Nurses are viewed as health care providers that work closely with patients and ensure the prevention of diseases and the treatment of adverse health conditions. On top of all day-to-day tasks, the ultimate goal of nursing is to provide the best patient care. Different approaches to the concept of care have been developed over recent decades.
As Dameron (2011) states, there is a “humanistic relationship between the nurse and patient, family and/or community” (p.69). This paper aims at reflecting on the humanistic nature of the relationship between the nurse and the patient. Even though professional and Christian caring theories might apply different patient care strategies, both of them agree that caring is an essential element of nursing. According to Dameron (2011), a Christ-centred caring theory sees the understanding of a person’s needs through the prism of biblical concepts.
Care can be defined not as a mutual bond or relationship that develops between the nurse and the patient. Instead, the concept expands beyond the traditional definition as it is viewed as an on-going process, regardless of the nurse’s personal preferences or feelings. Thus, the idea of a humanistic nature of this connection comes to mind. First, the term “humanistic” needs to be studied and defined with regard to nursing practice. It is a well-known fact that humanists focus on people’s experience and concerns rather than religious concepts. Watson highlighted that caring theory should be based on “human science” (as cited in Dameron, 2011, p. 69). In this regard, the relationship between nurses and their patients results from the nurse’s ability to view every patient as a whole individual, not a set of symptoms to cure. Such an integral look at the person develops through experience and a humanistic approach. Therefore, a nurse’s training places emphasis on developing the ability to relate to patients. Since every situation is different, and there is no universal procedure for nursing care, patients are cared for on a case-by-case basis. A humanistic approach is essential as it takes into consideration the 2 person’s feelings and concerns, which differ in every individual case. Besides, nursing also refers to such aspect as the relationship between the nurse and the community.
The role of a humanistic concept of care in this regard is undoubtful as nurses are considered lifesavers and primary support providers. It is worth noting that although humanistic and Christ-centered caring theories originate from controversial mindsets, they have much in common. For instance, selflessness and compassion, close to the Christian attitude, are intertwined with the idea of care for humanistic nursing. Even though Dameron (2011) confronts scientifically- and biblically-based points of view, both result from common values: empathy, compassion, generousness, altruism, and patience.
Regardless of the approach, the ultimate goal of nursing needs to be accomplished. It lies in the provision of care and humane treatment for patients. To sum up, the humanistic nature of the connection between the nurse and the patient is discussed in this paper. While some approaches date back to different views of this connection, they still focus on shared values. In particular, a professional caring theory and a Christ-centered caring theory are based on the ideas of humanistic nature of the relationship between the nurse and the patient. With the combination of knowledge and practice, both approaches conclude that compassionate, empathic treatment is crucial for nursing. 3
Dameron, C. M. (2011). A Christ-centered caring theory, journal of Christian nursing. Journal of Christian Nursing, 28(2), 69. Web.