It is vital in all nursing situations to have a personal style of helping that is effective and leads to good patient care. When a patient receives first-rate care, they are likely to better adjust to their illness than if poor care was given. It is imperative that a variety of helping styles be available in a nursing environment because not all patients respond the same to all helping techniques. Fortunately, every nurse has a different personal style of helping, and as such, many different types of nursing theories have developed to compliment their individual style.
If nurses can understand and identify with a theory, they can then better understand their personal style of nursing, and in turn, better apply this individual style when helping a patient. Therefore, this understanding translates to better patient care, better patient compliance, and higher spirits throughout the entire nursing environment. Before nurses can apply theory to practice, they must first explore their own set of values and beliefs which strongly influence their particular style of helping.
Without this personal understanding of themselves, the nurse would have a hard time deciding which theory best describes her and secondly, a difficult time implementing this theory. A persons individual set of beliefs and values have a great effect on all of their actions and their decision making process in general. I have found that in exploring my own values and beliefs, that I am able to recognize many that are central to my life and nursing style.
First of all, and perhaps most importantly, I believe respect is an essential aspect of any relationship. When respect is not a cornerstone of a relationship, one will not tolerate or appreciate the others differences in values. Without a mutual respect between individuals, a relationship between them would be impossible. Along with respect comes honesty and trust. Honesty and trust help to build respect for another human being. If either of these two values were absent from a relationship, then it follows that respect would no longer be present either.
This is solely because if you cannot trust someone, they are not being honest and therefore the respect that could grow between the individuals is blocked by the honesty and distrust between the two. However, even with distrust and no respect in a relationship compassion should still be felt toward that individual. Compassion, unlike respect is unconditional in the fact that despite how you feel about the individual, you still feel an overall concern and kindness towards them as another living human being.
Equality is a value that is essential to nursing because it ensures all patients receive care that is essentially fair and evenly distributed. This provides an environment where no individual feels slighted or preferred compared to others. As a nurse, even if a patient has treated you with disrespect, and possibly given you justification for unequal treatment, it is still vital that you, as the nurse, provide fair unwavering care to everyone. Commitment is yet another vital value essential to building and maintaining working relationships.
Without commitment, no one would feel compelled to follow pursuits which although may be difficult are the just and right things to do. For example, many times in life it is much easier to ignore and disregard a situation in which the proper thing to do is act, but commitment to my values and beliefs compels me to make the needed effort and act on the situation. In this very way, nurses are committed to the care of their patients as many times it is easier to remain emotionally uninvolved, for example, but the nurse’s dedication to their patient’s well-being requires this emotional bond.
When exploring an individual’s values and beliefs, it is useful to reflect on past experiences that challenged them. One such instance is from a clinical experience I had at Marian Villa. I was caring for an elderly man with end stage Alzheimer’s disease, as well as prostate cancer. This man had many other health issues, as well as a language barrier. I worked with him for the duration of the eight week placement, and found myself constantly coming into conflict with my values and beliefs with the staff when it came to this gentleman. Mr. S. was a very kind and gentle man, with a warm laugh and a warm heart.
He was an introverted individual who, besides going to the dining room for meals, spent most of the day in his room. I was responsible for doing all of his morning care as well as feeding him and ensuring he didn’t go through his day lonely. When I first arrived on the floor, I was told that I would need to feed him, as he wouldn’t eat if I was to leave him. After the first day on the unit, I decided to see what he could do for himself without me intervening. It amazed me what a little space can do for a person. This man had no feeding deficit, as well, he could dress and toilet himself independently.
When I spoke to the health care worker who was assigned to him that day, I was astonished to learn that Mr. S. was not able to feed himself independently normally because the staff found him to be a slow eater and the kitchen staff wanted meals to be done by a certain time so they could prepare for the next meal. A few weeks later, I ran into another problem with staff related to Mr. S. After arriving on the floor, I went to his room to see if he was awake and ready for breakfast. When I entered the room, I found him still lying in bed. I inquired as to why this was, as breakfast was to be served in ten minutes.
He confided in me that he was having a lot of pain in the heel of his foot. As a care giver, I offered to look at his foot which appeared to be slightly swollen. I attempted to help him out of bed to get dressed, but he could not weight bear on his foot. This man usually used a walker to move around, so I offered a wheelchair to him to go to breakfast. He responded that he thought a day of rest would clear things up, and I agreed to let him rest and brought breakfast to his room. After this incident I spoke with the head nurse on the floor and discussed Mr. S’s condition. The nurse and I agreed to Mr.
S. resting for the day. The health care worker though, insisted that Mr. S. get out of bed and dressed for the day. As an advocate for this man, I insisted that she let him rest as his foot was quite sore. The worker conveyed to me that all residents had to be up and dressed every day. At this point my values were being challenged. I recalled a speaker that had come to speak to the clinical group when we first arrived at Marian Villa. He was very clear to say that ‘this place is their home’. If this is so, why do they have to wake up at 0730 when they would rather sleep until 0830?
Why is it that they only have half and hour to start and finish meals? Why can they only shower once a week? I stood my ground with the worker, and explained bluntly that he was not getting up. I was proud of myself for standing up for my beliefs, and I respected the health care worker for standing up for her beliefs as well. Nursing theories have a lot to do with the way a nurse develops his/her own style of helping. Once a nurse has explored their own values and beliefs, they may then look into theories that correspond to their value and belief system. Theories are a good way of supporting what one finds to be true.
For instance, Imogene M. King believes that “Goals, needs, and values of nurse and client influence the interaction process” (George, 1995). I, as a nurse, also believe this to be true, but to have a theory to back up my perception is superior to having this belief alone. As different nurses have different beliefs, there are many theorists to support those beliefs. For me, my values and beliefs are complimentary to the theories of Jean Watson, a needs/problem-oriented theorist, as well as Imogene M. King, an interaction-oriented theorist. King has the same view of patent nurse interaction as I have. Ie.
King believes that individuals have a right to participate in the decision making process that would influence their own life and health (George). As well, King believes that individuals have the right to accept or refuse any type of health care. These views of King fit well with my views of the nurse-client relationship. Jean Watson has the same view of nursing as I do as well. For instance, Watson believes that caring promotes health and growth (be it individual or family) (Talento, 1995). Also, Watson believes that “caring can be effectively demonstrated and practiced only interpersonally (Talento).
It is vital in all nursing situations to have a personal style of helping that is effective and leads to good patient care. When a patient receives first-rate care, they are likely to better adjust to their illness than if poor care was given. It is imperative that a variety of helping styles be available in a nursing environment, such as compassion, respect and trust. Every nurse has a different personal style of helping, and as such, many different types of nursing theories have developed to compliment their individual style, such as Jean Watson and Imogene M.
King for instance. Once nurses understand and identify with a theory, they can then better understand their personal style of nursing, and in turn, are able to apply this individual style when helping a patient. Bibliography : References George, J. B. (1995) Imogene M. King. George, J. B (ed. ) Nursing theories: The base for professional nursing practice 4th ed. , 209-228, Norwalk, Connecticut: Appleton & Lange. Talento, B. (1995) Jean Watson. George, J. B (ed. ) Nursing theories: The base for pro