My Doctrine on Nursing is Love
The intent of this document is to describe my own personal philosophy of nursing. My personal philosophy of nursing proceeds forth from my faith in Christ Jesus. God is love and Jesus is the image of the invisible God making Him the personification of love. He said to love one another even as I have loved you; God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. So, therefore, my personal philosophy of nursing is love. To love one’s client as you love yourself should dictate all that we do as nurses in practice. So I ask myself with regards to my clients; if I was in this situation, or my family member was, how would I want to be treated and talked to? What information would I want to be given? This should not be based on reciprocal love, but a denying of oneself for that period of time in which we care for the client, his or her family members, and others on the health care team.
Choice of Nursing
There is nothing glamorous or inspiring as to why I choose nursing. Truthfully, I choose nursing, originally, because I needed a good paying job. I had just left the army and had a family to provide for; I knew that I needed an education to get a good paying job. I had several friendships with nurses at the time and after talking with them about their profession I saw nursing as a viable possibility.
Then as I preceded through the education process; first the prerequisites, then the Associate Degree Nursing program, I became enamored with the science and the nursing process. After graduation, nursing boards, and beginning employment in the nursing profession I learned that I actually enjoyed taking care of people and helping them through a difficult time in their lives. However, I had a problem; I was in a profession of caring, but was truly only caring of myself. I enjoyed the patients that enjoyed me, those that showed gratitude for what I was doing for them, but showing my disapproval of those who did not, and not always quietly. I did not know what love was until I met the Lord Jesus and He changed my entire nursing Philosophy.
Essence of Nursing
The essence of nursing is to deny oneself and follow after Jesus; loving one’s clients with complete disregard for one’s own emotional gratification and needs. The word servant or deacon is translated from diakonos in Greek; Phoebe from Romans 16:1-2 is considered to be the first deaconess and a helper of many. Nursing, despite all of our education, despite all of our strivings as professionals; we are first and foremost servants to those in need of help.
Josephine Dolan wrote as quoted “Even after nineteen hundred years it is difficult to fully comprehend the impact of the birth of Jesus Christ and His teaching on society and the care of the sick” (Hutchison, 1998). Nursing has changed a great deal since the days of the deaconess Phoebe, but being a servant to those in need of help will always be first and foremost in nursing, or nursing ceases to be nursing. The nurse must care for his or her client as though they were caring for themselves.
Beliefs and Values
God created men and women both in His own image. I see all patients as being image barriers of God and therefore should be respected and loved. We must overlook the faults in our patients, do not judge them for the reason that brought them to this illness, but care for them as though we are caring for ourselves; then teaching them with patience to care for themselves. As part of the Orem Self-care Deficit Theory we must bridge the gap between the action requirements for regulating the life, health, and well-being of the client (Cox, 2005).
The patient’s families are a connection to their world outside of the hospital setting; they can be a great source of joy and comfort for the patient but can also be a source of sorrow. Nightingale said; “But I really believe there is scarcely a greater worry which invalids have to endure than the incurable hopes of their friends.” (Nightingale, 1859). “I would appeal most seriously to all friends, visitors, and attendants of the sick to leave off this practice of attempting to cheer the sick by making light of their danger and by exaggerating their probabilities of recovery.” (Nightingale, 1859). Families are in distress as well, so, being honest with them helps, explain everything that you are doing to their loved one.
I believe that my fellow health care workers are in a stressful job and are in need of our patience and love as well. Often times as it is with physicians, respiratory therapist, lab technicians, and others that are stressed with the demands of health care; we may need to turn the other cheek. Physicians may be angered by something that was not carried out on a previous shift. It is our job as nurses to listen to their concerns and go forward with what is best for the patient from the present time.
We are given one body and one mind to interact in the world; therefore we should respect what the Lord has given to us in care of ourselves. I believe that we should engage in a regular, consistent exercise routine throughout our lives. Both our minds and bodies must be feed daily; the body with proper nutrients to enhance our physical condition and the mind with pure spiritual food through the daily reading of the Bible and prayer. Then you are best suited to care for your patients physically and care for them with love mentally.
Vision for the Future
My current position is charge nurse of a 24 bed Cardio-vascular Intensive Care Unit; I do not expect to change positions within the next two years as I proceed through the process of advancing my education. I enjoy what I am presently doing in my nursing career. I have always enjoyed caring for and recovering the Cardio-vascular surgical patient. Now I have the privilege of supporting and mentoring new nurses to become better nurses, while at the same time remaining at the bedside.
Five years from now that may change given that I have started to advance my education. I am undetermined at this point if I should go on to graduate studies. If I were to do so, nursing education might be a viable option; next to caring for the patients I enjoy teaching other nurses and student nurses.
A lot can change in ten years and you never know what the Lord might put in our paths. Ten years ago I was working on the very unit that I am now in charge of; at that time it was a ten bed unit, I had left for a time and came back. Nearly all the nursing staff has changed, the surgeons have changed, and the unit is now 24 beds in a brand new building; at the Lewis and Peaches Owens Heart Hospital at Trinity Mother Frances in Tyler, Texas. Therefore I lay no expectations for what may lay ahead ten years from now.
I am dedicated to continuing in the profession of nursing for which the Lord has placed me, to spend my days on earth loving and caring for those in need of help; the patients, their families, and the other members of the health care team. I have decided to continue my nursing education for this purpose. I have tenure in the profession up to this point that would attest to my determination to continue as a nurse for many years to come; weather that is at the bedside or in educating other nurses.
One of the greatest limitations that I see in nursing is the discrepancy of views; I believe that management and the public are at odds as to how they view nursing. I have worked at several facilities in two different states and in all of these though nursing strives forward as a profession management is often caught up with seeing nursing as a vocation. Nurses are very highly trained and most often these days specially trained and are not easily replaced. Maintaining one’s own nursing philosophy throughout your career will keep you grounded in the years to come.
A slave of Jesus Christ
Cox, K., PhD, RN & Taylor, S., PhD, RN. (2005, July). Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory: Pediatric Asthma as Exemplar. Nursing Science Quartely, 18, 249-257.
Hutchison, M. (1998 October). Nursing Yesterday and Today. Retrieved from http://www.ncfansw.org/nursing-yesterday-and-today/
Nightingale, F. (1992). CHATTERING HOPES AND ADVICES. Notes on nursing: what it is, and what it is not (Commemorative ed., ). Philadelphia: Lippincott.