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The Pros And Cons Of Theory In Family Nursing Nursing Essay

Info: 1964 words (8 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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Tagged: theory

“Humanistic nursing embraces more than a benevolent technically competent subject- object one-way relationship guided by a nurse in behalf of another. Rather it dictates that nursing is a responsible searching, transactional relationship whose meaningfulness demands conceptualization founded on a nurse’s existential awareness of self and of the other” (Paterson & Zderad, 2008) dduncan2011-02-24T17:28:00

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Great quote, you need to include a page numberIn Paterson’s and Zderad’s “Humanistic Nursing,” they believe that nursing is more than having a technical approach to patients, but also to have a self-awareness of themselves and inquire into their experiences with patients. Paterson and Zderad suggest that nurse’s have a personal knowing that they can apply to there everyday practice experience. The Humanistic Nursing Theory is one of the many theories that can help shape a nurse’s actions and guide their practice.

The Humanist Theory was developed by Dr. Josephine Paterson and Dr. Loretta Zderad. Dr. Paterson’s education background included a doctor of nursing science degree and a major in public health. Dr. Zderad education background included a doctorate in philosophy while majoring in psychiatric nursing. Similarly, their dissertation papers focused on comfort and empathy. During the 1950’s they had met while working at a University. Together, they developed a new program that integrated psychiatric and community health components. This experience was the beginning of there friendship that lasted more than 35 years (Paterson & Zderad, 2008). Having similar education backgrounds, they shared their experiences and insights. Together they gained a new perspective and approach to nursing that led them into created the Humanistic Nursing theory. In 1976, they published their book called Humanistic Nursing. The philosophic ideas that formed the two theorist’s view was nurses have an intuitive knowing and by reflecting on their experiences and gaining more awareness of themselves, they are then able to inquire more into their practice. dduncan2011-02-24T17:29:00

Grammar issues

The Humanistic Theory defines the focus of family nursing by creating an interconnection between the nurse and patient or family. As the nurse gains awareness of their own perspective of the patient’s situation, the nurse is then able to withhold his/her viewpoint so that they don’t interfere in the patient describing their experience. Through identifying and withholding personal viewpoints, the nurse is more open to new and different concepts. In turn, the nurse gains more understanding of the individual’s perspective and is better able to understand the patient more intuitively.dduncan2011-02-24T17:31:00

Stephanie, you need to reference these ideas as they are clearly not yours Using intuition allows the nurse to communicate from an authentic perspective where the patient is empathetically heard. The nurse is better able to present himself/herself as a real and genuine individual. Furthermore, the humanistic theory suggests that “openness, sharing and caring leads to (the) expansion of (an) individual or (a) group’s angular views (where) each (are) becoming more than before (Paterson & Zderad, 2008).” As patients feel accepted and cared for, a bond is established. Through effective communication the patient is better able to understand themselves, thus allowing an opportunity for them to grow. “When patient’s feel empathetically heard, it becomes more possible for them to listen more accurately to the flow of inner experiences (Rogers, p.116, 1995).” Through intuitive understanding and back and forth communication, patients and nurses are better able to connect with each other.

While establishing relationships with families is an important prospect in nursing, nurses also have to keep up with the rapid changing health care system. An underlying truth in nursing today is that nursing has become more technical. Due to a fast paced health care environment and rapid technical advances, nurses are pressured to keep up with the rapid changing health care system. As a result, the nurse’s relationship with the patient is sometimes overlooked (Kleiman, 2008). Not only are nurses impacted by constant changing technology, they are also influenced by the government’s decrease in

funding of the health care system. Due to cut backs, hospitals have limited resources and support for services which can result in increased nursing workloads. Nurses who work in environments with limited resources may find their experiences emotionally challenging (McCloskey, 2010, p.234). Nurses create a barrier with themselves and patients when they feel stress and anxiety. Due to stress and technical advances, nurses may find difficulty in establishing genuine therapeutic relationships with patients; thus preventing them from practicing the Humanistic Theory.

While there are underlining truths in nuring that may limit connection with others, the Humanistic Theory enables me to become more aware of my true self. Through reflection, I am able to go inwards and gain understanding of my attitudes and belief systems. “Individuals have within themselves vast resources for self-understanding and for altering their self-concepts, basic attitudes, and self-directed behaviours (Rogers, 1995, p115). Understanding that some of my behaviours may be hindering my progress in establishing a therapeutic relationship with patients, I can take action and change these behaviours. The Humanistic Theory helps me understand that my perspective of the patient’s experience may be different from the patients perspective; thus hindering my

authentic presence with the patient. Having self-awareness and taking action, enables me to feel more empowered. Through gaining more awareness and making changes, the Humanistic Theory provides individuals an opportunity for personal growth.

In relation to personal growth, the Humanistic Theory enables me to reflect more on my nursing practice and to have a broader perspective on situations. Through reflection of my experiences, I am able to identify my strengths and weakness that may be holding me back in developing therapeutic relationships with patients. The Humanistic Theory enable me to become more aware of my habits of thinking. Furthermore, the Humanistic Theory influences me to reflect and change my beliefs; thus allowing me to have a more positive and accepting attitude towards patients. In turn, my genuine attitude influences patients to feel genuinely accepted and truly heard; thus providing an opportunity for them to grow. “Humanism requires nurses to develop relationships with patients that are grounded on empathic understanding. This process necessitates an acceptance of the individuality of each person and each encounter (Scalon, p.760, 2006).” Through understanding the patient more effectively, I am better able to provide nursing care that is more congruent with where the patient is at in life. When I am presently in the moment with a patient, I am able to communicate authentically to them and feel genuinely empathetic towards them. The experience not only benefits them, but also offers personal fulfillment and growth for myself. Without resistance, I am able to communicate more effectively and have more understanding toward others; therefore, I feel more compassionate and am able to project unconditional love towards others. I can make a difference in one’s life.

Not only does the humanistic theory allow me to be more compassionate with patients, but also with staff members. Being authentic and genuine with coworkers,

I am able to establish a respectful relationships and create a more interconnected work environment. Through creating connections with individuals within the hospital, a community can be establish. Creating an integrated community will help promote an environment with compassionate communication.

In relation to compassionate communication, my personal beliefs are very much similar to the Humanistic Theory approach. I believe that each individual has their own limitations and barriers that prevent them from establishing an authentic connection with others. By identifying those barriers, they can heal themselves and undergo personal growth to become more present in the moment. Many individuals may not be aware that they themselves are hindering their own relationships with others and even themselves. Similarly to the humanistic theory, by reflecting daily on our behaviours, especially the ones that cause discomfort in us, we can gain a better understanding of why we act that certain way. For myself, I enjoy reflecting daily in my journal. I reflect about situations that occur in my life and identify certain patterns in my behaviour. Through reflection, I am able to describe how I felt in the experience and what it reminded me of in the past. I realize that how I felt and how I reacted in the experience, was a trigger from a past hurt that I had not completely healed from. Having awareness of my experience is similar to the Humanistic theory perspective. Furthermore, as long as I remain unhealed, I will continue to project my past issues into the present moment; thus creating a barrier in establishing an authentic relationship with others. Similarly to the humanistic theory, I also believe that I can make changes in myself and grow as an individual. As I reflect and become more aware of myself, I can choose to make changes. As a result, I become more evolved and in tune with my inner being where I feel more enlightened and empowered in life.

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Some of my experiences that are congruent with the Humanistic Theory include my relationships with friends. For instance, when a friend calls me to talk about a difficult time that they are going through, it is only when I am fully present in the moment, I am able to empathize and support them through their experience. In relation to the humanistic theory, the theory suggests that when one is intuitively aware and present, then they can be genuinely empathetic. At times, when I am not present in the moment, my mind is elsewhere and I miss the opportunity to be truly authentic and to hear my friend’s feelings. I miss the opportunity to be truly there for them and to see them go through there ups and downs in life. Similarly to the humanistic theory, one may have barriers that are withholding them from being able to experience another individual’s perspective. Through my awareness, I can prevent this situation from happening and create full filling and memorable experiences with friends.

I feel that the actions this theory directs me to take are in the best interests of families in a clinical setting. Through my past clinical experiences, I have had the opportunity to experience an application of the humanistic nursing theory. The theory is in the best interest of the family because it encourages professionals to reflect on their practice and learn from their experiences with families. By become more aware of themselves in situations with families, nurses are then better able to identify their own barriers in the relationships. Through awareness and intuitive knowing, nurses are then able to inquire more about the family; thus the family will feel more understood and better able to communicate there needs. Effective communication between the nurse and family encourages trust and openness leading to a therapeutic relationship.


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The objective for the development of a theory is to illustrate, define, or systematize knowledge in a professional field of study. Theory can be utilized in all facets of nursing and promotes the advancement of education, knowledge and care in the profession.

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