Nursing is an extremely complex and important profession, demanding a large variety of skills and expertise. Caring for people, providing assistance to those that require it more is an often overlooked part of medical practice. For me, it is a profession that I pursue with both personal dedication and professionalism. Working as a nurse is a great opportunity for me to gain many new experiences, broaden my horizons, and benefit the larger community. When discussing this profession, one can delve into a variety of its aspects, focusing on the common practices and the delivery of care. In my paper, however, I want to center the attention on my learning process and subjective experiences, as well as my possible future prospects. This essay will be focused on discussing my practice as a nurse and some of the aspects of my professional identity. I will define my personal approaches to nursing, and the values I find particularly important. The practices of mentorship will also be discussed, where I will relay my stance on the practice and its impact on my performance. Lastly, I want to identify the possible roads of professional development, as a way to consider my options. The general purpose of this paper is to create a comprehensive reflection on my personal approach to the nursing profession.
Personal Definition of Nursing
As mentioned in the beginning, nursing is a complex profession that can be defined in different ways. Each medical professional has their own view, highlighting some of the aspects of this type of work while disregarding others. Chiefly, each nurse has their own set of priorities, and, therefore, their personal definition of nursing. One of the factors that plays into defining nursing practices for individuals is their professional identity. The term refers to a set of attributes, values, and beliefs that shape one’s professional understanding of self (Slay & Smith, 2010). In many cases, one’s experiences also influence the formation of a professional identity. In regards to myself, my professional identity is formed as a combination of experiences from my home life and studies. I think that trust is a fundamental principle for this profession, and a good nurse should be able to make the patients trust them with their troubles. The establishment of trusting relationships is often connected with better patient outcomes (Rutherford, 2014). Many of the values I hold currently can help one to build trust with others, leading to open, healthy relationships. In my youth, I have been often asked to help around the house and do various chores, as well as to care for the other family members when that was necessary. Such upbringing has given me an opportunity to gain a better understanding of other people and learn the value of helping others. I, predictably, was not always hardworking and diligent when, but the tasks I performed aided me in realizing how my actions can positively affect others. The approach to helping people I held in my daily life has served as the foundation for my current practice. I think that the ability to consider another person’s circumstances and respond with empathy is a crucial part of being a nurse. Allowing yourself to be in another person’s shoes improves patience and helps to find the best possible approaches towards providing patient care. Transparency in practice and communication is another personal quality I highly value. I have always strived to be honest with both myself and others, to do everything I can possibly do to reach an understanding. The ability to relay information clearly is important in both work and day-to-day communication. Oftentimes, medical procedures and various hospital activities can be confusing and worrisome to patients, and I think a good nurse should be able to elicit trust and clear up any possible misunderstandings (Kaplan, 2018). It is also helpful in communicating with other nursing professionals (Kaplan, 2018). Another individual aspect I value both professionally and personally is the ability to remain calm and composed. Unnecessary displays of emotion can be damaging to the well-being of other people and oneself, and an individual should find healthy stress coping strategies to not take out their anger on others. A calm approach to conversing with others and working can help in accessing any situation and feeling more mentally stable. My personal philosophy for nursing is to always prioritize the patient’s feelings over my own. I think that showing consideration for others I an essential step towards providing care.
Mentorship in Nursing
Nursing, in many ways, is a seriously taxing profession. The person working as a nurse needs to be considerate, emotionally available, dedicated, and hard-working. In many cases, attending to patients while displaying all of these qualities can be tiring and difficult, leading to many professionals feeling drained by their jobs. Both physical and emotional exhaustion is common in this field, resulting in nurses not being able to work to their full potential. This is especially true for new nurses, who may not be well-adjusted to professional stress. Mentorship initiatives are effective in counteracting this problem, allowing qualified specialists to help their less experienced colleagues. Nurses with larger work experience get the ability to share their knowledge and their mentees have the opportunity to learn new skills (Ericksen, 2018). The exchange between professionals promotes the development and sustained growth of professionalism in the industry. While nurses fresh out of schools and colleges have all the necessary practices and procedures memorized, they often lack the hands-on knowledge their peers possess (Ericksen, 2018). In my own experience, a mentor has seriously helped me to adjust to the work pace and gain the skill set necessary to prevent professional burnout. My mentor had overseen the progress of my work, encouraging and guiding me every step of the way. One of the abilities I have adopted while working alongside a mentor is emotional management. Having had limited experience previously, I exerted too much of myself into caring for others, feeling drained after each day. Mentorship has helped me to adjust my approach and distance myself from the patients, being able to exercise compassion while knowing when to draw the metaphorical line. My mentor has also immensely helped me in dealing with rude and angry patients, who have previously given me much stress. I have learned to not take their anger personally, extracting the important information from their speech without being affected too harshly. Whether seeking mentorship, my primary goal would be to learn how to properly manage my time in the workplace and achieve results more efficiently. I think that I currently lack some of the professional qualities associated with good performance. Their acquisition would allow me to accomplish my work more effectively and feel less tired after.
Motivation is a big part of any job, contributing to the quality of performance one can give. A lot of factors can influence an individual’s incentive to work, and I am not the exception. Internally, one of the reasons making me work hard is a desire to succeed. I want to be able to be a qualified professional, proud of my skills and accomplishments. Self-improvement has been a source of motivation in various fields for me, and I desire to be recognized for my efforts. Another similar aspect that drives me is professional curiosity. I want to learn new things, improve my skills, and see how far my abilities can get me. The process of learning new things and trying them out in practice is absolutely delightful for me. Not all my motivation comes from the inside, of course. I have to be able to earn money to support myself and my loved ones, to live without having to worry about basic necessities. I also want to be useful to society, to fulfill my role as a citizen. I think that caring for other people is a great opportunity to give back what was provided to me when I grew up. In my career, I want to slowly accumulate experience and raise to higher positions in the workplace. Having the qualifications of a registered nurse will give me the opportunity to deliver better patient outcomes and advance in the medical field (Blegen et al., 2013). I hope that I can eventually gain enough experience to become somebody else’s mentor and teach them about the most important qualities of a nurse. I want to be responsible for benefitting somebody who is in a similar position to mine. After a while, using my RN qualifications, I want to move on from working with patients to working with nurses and overseeing the work of others (The RN to BSN and Career Advancement, n.d.). Working with data or schedules would probably suit my temperament well. The main challenge in this process for me is avoiding professional burnout. While I have managed to successfully adjust to the work of a nurse, I feel like the pressure is still heavy and hard to manage sometimes. Learning to deal with my own well-being will be a major hurdle I have to overcome. I think I would visit a number of professional and personal courses in my free time, with the goal of finding a new way to manage stress.
In conclusion, this paper has allowed me to summarize and discuss the aspects of nursing practice in relation to my personal outlook. I have stated that I value trust, dedication, and care about others as the most important aspects of my practice. Placing the needs of another before oneself gives me the opportunity to consider the needs of patients and give an adequate level of cate to those who need it. The ability to build trust with the patients and the skill to clearly communicate ideas are, in my opinion, the most important skill in nursing. Mentorship programs allow professionals with varying levels of expertise to exchange knowledge and make improvements to the nursing practice. In my own experience, the presence of a mentor allowed me to adopt the skills necessary to work in this field. Both my own desires and the need for sustained living are the main motivators in my work, and being proud of my accomplishments is one of my main goals. In the future, I want to move up the career ladder and share my own expertise with aspiring nurses and contribute to the developments in this profession. Afterward, I want to move on from direct work towards supervision.
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