Each person has his or her own vision of things and events taking place in the world, which may coincide with the opinion of others or differ significantly. The personal philosophy of nursing is also different for each person; however, it includes a metaparadigm consisting of four fundamental concepts of nursing. At the same time, this personal philosophy, beliefs, and values can influence the interpretation of this metaparadigm and change with time and experience. Consequently, the personal philosophy of nursing is based on many factors, and also affects many aspects of the work of a nurse, since her method and quality of patient care depend on it.
Personal philosophy of nursing is a concept that describes a person’s attitude to patient care, or nursing, and can consist of a variety of ideas depending on the person. However, it can be noted that it is based on the metaparadigm of nursing, even if a person does not know and is not aware of them. This paradigm is the basis for the quality work of medical staff, and each person by discussing the duties, personal qualities, or goals of a nurse involves them in their philosophy in a different way (Martinez et al., 2019). Therefore, the metaparadigm brings together four concepts that are important for understanding the work of a nurse and implementing professional care, namely person, health, nursing, and the environment (Martinez et al., 2019). However, even these concepts have many interpretations that demonstrate the diversity of the personal philosophy of nursing.
One can note that the concepts of the metaparadigm have the sole purpose of designating the essential aspects of patient care, but at the same time, different authors interpret them in their own way. A person as an element of the paradigm and the central element of care means that the nurse sees each patient first as an individual with his or her needs that must be satisfied. At the same time, Watsons emphasizes the importance of understanding human needs and satisfying them to eliminate any discomfort, while Orem talks about education that will provide patients with opportunities for self-care (Branch et al., 2016). In other words, for one scientist, the provision of medication will be the best solution, since it is more comfortable for the patient. Another nurse thinks that physical exercises are more appropriate for the patient as they contribute to the independence of the person from pharmacology. The environment also has the same peculiarity, and its essence is to create the conditions most conducive to healing. However, an understanding of these conditions may also differ and mean the room’s temperature and sterility, a cozy and pleasant atmosphere, or self-care opportunities (Branch et al., 2016). All these differences exist due to the values of scientists who describe the concepts and their personal philosophy.
It is also worth considering the concepts of nursing and health to understand the content of the paradigm fully. The concept of health is usually reflected in an illness-wellness continuum, and the nurse’s duty is to help advance the patient’s condition on the continuum in the direction of wellness. However, the achievement of this state can include compliance with nursing practices and hygiene, education of the patient, or maintenance of physical and mental health, proper assessment, and prevention of diseases (Branch et al., 2016). Nursing also has a variety of interpretations as one person can emphasize the importance of critical thinking and skills that are necessary to be a nurse, and the other notes that communication and compassionate abilities are essential for patient care. In these interpretations, one can observe the experience of the scientists who provided them and the values that he formed. Martinez et al. (2019) also believe that many of the features of the perception of these metaparadigms can be explained in terms of philosophical concepts, and compare them through a prism Descartes and Ricoeur’s ideas in their work. However, in general, it can be noted that regardless of the prism through which the person’s view of the most important components of nursing is considered, they are all a manifestation of personal philosophy.
In addition, the views on these concepts, as well as the personal philosophy of the nursing staff, can change over time and under the influence of various circumstances. A graduate of a school who only dreams of becoming a medical college imagines the goals and tasks of a nurse quite blurry and possibly more idealized. Students understand the complexity of the profession and responsibilities more accurately. Further, with the acquisition of experience, the worldview may also change. McCutcheon (2017) notes his personal philosophy has transformed from the period of work as unlicensed assistive personnel and after the start of practice as a registered nurse. According to the author, these changes in consciousness occurred due to the acquisition of new knowledge and skills and notes that his unique understanding of nursing also significantly affects his practice (McCutcheon, 2017). Therefore, professional and personal development is one of the critical factors influencing personal philosophy.
Moreover, nurses, depending on the personal philosophy, can focus on specific aspects, or the concepts discussed above, as well as change their preferences. For example, a nurse tries to establish a trusting and friendly relationship with a patient to provide him or her with the best care. However, the patient dies, and this relationship brings the nurse more painful and harmful experience because of the patient’s death. Therefore, in the future, this nurse might pay more attention to procedures and hygiene, but less to communication. Another example would be the impact of the environment, which nurses begin to value more after its changes. The environment includes both the conditions in which the patient is located, for example, the noise level in the room or the presence of hot water, as well as the communication and support of staff by each other (Branch et al., 2016). For this reason, the change of friendly and cooperative working conditions to lack of help and understanding of colleagues can change a nurse’s mind about the importance of the environment. Thus, the personal philosophy of nursing can change with the acquired positive and negative experience, new knowledge and skills, as well as the development of personal beliefs.
In conclusion, the personal philosophy of nursing is a set of beliefs and ideas that demonstrate a person’s attitude and fundamental vision about the profession of a nurse. This philosophy is especially important for practicing nurses, since the methods of patient care depend on it. However, the philosophy changes with the acquired experience and knowledge of a person, and its transformation demonstrates the professional and personal development of a nurse.
Branch, C., Deak, H., Hiner. C., & Holzwart, T. (2016). Four nursing metaparadigms. Undergraduate Research Journal, 16, 123-132.
Martinez, R. P., Mansaguiton, L. P., Mercado, M. A., & Panes, I. I. (2019). Philosophies of the mind and body: Descartes, Ricouer and the metaparadigm of nursing. University of the Visayas – Journal of Research, 11(1), 31-38.
Mccutcheon, K. A., & Stalter, A. M. (2017). Discovering my nursing philosophy. Nursing, 47(5), 68–69.