and divinity of life, human dignity and social justice must be upheld.
Christians are reminded to follow the footsteps of Jesus in their everyday life. They are encouraged to be truthful, straightforward, and compassionate in their undertakings. In the nursing profession, nurses should poses high moral and professional integrity. In the course of their duties, nurses should strive to uphold integrity; a core value in nursing (Sastrawan et al., 2018). They must consistently pursue professionalism and strive to perform their tasks with utmost honesty even when no one is watching. This integrity should be seen in how they interact with their patients.
Commitment to Personal Development and Advancement in Nursing
The roles of nurses in the community range from taking care of the sick in healthcare settings to managing community transmissions, their relevance and contribution to society is priceless. Nurses should evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, set up goals and examine career opportunities, prepare for those opportunities and apply appropriate development activities (Marquis & Huston, 2017). Therefore, continuous learning is crucial in upgrading skills that lead to growth in professional practice and optimum medical care (Price & Reichert, 2017). Nurses interested in advancing their careers and enhancing their competitiveness in the job market, continuously seek new opportunities to enrich their knowledge and skills. Technological advancements have enabled nurses to achieve these goals with great ease as they can work and study at the same time through online classes. However, some nurses may find the traditional class setup more convenient. These channels have also enabled more nurses to obtain specialty certifications. The knowledge and skills acquired through online and In-service training are relevant in promoting self-development and development of the nursing profession.
By joining nursing associations, nurses promote their personal development and advance the nursing profession in totality. Nursing associations are key stakeholders in the field of nursing. These organizations present nurses with opportunities to generate and disseminate new ideas, lobby for a safe and secure environment for patients and nurses, and inform policies, laws, and regulations affecting the healthcare system. Nurses are encouraged to be leaders and advocates, taking upon the various values which encompass and motivate their practice and empower others. Such motivation can stem from a preference to lead and develop personal leadership skills or a sense of duty and responsibility to the organization or workplace (Heering et al., 2018). Through leadership, nurses can both commit to personal development and promote advancement in nursing while emphasizing Christian values through clinical practice.
Nursing is the art of caring for the sick; it incorporates an independent and collaborative approach to taking care of the sick or healthy members of the public. Age, race, gender, religion, or family background notwithstanding, nurses are obligated to take care of them. For a healthy society to be realized, it is important to promote good health practices, manage infections and apply treatment when necessary. Nursing borrows different sets of values from Christianity such as altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, and social justice. Christianity has been instrumental in informing these values that act as guiding principles for nurses.
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