The kind of knowledge developed; how to organize, test, and apply in an area of specialization like nursing is determined by the general conception of the field. The knowledge that serves as the basic guidance has patterns, forms, and professional structures which act as the benchmark expectation in achieving success in service delivery. Therefore understanding these basic patterns is essential for learning and teaching nursing since they involve critical analysis of questions about what is meant by knowing and what kinds of knowledge in nursing are regarded to be of high value in terms of discipline. Nursing practice involves use of different types of knowledge. The course has provided me valuable insights into the nature and development of nursing knowledge. In an epistemological study of nursing knowledge, Carper identifies four fundamental patterns of knowing from the analysis of the conceptual and the syntactical of nursing knowledge (Jacobs, 1998). The patterns includes: The empirics which is the science of nursing, it is the universally accepted professional scientific knowledge. It involves expression of facts, organized procedures, conceptual models, and theories.
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Esthetic pattern of knowledge is defined as the art of nursing and it is mainly based on direct feeling of personal experience. However, the experience is not entirely subjective as the acquired knowledge can described in both theory and experience. The concept of personal knowledge in nursing is an important pattern because it provides opportunity for improved service delivery. On the other hand, ethics knowledge is the concept of moral knowledge in nursing practice. Ethical pattern is believed to go beyond the knowledge of ethical codes. Both personal and aesthetic patterns are by nurses to develop knowledge in the humanistic nursing model. used in the In this paper, I intend to explain and explore personal knowing as an example of nursing knowledge and its contribution to nursing practice, especially in older adult care.
The topic of personal knowing in gerontological nursing is particularly relevant to me as a person and my work profession in geriatrics. In the future, I plan to continue working with the geriatric population as a nurse educator. Understanding of these patterns of knowing has the potential of expanding my basic knowledge and therefore positively influences my future nursing practice. In gerontological nursing, client-nurse relationship is particularly important in helping patients cope or overcome their problems. Personal knowing helps create an effective relationship which necessary for providing quality health care services. Working in an environment where I will be free to use my scientific, ethical, and personal knowledge would therefore help me understand needs of the clients and employ the best responses.
In recent years nurses have employed a wide range of theoretical and practical knowledge in delivering healthcare services due to increased need for new strategies in solving modern health issues. Nursing knowledge therefore is a means for achieving appropriate care for patients. With the increasing challenges and the need to resolve them, there is the need for nurses to explore their professional beliefs to discard outdated concepts and consequently develop new and adequate knowledge to competently care for their patients. The knowledge of new strategies for patient’s care will thus enable the nurse to justify their actions or stop poor practices. Nursing knowledge can be obtained from scientific evidence through research and evaluation; it can also be drawn from experience after a period of working. Knowledge can also be personally derived from understanding of the nature of challenge. Scientific knowledge in nursing can be acquired through research enquiry. Although the generation of scientific knowledge from research is widely accepted and used due to its practical evidence, nurses also use experiences gained through personal learning.
In contrast, many writers have suggested frameworks which describe knowledge as being generated through past experience and personal understanding. Personal knowledge promotes wholeness and integrity and creates therapeutic use of self where nurses use much of their ‘own-self’ in interacting with patients and use the relationship to facilitate recovery. Self awareness by nurses can be increased through self reflection, this helps in discovering personal abilities which can be used to design new strategies in providing health care services. Personal knowledge is the most controversial pattern of knowing in nursing practice since it is difficult to master and teach. However, personal knowledge is the most essential and effective in understanding the meaning of individual well-being in terms of health.
Since nursing mainly involves developing relationships through interactions and transactions between the nurse and patients, it is evident that the quality of nurse-patient interaction has a bearing on the patient coping or overcoming the illness referred to as the ‘therapeutic use of self’ by the nurse. It is therefore important how nurses view themselves and their patients which can assist nurses to effectively integrate both formal scientific and informal therapies to patient treatment. Personal knowledge in nursing is the individual knowledge which is acquired through personal involvement in situations and events with patients. It is also associated with knowing, encountering and concrete self actualization in working place.
As a matter of fact, personal knowledge can be acquired through experience, trial of different approaches with unknown outcomes, and progressive practical learning through keen observation. Like scientific knowledge, personal knowledge can also be practically acquired and the gained knowledge forms part of nurse services to patients. The knowledge is usually without formal documentation or scientific research analysis but is based on individual’s own understanding of the health issue and their most ideal approach for solving the problem. The importance of personal knowledge is that the knowledge is gained voluntarily without major efforts in referring to documented concepts and procedures which may be difficult to understand. Nurses therefore can use their own logical judgments to effectively handle varied client health problems. Personal knowing is also important since it allows nurses to be more innovative and confident in their work. This is important in creating positive patient-nurse relationship which can make the patients to trust in treatments given by the nurse.
At the same time, “personal knowing” creates flexibility in handling patient’s problems, new ways which are invented are usually more efficient and less time consuming compared with the traditional scientific knowledge. Therefore they help nurses save time and attend to the needs of more patients within short time. Personal knowledge in nursing can therefore help in addressing in unsafe nursing practices which have been blamed on inadequate staffing and outdated policies and procedures. Some personal knowing techniques like story telling to patients have since been included in training of nurses. The strategy has widely been accepted in geriatrics due to its positive impacts on patient’s recovery. In counseling institutions, other than legal procures outlined in the code of ethics, individual knowledge based on past experience is widely used by counselors to diagnose clients’ cases.
The concept of “personal knowing” creates a favorable working environment for nurses and thus enables them to develop a positive attitude towards their job. Although they observe their work ethics, nurses are offered a free environment where they can integrate practical training, scientific theory, and knowledge gained through their interaction with clients. Such favorable work environment promotes effective healthcare delivery by allowing easy flow of information between doctors and nurses. In addition, since healthcare sector is highly dynamic field, new challenges which require new strategies are frequently met. Some of these challenges cannot be handled by scientific knowledge alone. As a result, personal knowledge can be used to explore and design new solutions. In Gerontological and counseling centers where patient’s care does not entirely involve scientific diagnosis, individual knowledge of the problem is employed to determine the nature of the problem and appropriate action initiated.
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Certainly, from practical experience, it is clear that culture, accepted practice, and personal beliefs in nursing practice plays a profound role in developing new ideas and how they are disseminated by nurses. When nurses design new ideas, their decision to use them must be supported with rational evidence. Appropriate authorities in the institution should also be contacted before new ideas are employed nurses. This is to protect nurses and to keep with working ethics. Similarly, personal knowledge must demonstrate critical thinking in collecting and interpreting information, and use reasonable judgment when applying techniques developed in patient’s care. In cases where patients are not sure with the nature of care being provided, nurses are expected to explain their services before initiating procedures.
On the other hand, personal knowing is not universally accepted and various health institutions design their own strict protocols which guide their operations and service delivery. This is to protect the welfare of both their clients and staff. Nurses are state registered health workers who are bound by laws and code of ethics set by government. Like the name suggest, personal knowing is an informal personal way of understanding situations and are thus may be deemed illegal. In addition, they may be prone to mistake which may cause serious heath problem to patients while cause legal penalties to the nurse. Furthermore, legal restrictions limit efforts by nurses to use personal knowledge making it less practiced in many heath institutions. As a result strategies developed from personal knowing remains minimally encouraged in the health sector. Since they are informal in nature, nurses may acquire effective knowledge on a particular health concern and fail to master the procedure for future use. Personal knowing may therefore cause inconsistent therapy procedures which can be questioned by patients or lead to lose of trust in the nurse. Consequently, this can cause poor patient-nurse relationship which both affects healthcare delivery, patient recovery, and to an extent institution’s reputation. Conducting a risk analysis and quality assurance on a particular personal knowledge employed in offering health service is difficult as well since the measure of their success can only be estimated by an individual. Documentation is another challenge in defining accepted personal knowledge in nursing. Since they are mostly verbally communicated, future reference to them is difficult thus can create inconsistency in handling patient’s issues. As a result, they can cause of personal ideas
However, with increasing new challenges in heath care and dynamic care delivery, more efforts should be concentrated on developing appropriate means for evaluating new strategies developed from personal knowing. Nurses must therefore have the opportunity to legally practice their new acquired skills a safe and supportive environment. This will improve the quality of services offered and facilitate patient’s recovery. The roles of nurses today goes beyond proving medication to patients, developing a positive relationship with clients and following up on their recovery as well as management of patient’s information must be done by nurses today. Establishment of an effective client-nurse relationship based on trust is one of the major achievements in the integration of personal and scientific knowledge.
Moreover, the ability to apply personal knowledge in nursing is therefore fundamental in creating competent and highly skilled work force. Since client-nurse relationship is vital in patient’s recovery, personal knowledge has therefore been used to promote quality health care services. Nurses obtain a wide spectrum of knowledge from training and their practical work which must both be recognized by organizations to accommodate individual preferences in effective care delivery. In addition, recognizing individual work based on their knowledge help create unity and effective flow of information in the organizations thus facilitating provision of quality health care. With incorporation of advanced technology in health sector for ensuring accurate quality services, better procedures which can be acquired from experience are also needed. Scientific and ethical procedures should not therefore be used to limit integration of personal ideas in providing health care services.
Moreover, reflection on past challenges can enable nurses to develop transformative ideas which can solve major health challenges experienced today. Perceiving self feeling and prejudices within a challenge offers nurses an opportunity for inventing better ways of overcoming the problem. As a result, personal knowing should be reconciled with professional responsibilities. However, discipline and work ethics must be given consideration to guard patients against unethical practices. New codes of ethics which encourage the use of such ideas should be formulated and integrated in the existing ones to enable effective care delivery.
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