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Concept of Hope in Nursing Practice

Info: 1489 words (6 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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The aim of this assignment is to explore the definition and concept of hope in relation with nursing practice. It will also focus on the significance of hope in individuals who are suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In addition, the obstacles which can arise while inspiring hope in clients and the problem solving methods which can help to manage the barriers will also be identified. Nurses have an important role to instill hope in the patient which can help the patient to create a positive feeling. Therefore, the significance of the concept of hope is considered as an important aspect of discussion in this assignment.

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Hope is a concept which helps the people to fulfill their life with expectation of good things. According to Holt (2000) “hope is an essential but dynamic life force that grows out of faith in God, is supported by relationship, resources and work, and result in the energy necessary to work for a desired future. Hope gives meaning and happiness”. The life is more worth when filled with hope. It has great influence in the sick people who are living in the darkness of hopelessness as it gives an optimistic point of view to their disease condition especially, in the patients who are suffering from malignant disease such as cancer and AIDS. Moreover, it has universal phenomenon as it can be seen each and every countries and cultures. Hopelessness can be distinguished from depression and particularly in relation to health. Nurses should focus on hope than on the lack or loss of hope. According to people’s belief that hope is vital to life and that everyone has hope. According to Farran (1995) hope has a power to deliver positive feeling related to good health such as subjective well being, good social and physical status, somatic health and healthy lifestyles. Hope is characterized in many ways as it involves feeling, thoughts, actions and relationship. According to Rustoen (1995) hope is not an enduring state, it is a varying phenomenon. Hope has no age limit, it can be offered to any age group even in child or in aged people. Individuals are able to make a distinction between hope and expectancy as relating to both positive and negative situations. Hope is considered as an emotion or feeling (Rustoen, 1995) which helps to cope with any difficult situation in their life. So, hope can be considered as an acceptable emotion as it provides beneficial effect on patients. Hope is very useful when it is goal oriented, especially in the areas of rehabilitation, recovery, or health promotion. Stephenson (1991) stated that hope is vital in every person’s life, as it helps them to work constantly to achieve their goal or manage their present situation. For example, the patient who is suffering from an incurable disease has a strong feeling of loss and emotional stress. In such situations, hope has an important role in begining positive thoughts and prepare them to co-operate with the treatment regimens (Hinds and Martin, 1988).Thus, hope assists in improving the quality of care. Stephenson (1991) further suggested that, to impart hope in someone there are three appraisals needed such as; firstly, it is important the situation of the individual, secondly, the situation should have a potential to be incongruent with an individual’s goals and finally, the situation involves uncertainty (unexpected future). In addition, hope is related to one’s emotional status. Davison and Simpson (2006) claimed that it is essential that over all emotion of a person is associated with the hope, because, an optimistic point of view is needed for the positive outcome. There are some other factors which help to perceive hope. The studies supported that the support of the society, self respect and self esteem and spirituality and religious support which are required for maintaining hope during illness (Stephenson, 1991). Moreover, hope is important as it is focused on how people can endure and look forward to life for the best despite of the difficulties in their life. In nursing care, hope has specific importance because the injured/ill persons need special attention for the rapid recovery.


Hope has a great influence in patient care as it is closely connected with nurses and nursing care. To provide a good nursing care to the patient, nurses should have the qualities like patience, expectation, suffering and ability to adjust with the situation. Hinds and Martin (1999) stated hope as a cornerstone of the role of the nurse. Further, Travelbee (1971) identified the nurses’ role to sharing the experience of hope with the patients and avoid the feeling of hopelessness. Nurses cannot transform the hope into the patient unless they have it. In the literature by Moore’s (2005) it is illustrated that the nurses should have a high level of self awareness and have hope in themselves in order to inspire hope in the patients. Moreover, nurses should create an interpersonal relationship with the patient by good communication. This will help the patient to establish a feeling of comfort, care, trust and confidence. Turner (1981) stated that hope is closely interconnected with nurses’ everyday life as well as work environment. However, the term ‘hope’ used was not clear and ambiguous and this concept was not acceptable in the patient with chronic illness or incurable condition. Therefore, it is essential to create positive attitude in patient for their better future. Nurses have a vital role to generate positive expectation in patients. According to Moore (2005) hope is considered to be a positive concept that can make a difference to people’s lives. In addition, it also presented as a center concept of nursing practice because, it is closely linked with patient’s experience and improvement. In nursing, hope is considered as an essential perception which helps the nurses to facilitate or continue in others. Moreover, by encouraging patients with hope, nurses can create a positive energy among patient who is suffering with chronic diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Cutcliffe and Grant (2000) stated that relationship between the function of caring activity of helping , and practice instilling hope in continuing care of cognitively impaired old adults within a continuing care , as basis for suggesting that inspiring hope to clients is one of the primary acts of psychiatric or mental health nursing. Thus, hope helps the cognitively impaired patient to display the qualities of faith and hope as well as will to live and love. Mostly, patient with chronic disease like cancer may have no hope in their life and they leave everything for their destiny. Brumbach (1994) points out that hope is the key encouraging factor which helps patient to go further with expectations. It is difficult to sustain hopefulness in patient without emphasize the importance of hope repeatedly because hope is an active process not passive. So, it is important to make sure that the active participation of patient and the nurse. Furthermore, the main barriers which resist inspiring hope in nursing practice, such as lack of knowledge and communication skill, fear about the disease condition, lack of emotional stability and expectation and lack of awareness regarding the treatment regimens (Scanlon, 1989). All these reasons will affect emotional outlook of the nurse. Moreover, recognizing these obstacles will help to understand more about hope and facilitate to provide good care to the patient. Nurses need to give more effort and concern to the patients who are seriously ill. The total health care team is needed for the care of patients. In another word a total team spirit is needed to achieve a goal which is planned for the patient care. However, to achieve a central goal in nursing practice or care, some certain hindrance will occur and it can be overcome through good communication with patients and family members, listing to patients problems, trust full relationship between patients and provide appropriate knowledge regarding diagnosis and prognosis of the disease condition.


To sum up, the concept of hope is applicable in all spheres of life and helps in dealing with the problems and difficulties which make the life stressful. Hope is a light in the life of patient. It helps the individual to maintain the strength of the person. Also for the family who knows about the prognosis of the patient, they prepare their self emotionally and practically. Hope is a belief of them. Always hope for the best. This is a essential part of life and for the human being. In this concept, different authors have different views about the concept.

Word Count: 1434


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