What Nursing Means To Me
One of my mentors with regards to nursing who regarded nursing as unique profession aimed at helping individuals—well or unwell—undertake in activities of daily living contributing to health or its recovery (or peaceful death) that the individual will have would have accomplished on their own if they had the necessary strength, knowledge, skills and will. This definition alludes to nurses’ need for knowledge, skills and attitude to serve individuals in periods of incapacitation. Notwithstanding the Virginia Henderson definition of nursing, nursing has broadened its mandate and requires its action to be based on evidence. Also, the fact that nursing care is delivered collectively in a health system necessitates that nurses expand their leadership and managerial skills to work effectively within the health system. This review is thus an account of the skills and knowledge in key nursing areas of care delivery, management and leadership, and implementation of evidence-based care that I have developed in my bid to become a competent registered adult nurse. What nursing means to me?
Although it took time to figure out the significance, my nursing practice is immensely grounded in nursing theory. One of the fundamental pieces of information I have learnt is the Meta paradigms of the nursing discipline. These consist of a person, environment, nursing and health which shape nursing practice, education and research. Recognition of this knowledge has enabled me factor in the four components in the provision of holistic care—a core adult nursing competence as per the Nursing and Midwifery Council. For instance, apart from administering prescribed medication focusing on the person, I have to ensure the environment of the patient also promotes recovery by ensuring comfort and safety. Further, awareness of health Meta paradigm has enabled me to recognize other dimensions of health beyond physical infirmities such as mental and social wellbeing thereby achieving competence in the provision of holistic care that considers needs of people with differing needs such as disability, learning disabilities and cognitive impairment. Indeed, awareness of the Meta paradigms thus makes a huge difference in day to day adult nursing practice.
The nursing theories learnt in the curriculum have also fashioned my competence in leading and managing nursing care. I have learnt of Dorothea Orem Self-care deficit theory which asserts the need for nurses to identify limitations in the individuals’ initiation and execution of activities that promote health and wellbeing. It further explicates on the role of nursing systems in responding to such deficits. The nature of nurses’ response range from wholly compensatory such as in ICU, partial compensatory in medical illness and supportive through education. Thus as a nurse in various settings, I use this knowledge to identify requisite compensation for different individuals seeking healthcare. In meeting mental health competencies; I have embraced the role of a nursing educator and researched a lot on helping individuals with drug abuse problems. This I achieve by creating teaching plans that meet population and individual specific needs. This has enabled me to gain the competence of acting as a change agent as outlined by NMC.
Another core competency outlined by the Nursing and Midwifery Council developed with regard to managing care is the ability of nurses to recognize and respond to needs of individuals seeking care in their jurisdiction. From my nursing education, I have gained obligatory skills and knowledge to conduct a needs assessment for clients. Foremost, I have established a repertoire of obtaining comprehensive health history incorporating personal history, past medical history, the social and cultural background to identify diverse needs. Interaction with the nursing curriculum and clinical preceptorship experience in adult nursing has further fortified me with physical examination skills such as inspection, percussion, auscultation and palpation of various system. This has come in handy enabling me to recognize needs associated with physical problems such as obesity, oedema and impending decubitus ulcers in managing of care in the nursing environment.
Beyond history taking and physical assessment, I have learnt assessment skills that enable the generation of data to inform the formulation of nursing care plans. One such method learnt is Gordon’s Functional Health Patterns. Envisioned by Marjory Gordon, the method enables nurses to obtain crucial data to incorporate into the nursing process. Using this method in clinical practice I am able to attend to needs that relate to health management, activity, elimination and excretion, sleep, cognitive, role relationship and coping with stressors. Recognition of these needs is necessary for formulating nursing diagnoses forming the basis of practice and response to the needs of individuals in adult nursing.
Per the guidelines, individuals requiring registration with the regulator need to develop knowledge and skills to meet the health needs of individuals in a health system. Also, acknowledges the core factors required of a nurse in responding to leading and managing care to include knowledge, attitudes and skills. As a result of embark on the nursing curriculum, I have acquired base knowledge of core subjects such as anatomy, physiology, nutrition, medical and surgical nursing that provide me with the base knowledge of disease and the corresponding diagnosis and management. Nonetheless, the single most vital aspect learnt in provision of care is the nursing care plan. It is a structured approach to implementing the nursing care plan with phases to include assessment, planning, diagnosis of needs with a clear roadmap to respond to the need in the implementation phase (Patiraki et al., 2017). Putting into action acquired knowledge, I am able to plan for care prioritizing needs grounded on Maslow Hierarchy of needs, formulate goals and corresponding outcomes. This approach qualifies me to practice standardized care and uphold patient safety.
Moreover, I have amassed skills to augment my nursing knowledge in the provision of care. This has been accomplished through clinical preceptorship. Clinical preceptorship programs are acknowledged to successfully assist in the development of clinical competencies among nursing students. Through hours of clinical practice, I have developed an array of clinical skill such as patient assessment, tube feeding, administering oxygen, wound irrigation and dressing, structuring and delivering nursing education to meet different patient needs. As a competence, with the experience I’m able to execute the procedures whilst upholding beneficence, preventing physical harm or associated risks such as infection which is a core mandate for adult nurses. Further, clinical preceptorship experiences have fortified me with necessary managerial skills such as planning, organizing and evaluating care within nursing practice. This is in line with core adult nursing competencies.
Although I have taken time to consider core adult nursing skills acquired beforehand actual managerial and leadership competencies, they constitute essential technocrat skills and knowhow vital for nurses even in managerial roles. Essential knowledge of patient assessment will help me as a leader to advocate for stringent assessment and monitoring of patients ensuring safety and superior outcome for patients. Also, knowledge of nursing health assessment outlined is of help in envisioning core nursing activities to be accomplished within my unit. Moreover, knowledge of the nursing process and care plan origination is essential in setting standards. In my unit of operation as an adult nurse and leader, I would ensure all patients have updated care plans informed by evidence-based practices to achieve prioritized and coordinated care.
In pursuit of core competency requirements in adult nursing. I have developed various leadership skills through thoughtful transfer acquired knowledge. Nurses as leaders are expected to portray competencies such as the ability to instigate change, systemically evaluate the quality of care, plan for resources including human resources and time and ability to work independently as well as in a team. Further, as leaders and managers, nurses need to be engaged in decision making at various levels, prioritizing care needs and practice safety by being aware of hazards and limitations. Herein I reflect further as to what extent I have developed my nursing leadership and managerial skills.
Foremost, as a nurse manager and leader, self-awareness is a prerequisite. Nurses as leaders need to be aware of personal values, ethical principles and assumptions that may have an effect on health. In a glance, my core values with respect to nursing take into account integrity, competence, client satisfaction, teamwork and professionalism. As well, I highly regard patient autonomy and confidentiality in all instances and implore those within my jurisdiction to observe the same. As a leader, I embrace a charismatic leadership style. This style is based on the creating influence within a team by invoking and portraying desirable traits within a group. In light of this, I endeavor to motivate a team working with me by displaying a supreme form of work ethic. On the flip side, I conflict with a dictatorial leadership which is an individualistic approach intolerant to input from others within a group. I feel that this form of leadership is not in line with other roles of nurses such as clinical preceptor since it scares off students and other members in a team. With regard to philosophical standing, I hold a deontological perspective which holds that judgment of an outcome should be based on the methods used to arrive at the action. This is line with my professional ethic and I believe that acting on knowledge and expertise yield the best outcome for clients. Therefore, I stand for best practices grounded in science to achieve the best outcomes.
Additionally, it is core for adult nurses as well as nursing leaders to be aware of personal assumptions that may influence health care delivery. In line with this, nurses are further expected to provide care that takes is culturally diverse. Initially, I might have had assumptions that the role of nursing care is solely to respond to needs of the client but engagement with works of nursing theorists such as Madeleine Leininger on transcultural nursing has inculcated in me the spirit of diversity in care provision. Transcultural nursing is the provision of nursing service keeping in mind the cultural practices, beliefs, values, language and spiritual practices. In consideration of this, I have gained repertoire in cultural assessment which involves the consideration of patients’ cultural beliefs, spiritual and religious observance, values and practices with regard to health. This enables transformed me into a leader in support of culturally competent care. Using these skills in clinical practice I advocate for cultural assessment for patients and concomitant in cultural considerations in the nursing process. As a manager, I highly regard staffs’ cultural diversity and would endeavor to accommodate them. I believe such practices motivate staff and such can bear positive outlook for my organization.
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