Self-Care Concept Among Nursing Professionals


The highest responsibility of healthcare professionals is taking care of people and improving their health. However, it is also crucial for medical workers to remember about their own well-being since their health conditions may impact their professional abilities. Thus, it is necessary for all nurses to integrate the premises of Jean Watson’s theory and are about themselves.

A Genetically Predisposed Health Condition

Personally, I do not have any health complaints at the moment. However, being a trained healthcare professional, I realize how important it is for me to know the possible health risks that I might be exposed to due to my family history. On my father’s line, there is some history of hypertension. I do not consider this as a great threat to my health since it was my father’s uncle who had this disease. Still, there is one much more serious illness running in my mother’s family that puts me under threat. My mother’s mother and my mother’s sister both had cancer and died from it when they were in their forties. My mother does not have cancer, but she regularly visits a clinic and has her breasts checked. Because it is in family history and because my close female relatives died from it, I find it necessary to take all possible measures to minimize the risk of developing this disease.

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Statistical Data and a Review of Literature

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women irrespective of their ethnicity and age (“Breast cancer statistics,” 2017). In 2014, 236,968 US women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 41,211 died from it (“Breast cancer statistics,” 2017). Global statistics indicate as many as 1.67 million cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year (Mavaddat et al., 2015).

Euhus, Di Carlo, and Khouri (2015) analyze the benefits and limitations of screening for breast cancer. Scholars note that family history and genetic profile are crucial determinants of screening. Goldhirsch et al. (2013) review the treatment methods of the disease. The authors remark that apart from such traditional methods as surgery and radiation therapy, it is also possible to apply systemic adjuvant therapies for breast cancer patients.

Concepts of Health, Disease, and Self-Care

The concepts of health, disease and self-care are crucial components of nursing practice. Health may be defined as a state of being in a good physical condition and having no psychological problems or disorders. Health is the measurement of the social and functional well-being of any person.

The disease is considered as a state of abnormal health condition that may involve physical, mental, social deficiencies, or a combination of some of them. Also, the concept of the disease may be regarded as a medical state connected with some signs or symptoms. For healthcare professionals, the concept of disease is multidimensional, and they need to analyze patients’ conditions from different angles to identify the core reasons for an illness.

Self-care is one of the basic principles of medicine since it is every person’s primary duty to sustain a sufficient level of physical and mental well-being. Caring about oneself is not a selfish thing: it is the requirement helping to avoid the spread of dangerous illnesses. Particularly, this concept is important for healthcare professionals. They have to take care of patients and, at the same time, minimize the risk of their own health problems.

The Caring Theory that Resonates to Me

The caring theory that best corresponds to the current analysis is Jean Watson’s theory of human caring (Sitzman & Watson, 2014). According to this approach, the prominent principles of caring are associated with such values as friendliness, kindness, equality, and spiritual care (Watson, 2013). Watson’s theory resonates with me because I agree that it is nurses’ first and foremost duty to treat their patients as friends and give them all the necessary support and love. People who are at a hospital already feel discomfort due to some health problems. Thus, they should be treated with care in order to make them feel better spiritually, which will eventually lead to the improvement of their physical condition. Although there are some other caring theories that I find suitable for practicing, such as Dorothea Orem’s self-care theory or Berry Neuman’s system model, I find Jean Watson’s approach most comprehensive. The core points of her Caritas incorporate the main aspects related to altruistic and humanistic values (Sitzman & Watson, 2014). Thus, I believe that they should be followed both when caring both about patients and themselves.

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An Action Plan to Achieve the Desired Outcomes

In order to minimize the risk of developing breast cancer, I have developed an action plan that incorporates the following requirements:

  1. have regular check-ups;
  2. refrain from direct exposure to environmental pollution and radiation;
  3. control my body weight;
  4. limit the consumption of alcohol and tobacco products;
  5. stay physically active.

Conclusion

While it is the duty of nurses to look after patients, they should also pay attention to their own health. Even if one does not experience any health issues, there might be some diseases in family history that put the person at risk of developing an illness. Thus, it is crucial to adhere to the principle of self-care and do everything possible to avoid negative impacts.

References

Breast cancer statistics. (2017). Web.

Euhus, D., Di Carlo, P. A., & Khouri, N. F. (2015). Breast cancer screening. The Surgical Clinics of North America, 95(5), 991-1011.

Goldhirsch, A., Winer, E. P., Coates, A. S., Gelber, R. D., Piccart-Gebhart, M., Thürlimann, B., & Senn, H.-J. (2013). Personalizing the treatment of women with early breast cancer: Highlights of the St Gallen international expert consensus on the primary therapy of early breast cancer 2013. Annals of Oncology, 24(9), 2206-2223.

Mavaddat, N., Pharoah, P. D. P., Michailidou, K., Tyrer, J., Brook, M. N., Bolla, M. K., … Garcia-Closas, M. (2015). Prediction of breast cancer risk based on profiling with common genetic variants. Journal of The National Cancer Institute, 107(5), djv036.

Sitzman, K., & Watson, J. (2014). Caring science, mindful practice: Implementing Watson’s human caring theory. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

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Watson, J. (2013). The theory of human caring: Retrospective and prospective. In Smith, M. C., Turkel, M. C., & Wolf, Z. R. (Eds.), Caring in nursing classics: An essential resource (pp. 237-241). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

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