Clever nurses are those that possess the knowledge and skills acquired from a wide range of fields which include; medicine, psychology, and science. They are therefore smart enough to care. Nursing knowledge can therefore be defined as acquiring technical competence, skills, and professional experience helpful to the nurse in building the confidence to care (Wilkin & Slevin, 2004). Nurses use their knowledge and skills to provide basic nursing care to those who are unable to fulfill their human needs on their own when they are ill. To sustain people in this situation, nurses need to be fully equipped with the necessary knowledge (Nelson &Gordon, 2006). I, therefore, agree that nurses need to be clever to care. My point of view is supported by the discussion that follows.
First and foremost, nurses care for individuals who are not in a position to attend to their human functions on their own; this situation renders the patient vulnerable. Because of this the patient needs protection. Knowledgeable nurses therefore, take up the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the patient. Furthermore, vulnerability of the patients makes them reveal their feelings and experiences that come up when they are ill. It will only take a knowledgeable nurse to explore the patient’s experiences and mitigate the distress that comes with being ill. Sometimes the nurse may resort to using her therapeutic communication skills to remove the patient’s fears and instead, facilitate a discussion about the strategies that can be adapted to address the patient’s concerns (Nelson &Gordon, 2006).
Nurses need to be good listeners for them to carry out their duties effectively. Clever nurses are, therefore, equipped with sensitive listening skills. It is through this, that they can ascertain the patient’s life experiences. The information they obtain will be of great help when caring for the patient. Sensitive listening is especially called for when dealing with old people. It should be applied during the entire communication between the caregivers and them with special consideration to the way the nurse talks and what subject is talked about (Anderberg et al., 2007). Through the skill of sensitive listening, nurses can understand the implications of details that even seem unimportant in the patient’s experiences. These details can therefore be used by clever nurses to influence medical treatment (Nelson &Gordon, 2006). Furthermore, good nursing care for older people calls for knowledge in planning, effective organizational skills, and the ability to make the right decisions. These then demand a clever nurse who can organize her time properly and give her patient good treatment and good nursing care. For the older patient to feel safe and his needs met, knowledge and understanding from the part of the nurse is very essential (Kihlgren, Nillson & Sorlie, 2005).
As mentioned earlier, nursing uses scientific knowledge, this then calls for deliberate scientific training. Clever nurses will therefore possess the scientific knowledge that enables them to know the exact needs of her patient. This knowledge is very essential when dealing with complex care interventions like the implementation of an intricate chemotherapy treatment protocol which needs scientific knowledge and critical thinking. Such a situation needs nurses who are creative resourceful and imaginative. Found in such a situation, clever nurses will consider how they will enter the patient’s room, when to enter, and know the meaning of the experience of both the patient and his family. In addition, she will know the nature of the approach to use on the patient and the level of interaction she will grant (Cantrell, 2007). Moreover, knowledgeable nurses are seen as competent and know their job. Their professional skills are portrayed when they explain to patients what to expect from surgery, medications administered, and procedures. They are also knowledgeable about diseases such as cancer and are therefore very helpful in explaining things. Knowledgeable nurses also know the exact physical and emotional conditions of their patients and therefore are aware of their exact needs (Radwin et al., 2005). According to emergency nurses, they are required to have a good basic knowledge of various diseases so that they can provide good nursing care to their patients. This is because these nurses have to observe the patient’s symptoms and ascertain whether their condition is improving or deteriorating. They are also expected to react effectively in emergencies. In addition, emergency nurses are required to have the knowledge to prioritize care and decide when to hand it over to the doctor (Kihlgren, Nillson & Sorlie, 2005). Very essentially, technical knowledge is needed in technology as part of caring especially in the intensive care unit (Wilkin & Slevin, 2004).
Equally important is the need to have a knowledgeable nurse to offer support services. Support denotes caring and giving assistance not only to the patient but also to the relatives. It includes; giving hope, involving the relatives in the patient’s care and spiritual care. Support is an active process that requires the nurse to employ professional knowledge and expertise. This is because; nurses are expected to assist patients at the physical and emotional levels (Wilkin & Slevin, 2004). When caring for older people, nurses are required to have advocacy skills. What this means is that it is up to the nurses to judge the older people’s needs for support when they are no longer able to represent themselves (Anderberg et al., 2007).
To sum it up, nurses need to be clever to care because; without knowledge, nursing can not be a profession. People should embrace the fact that nurses foster the healing and well-being of patients. Moreover, they are expected to be there for both the patient and his family. It is through this interaction, personal intuition and openness, that nurses acquire their knowledge of the patient. It is therefore true that nurses can be knowledgeable and caring. Technical knowledge is very important in nursing because it is through it that nurses deliver high-quality nursing care. Equally important is the value of the knowledge of applied sciences which has a significant impact when delivering patient care (Sturgeon, 2008). Furthermore, physical care is basic nursing care. Attending to the needs of the patient is an integral part of their holistic care, nurses should, therefore, be equipped with all the knowledge and skill necessary to deal with all aspects of patient management. Nurses should strike a balance between physical, technical and physiological aspects of caring.
- Anderberg, P. Lepp M., Berglund, A., & Segestenk. (2007). Preserving Dignity in Caring for Older Adults; A concept Analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 56(6), 635-643.
- Cantrell, M. A. (2007). The Art of Pediatric Oncology nursing Practice. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing. 24(3), 132-138.
- Kihlgren, A.L., Nilsson, M., & Sorlie, V. (2005). Caring for older people at an emergency department-Emergency nurses’ reasoning. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 14, 601-608.
- Nelson, S. & Gordon, S. (2006). The Complexities of Care: Nursing Reconsidered. New York: Cornell University Press.
- Radwin, L. E., Farquhar, S. L., Knowles M.N., & Virchick, B.G. (2005). Cancer patients’ description of their nursing care. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 50(2), 162-169.
- Sturgeon, D., (2008). Skills for caring: Valuing knowledge of applied science in nursing. British Journal of Nursing. 17(5), 322-335.
- Wilkin, K. &Slevin, E. (2004). The Meaning of caring to nurses: An investigation into the nature of caring work in an intensive care unit. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 13, 50-59