I understand the personal philosophy of nursing as a set of beliefs and values which are implemented in nursing practice. I consider the nursing process as an assessment of human health and bringing comfort and relief by assisting a patient when they are ill. To identify my philosophy, I asked myself what nursing means to my practice and what I have as the primary guidelines. I have searched through many theories, considerations, and frameworks to establish my perception of nursing. As a result, I chose one of the middle-ranged methods associated with my philosophy of nursing.
Comfort Theory was suggested by Katharine Kolcaba in the 1990s. The theory assumes that one of the fundamental needs of a human being is comfort that must be the top priority while treating a patient to relieve their pain and ensure ease and transcendence. While developing her theory, Kolcaba often resorted to logical reasoning, using induction, deduction, and reduction. Pre-existing frameworks were utilized as her antecedent. The author described three main concepts as ease, relief, and transcendence. The evolution of the Theory of Comfort is based on four major assumptions proposed by Katherine Kolcaba (Smith & Parke, 2015). The first assumption suggested that a human being has global responses to multiple stimuli. The second describes comfort as a preferable outcome relevant to the nursing practice. The third supposition is based on the fact that an active aspiration aims to meet and sustain comfort. The fourth and final assumption is that hospital integrity has a large component that is based on a patient-oriented belief system. She also explained the contexts in which comfort can occur: socio-cultural, physical, environmental, and psychospiritual. Kolcaba explained four definitions (health, nursing, patient (person), and environment) in the following way:
- Health is considered to be the optimal functioning;
- Nursing is a procedure of appraising patient’s needs and implementing proper interventions in accordance with one’s comfort needs;
- Patient(person) – people, communities, families who require health care;
- Environment – is the surroundings of a patient – either family members or institutions (Boudiab & Kolcaba, 2015).
I think these definitions are presented adequately, but I would like to extend them according to my philosophy of nursing. Therefore, by the concept of ‘person,’ I understand individuals or a group who seek medical help to relieve their grievances and pains. Applying my approach to this definition, I mean that all humans resorting to hospitals want to alleviate their discomfort with professional medical assistance. The next concept, ‘health,’ in my opinion, represents the general well-being of a person. Therefore, according to my philosophy, health is the optimal state when people do not feel sick. Under the definition of ‘nursing,’ I perceive rendering a professional medical high-quality service to the individuals following and evaluating their comfort needs (Boudiab & Kolcaba, 2015). To my mind, my philosophy depicts the given notion of ‘nursing.’ Finally, the concept of ‘environment’ is perceived as all the surroundings that people have, including their friends, families and co-workers. I believe that ‘environment’ demonstrates a condition in which they feel the most comfortable.
This theory proved to be efficient to me as I believe satisfying and comforting patient needs is the primary goal of my nursing strategy. I think this framework helps me to make decisions and create a care plan following one’s wishes and needs. By assessing the patient, I may understand their health condition, evaluate the degree of their well-being. Not only can I value one’s physiological state, but I can also observe whether the patient is comfortable with the service. Assessing one’s well-being and needs will help me to identify required interventions and involve other medical professionals who can help to treat a person.
Aspiring to become a nurse is one of the most rewarding and incentive career paths graduates, and students can pursue as being around those in need is the most precious asset one can give. Among the most common nursing beliefs, researchers identify dozens, but to my mind, and according to my philosophy, I single out two of them. Firstly, empathy and caring are the guidelines each nurse should stick to. Understanding is an ability to perceive, be aware of, and be compassionate of the patient and his family’s experiences, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings (Smith & Parke, 2015). Focusing on a patient is a fundamental method of managing care. Caring implies knowing and trusting the person, demonstrating an interest in their well-being, fairness, courage, and humanity. The caring nurse understands how to approach a patient to know his needs, and projects the confidence, tolerance, and patience to assist them in maintaining hope or the feeling of continued possibility for personality growth and change. Caring comprises the design and provision of culturally delicate and appropriate care. As a result, these primary values are the foundation of my philosophy of nursing as before assisting a patient, a nurse must ensure she perceives their problems, views, and perspectives to provide further comfort.
The other belief I abide by is communication as the only time when the treatment is successful is when there is a connection between the stakeholders. The interface represents the exchange of thoughts or information, which is vital for the nursing practice. A nurse utilizes such communication skills as speech, signals, writing, or specific behavioral patterns during the patient evaluation, as well as the designing, implementing, and assessment of nursing care (Bach & Grant, 2015). A nurse communicates with patients, families, groups of individuals, and workers of the health care team. They are competent in oral and written forms of communication, as well as in techniques of therapeutic communication. As a result, a nurse who connects with other medical teams and a patient, may realize their needs in comforts and make everything possible to satisfy them and comfort their needs.
Communication is a fundamental value of my nursing philosophy, and I believe I am an open and active communicator. First of all, I am a good listener, which means that before assisting the patient, I try to identify his needs, complaints, and values to commence the treatment process. I need to understand a patient under his perceptions and beliefs to decide on the entire approach to his healing process (Bach & Grant, 2015). In addition to this, cultural awareness is another style that I follow as it assumes that knowing the peculiarities of a patient’s birthplace can reciprocally perceive each other. Moreover, I strive to lead an ongoing communication with both patients and other medical professionals. I suppose it is essential to have verbal and non-verbal communication with them to ensure that a patient’s treatment is under control.
However, any type of communication has strengths and weaknesses. First of all, my style of communication is beneficial in that I can listen to the patients or interdisciplinary team and perceive their requirements. Moreover, I always ask and reply so that the conversation is continuous, which allows me to clarify every single point and make definite conclusions (Arnold & Boggs, 2019). To make a conclusion concerning patients’ health, I resort to critical and logical thinking. Furthermore, I think the greatest strength of my communicative style is friendliness combined with respect and empathy, which are the basis of my philosophy. As a result, no positive outcomes are possible without implementing the skills and techniques that establish reciprocal trust and understanding.
On the other hand, there are some weaknesses that I try to eliminate, but still, they occur sometimes. The first flaw concerns understanding non-verbal signs. Despite being a good listener, sometimes there is a complexity of keeping up with the gestures, facial expressions, and body movements (Bach & Grant, 2015). As a result, one must be good at flowing speech and body language. The next weakness relates to communicating with different audiences. Even though I try to adapt to any nationality, gender, or age, there is hesitation in endeavoring to get used to them.
Having discussed my communicative style and its flaws and strengths, I believe my way of transferring information has a significant impact on my working with interdisciplinary teams. Primarily, being open-minded allows me to interact with other professionals better by suggesting or criticizing ideas, therefore, establishing a reciprocal connection (Arnold & Boggs, 2019). Moreover, having developed listening skills, I am open to being delegated tasks and commands. However, I think my slight misunderstanding of the non-verbal language influences our collective performance as I may fail to do some essential tasks. Therefore, I need to improve my perception of body language and gestures to ensure high-quality performance.
Arnold, E., & Boggs, K. (2019). Interpersonal relationships e-book: professional communication skills for nurses. Elsevier.
Bach, S., & Grant, A. (2015). Communication and interpersonal skills in nursing. SAGE.
Boudiab, L. & Kolcaba, K. (2015). Comfort theory. Advances in Nursing Science, 38(4), 270-278.
Smith, M., & Parke, M. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice. F. A. Davis Company.