Philosophy is a Greek term for “love or pursuit of wisdom”. It has been defined by various personalities in various ways. Florida State University’s School of Philosophy defines philosophy as an activity people undertake when they seek to understand fundamental truths about themselves, the world in which they live, and their relationships to the world and to each other (Papineau, 2009). My personal philosophy of nursing is to reflect my attitude and is shaped by the knowledge and beliefs I hold. It revolves around being a competent nurse to address clients’ needs and prepare them to take care of themselves as much as possible.
Nursing has two facets: one of an art and other of a science. Nursing, for me, is both, an art of caring and a science. Compassionate caring helps me to connect with my clients and establish a therapeutic relationship. The care that is provided incorporates scientific reasoning based on observation, evidence, and practice. While rendering this science-based care, beliefs and ethical aspects are also considered. An individuals’ health and outcome are not only affected by the kind and severity of illness, but also by their socio-cultural, economic and environmental factors and individual health cannot be maintained unless one takes responsibility of caring for oneself. Hence my personal philosophy of nursing is built upon four metaparadigms of nursing: person, environment, health, and nursing. In nursing metaparadigm, person refers to the recipient of care and encompasses person’s spirituality, culture, family, and friends or even their socioeconomic status. The metaparadigm environment refers to the interactions patients have with visitors as well as their surroundings. The metaparadigm of health refers to the quality and wellness of the patient. It also includes the access the patient has to health care. The fourth metaparadigm, nursing is an important component and refers to the nurse, his or her attributes and how he or she will apply their knowledge and skills when caring for patients (Branch, Deak, Hiner, & Holzwart, 2016).
Ethical values that I have learned in nursing school and through years of practice governs by personal conduct of patients care and foster nursing practice. Code of Ethics for nurses is developed and updated as a guide for core values and action based on changing complexities of needs and to maintain a standard of care for nurses. Being in one of the most trusted profession, my focus is always on being authentic, respectful to patients’ autonomy in decision making, protective for their dignity, committed and professionally competent. It not only helps me in providing safe, quality and equable care to my patients regardless of their personality and background (age, socio-economy, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation, immigration status etc.), but also confront ethical-legal challenges we face in everyday practice (Fowler, & American Nurses Association, 2015).
Various nursing theories have been formulated at different times in the history. All these theories strive to evaluate client needs, provide a base for nursing practice and attain professional goals. Of all these theories, Jean Watson’s theory human caring and Dorothy Orem’s theory of self-care deficit are the two theories I consider using while caring for my patients. Watsons’ theory considers an individual as a holistic being. It helps me provide promotive, preventive and curative care in their physical, mental, socio-cultural and environments context. This contextual care treats an individual as a unique being and makes nursing practice more personalized so that none of my clients are left with unmet needs. Another important theory I incorporate in caring my clients is Orem’s self-care deficit theory. It has three parts: theory of self-care- helps client to be resilient and take responsibility for their care and their family members who need care; theory of self-care deficit- helps to find when clients are incapable taking care of themselves and nursing is needed and theory of nursing system- helps to identify ways nursing care can be rendered to meet the deficit. Hence, using these two theories helps to facilitate holistic care as per patients need and educate them to take charge of their health.
Branch, C., Deak, H., Hiner, C., & Holzwart, T. (2016). Four Nursing Metaparadigms. IU South Bend Undergraduate Research Journal, 16, 123-132.
Fowler, M., & American Nurses Association. (2015). Guide to the code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements: Development, interpretation, and application (Second ed., ANA pub; no. SAN 851-3481 7.25K 03/2015).
Papineau, D. (2009). Philosophy (Rev. ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.