Evolution of Self as Nurse
There is a variety of knowledge a nurse needs to have to be successful. This semester in Development of Self as Nurse, there were a lot of different concepts I learned that will help me in my career. As a nurse, you learn a lot about yourself but being able to reflect on your experiences is when a nurse can demonstrate their knowledge and what it means to be a nurse.
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The knowledge that a nurse has, comes from deeper meaning and not just what you learn in class. Cooper (2001) states, “knowledge of yourself is gained from reflecting on your experiences” (p. 22). Cooper is showing that to gain knowledge as a nurse, you need to be able to reflect on your past experiences. The two occasions where I was most engaged was when learning the differences between a registered practical nurse and a registered nurse as well as the history behind nursing. The activity where we got to work with registered nursing students and figure out which patient would go with each nurse held a lot of meaning to me. The reasoning behind this is because I know this is an opportunity not a lot of nursing students get. Limoges & Jagos (2015) states, “a fourth semester BScN informant explained: It's like, this is what you're going to do in the workplace, you're going to be working with these individuals but we're not going to tell you what their role is or how they are going to do it, you're just going to have to figure it out on your own” (para 18). This is showing the importance of this learning opportunity. I would never have known how to work with registered nurses if I did not do this activity. I think I was so interested in this activity because I knew that these two professions work very closely together and how important it is to understand who does what.
In addition, I found the history behind nursing very interesting and I was very engaged. I was interested in learning this because it is exciting to see where nurses started to where they are now. Kozier et al. (2018) states, “knowledge of how nursing developed in specific contexts or sets of circumstances permits nurses to better understand their present situation and particularly, to see how contemporary concerns might relate to larger social-structural conditions” (p. 2). This demonstrates how important it is to understand the history behind nursing and why we need to know these things. We didn’t do an activity around nursing history but we did have a class discussion that I was engaged in because there were a lot of things that I was very surprised about in the history of nursing. The way that people used to look at nursing is completely different to how we look at nursing now and it is very important to recognize and understand what has happened and what we learned from it.
There were a few occasions during this semester when I wasn’t as engaged as much and didn’t hold a lot of meaning to me. The first occasion was learning about different nursing theories. I wasn’t as engaged in this because it is hard to understand all the different theories. An example of this is Margaret Newman’s theory (Kozier et al., 2018, p. 60). Newman touches on the process of evolution of consciousness in her theory and it is very overwhelming to bring meaning to this (Kozier et al., 2018, p. 57). It is hard to wrap your head around what this exactly means because it is confusing to comprehend. I understand knowing these theories is supposed to help guide you and provide direction, but there are so many different theories that they are hard to understand what they exactly mean. The reason I was not engaged as much as I would have liked is because it seems like a lot to take in and it is challenging to know how to apply these theories to everyday practice.
Additionally, I was also least engaged in the class where we learned about different ways of knowing. The reasoning behind this was because it didn’t have a lot of meaning to me. I understand there are five different ways of knowing which include, empirical, personal, ethical, aesthetical, and emancipatory (Kozier et al,. 2018, p. 384). I was not very engaged in this because these concepts seem so simple to understand that it held no meaning to me. When learning about this, there was no activity involved besides the class discussion which made me feel like it wasn’t as important as some of the other concepts we have been learning in this class.
The two most important concepts I learned this semester was the therapeutic nurse-client relationship and professionalism. These two concepts are important to my personal development as a nurse because they are what defines a nurse. The concept of the therapeutic nurse-client relationship is crucial for a nurse to have because it is what holds meaning to your profession. The College of Nurses of Ontario (2019) states, “Therapeutic nursing services contribute to the client’s health and well-being. The relationship is based on trust, respect, empathy and professional intimacy, and requires appropriate use of the power inherent in the care provider’s role” (para 1). This is showing how important it is to follow this standard because this is what being a nurse is all about. If a nurse knows how to apply this concept, then it changes the way they would practice because now they can understand that the care is patient-focused and focuses on the care of what the patient needs.
Over more, the concept of professionalism is particularly important because it is how you get your patients to respect and trust you. Kozier et al. (2018) states, “they recommend that all nurses follow the six key tenets when using social media: professional, positive, patient/person-free, protect yourself, privacy, and pause before you post” (p. 495). This is showing how important professionalism is to a nurse. Social media is a controversial issue that a nurse faces daily and understanding professionalism is very important so you do not cross any boundaries. If you want your patients to trust you, you need to uphold the professional standard. This way you can protect your patient’s privacy as well as yourself. If a nurse is competent about this concept then this will change the way they practice nursing because they understand the importance behind professionalism. They will understand why they need to uphold this standard and why patient privacy is important. They will know how to act and understand the importance of sharing on social media.
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There are a lot of scenarios where a nurse might apply the concepts of the therapeutic nurse-client relationship and professionalism. In Coopers The Art of Nursing (2001), a nurse named Elizabeth had a patient named Leah that she cared for. She demonstrated the therapeutic nurse-client relationship throughout her time with her. She showed empathy towards her by understanding her situation and actively wanting to be there for her when she upheld her hope, understood her grief and held her hand when she didn’t know what to say (Cooper, 2001, p. 91). She showed power by being in charge of her, but not stepping over any boundaries such as using her experiential knowledge. She also showed trust by keeping promises to her that she could keep such as coming back to care for her. She never made her feel like she was less of a person because of her sickness which shows respect. She showed professional intimacy by gently holding her and bathing her (Cooper, 2001, p. 88). In my nursing career, I will be able to use all of these skills to uphold the therapeutic nurse-client relationship by doing these things with my clients.
In addition, she also showed the concept of professionalism by keeping her privacy, using her expert knowledge and reflecting on her experience. She never shared any of her personal information with anyone, the language used was very professional when speaking to her client and she respected her client's wishes. She never breached her confidentiality and never crossed any boundaries like adding her on Facebook (Cooper, 2001, p. 91). I can do all of these things when caring for my clients to make sure I am upholding my professionalism as I know the importance behind it.
The two learning outcomes that I am focusing on meeting are being able to describe the professional, legal and ethical dimensions of nursing and recognizing professional caring practices and reflect upon personal caring behaviours. Sokala (2013) states, “a desired outcome of nursing programs is to graduate nurses who are competent with incorporating professional caring behaviors into nursing practice” (para 4). This connects to how I am progressing as a nurse towards meeting these two learning outcomes. Before starting this course, I had no idea how important these two learning outcomes really were. I am meeting these outcomes by reflecting on professional, legal, and ethical dimensions of nursing in my placement setting and respecting client’s ethical values. I am also working on ensuring I am client-focused rather than task-focused which shows that I can reflect upon personal caring behaviours as well as I am recognizing what professional caring behaviours I am using. The concept I still have questions about is human science nursing theories. The things I want to still learn more about are the reasoning behind the nursing theory and how exactly we can apply them to our practice.
As a nurse, you are always learning new things about yourself, but being able to reflect on your past experiences is where you gain the most important knowledge. I have a lot of knowledge of how registered practical nurses and registered nurses work together as well as the history of nursing. I need to look more into nursing theories and the different ways of knowing. I fully understand the therapeutic nurse-client relationship and professionalism and how to apply them in my nursing practice. I am also progressing well in meeting the learning outcomes of being able to describe professional, legal and ethical dimensions of nursing as well as recognizing professional caring practices. I would like to further explore nursing theories and how I can use them in my everyday practice as a nurse. Being a nurse isn’t just about caring, it is about being able to reflect on your experiences and learn from them.
- College of Nurses of Ontario. (2019, April). Therapeutic Nurse-Client Relationship. Retrieved 2006, from https://www.cno.org/globalassets/docs/prac/41033_therapeutic.pdf.
- Cooper, C. (2001). The art of nursing: A practical introduction. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.
- Kozier, B., Erb, G., Berman, A., Snyder, S. J., Frandsen, G., Buck, M., … Stamler, L. L. (2018). Fundamentals of Canadian nursing: Concepts, process, and practice (4th Canadian ed.). Toronto, ON: Pearson Canada.
- Limoges, J., & Jagos, K. (2015, October). The Influences of Nursing Education on the Socialization and Professional Working Relationships of Canadian Practical and Degree Nursing Students: A Critical Analysis. Retrieved from https://www-sciencedirect-com.eztest.ocls.ca/science/article/pii/S0260691715002889?via=ihub.
- Sokola, K. M. (2013, March 1). The Relationship Between Caring Ability and Competency with Caring Behaviors of Nursing Students. International Journal for Human Caring, 17(1), 45-55 Retrieved from http://ra.ocls.ca/ra/login.aspx?inst=georgian&url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rzh&AN=104286423&site=eds-live&scope=site.
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