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Nursing as a Discourse Community

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According to my opinion, a discourse community is marked as an audience in which we write for or speak to or with. It is those who relate to you and what you are discussing whether it is debating, writing, socializing or just giving a speech. In the group, everybody has a common goal they are working towards. A discourse community is a group of people who communicate about their similar interests that they have in common with each other. It is important to understand a discourse community is because people are involved in at least one discourse community in their life. registered nurses are important to patient care and they do a crucial role in preventing diseases, promoting health and helping patients manage with illness. Nurses are a supporter of the patient’s health, and the patient’s families working to restore health and lessen suffering for their loved one. According to Swales’ six characteristics rule nursing group can be labeled as a discourse community. Because this group has common goals, mechanisms of intercommunication or genres and controversial topics that are used to help them reach their goals.

Nurses have some common goals which most of the time they understand automatically. For example, common goals include caring for patients, carrying out the required responsibilities during their shift, and doing what is best for the patient throughout their stay. Some rules are also written down for all nurses as well. Some of these rules can vary depending on each place of employment and include items such as agreements and paperwork between the state healthcare laws and the nurses wishing to practice in that state. Communication has to occur for nurses to complete their jobs and for important information about patients to be understood by medical staff and other nurses. Since nurses are always needed every semester there are new students admitted to nursing programs across the world. These students are being taught and trained in the discourse communities of the nursing profession. These students will replace old nurses in healthcare facilities and hospitals. With the understanding of knowledge and the prior training, it makes an easier transition for both the experts who have been there for many years and the new members of the nursing profession. The profession of nursing adheres to Swales’ six defining characteristics of a discourse community. In nursing school, lecture and class objectives are recognized, which relates to the ‘agreed set of common public goals. Also, nurses strive for the best and effective care of every patient in which they treat. The goal of nursing is to promote well-being and manage and cure infections or diseases. “At Brooklyn hospital, my favorite part about being a nurse is seeing the positive outcomes my patients have and how we as nurses play such an important role in their lives”. The nursing discourse community also finds continuing education for the patients and nurses themselves. This is one of the many participatory mechanisms that the nursing profession has. In the end, to conclude the characteristics of a discourse community directly related to nursing, nursing must incorporate a ratio between a high level of expertise and new graduates. In “ Nursing as a Discourse community” Kimberly Williams said “What one might find in the nursing profession is that more experienced nurses ‘eat their young’, meaning that the new graduate will need to be assertive and take a stand for themselves since he or she has every right to be a part of the nursing discourse community”. This is necessary in order for the beginners to develop into the experienced nurses.

The mechanisms of intercommunication or genres of the nursing discourse community are two main types that are used often and are sometimes combined. These two would be charting and technology. The charts and tables which are the basis of all the information received by nurses. “At Brooklyn Hospital, Next to the care we provide to our patients and our communities, writing is the next most important thing. If proper documentation of our care provided is not done, a person’s life may be affected. Information is shared through writing and if it is not done properly it can be altered”. Whether it is types of medication, the blood pressure you are on, or even your temperature, it is all processed by putting the information in charts and tables. These are a good use for organizing information to allow all other nurses and medical staff the ability to read and easily understand the information contained in them.

They were all handwritten and kept in files when charts and tables were first introduced to the nursing profession. To check the past medical history nurses would have to go through the file and read each chart from prior visits. Today by technology, all charts are now put into a computer and that computer is taken around with each nurse from patient to patient to track all past visits and enter the current visit. “At Brooklyn hospital, we just use desktop computers that have a specific computer program on it to chart our patients, not iPads”. This allows for better organization of each patient’s information and easier retrieval as well. The only ruin to having everything in a computer database is the possibility that all information could be deleted if something were to happen to the computer system of that hospital. Computers sometimes have a mind of their own and their systems can crash causing a loss of all information on that computer or computer system. I would assume they have an awesome recovery team that prevents incidents such as this, but you never know one hundred percent when it comes to technology. Overall charts are a very good way to organize data and information in the nursing field, but there is no way that a chart can hold all the information needed for nurses and other medical staff.

Another genre that nurses use is technology such as telephones. In hospital settings, nurses must have access to a telephone to carry out their daily tasks and duties. With hospitals being as large as they are it is not possible to walk around until they find who they need to speak with, whether it be the doctor, surgeon, or pharmacist for a nurse. Using telephone is vital when nurses need to call doctors or they need answers to questions or even in emergencies, or when they must call a surgeon for an emergency lifesaving surgery. Also, by using telephones nurses call to pharmacists to get prescriptions for patients who are staying in the hospital. These are all very good reasons why telephones are a useful genre for nurses and other healthcare providers.

Each discourse community has flaws and things that will need to be fixed, but that is why each group has participatory mechanisms to help deal with that. The nursing discourse community has many major topics of conversation at the moment. The most popular controversial topic right now would have to be the debate on whether nurses should have more schooling or not. Some believe that the only thing that is needed is a 2-year associate’s degree but others argue that to improve the quality of patient care nurses should have at least a 4-year bachelor’s degree.

Some other controversial topics currently would include issues with compensation, workplace violence, short staffing, long working hours, and workplace hazards. In the issue with compensation, nurses aren’t getting paid the same in different regions of the United States and that has caused some workers to become upset. There’s also supposedly a wage gap between the sexes. In the issue with workplace violence, nurses want it to be a felony charge each time they are attacked by patients or coworkers. The issue with short staffing is that nurses want to lower the number of patients they are assigned at a time so they can pay proper attention to each patient and improve patient care. Nurses also have long working hours and the issues, not just long shifts; sometimes nurses work back-to-back shifts or have their shifts extended. This leads to high fatigue levels and patient dissatisfaction. Finally, with the workplace hazards, nurses are exposed to bloodborne pathogens daily, they have a higher possibility of getting injured, and are exposed to cold and flu germs. Some nurses would like medical facilities to provide antiviral face masks so they may protect themselves from all of the germs they are surrounded by constantly.

Discourse communities play a very important rule in our everyday lives, whether we are at work, with our family, with our friends, or in a professional environment. Discourse communities describe how to interact with others such as the communication and our actions in which we use. In the profession of nursing, there is a definite discourse community in which all nurses associate. a discourse community is important for each nurse to connect and understand their goals, and overall actions in the nursing field. There are many genres which nurses use to interact with each other. Two of these genres are charts/tables and telephones. Each of these genres uses different means of communication between nurses and other healthcare providers whether it is to share information about the patient, contact doctors and pharmacists for prescription, surgeons for questions or emergencies. Nursing is a very complex discourse community which means that if you are not a part of the nursing profession and you have not been exposed to it frequently, you will likely not be able to understand their language or their goals in which they all follow together. This medical group has common goals amongst its members, mechanisms of intercommunication, participatory mechanisms, genres that are used to help them reach their goals, terms specific to this group, and members that are educated and experienced in the field. So, according to Swales’ six characteristics rule, this group can be labeled as a discourse community.

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Nursing as a Discourse Community. (2020, September 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 21, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/nursing-as-a-discourse-community/
“Nursing as a Discourse Community.” GradesFixer, 01 Sept. 2020, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/nursing-as-a-discourse-community/
Nursing as a Discourse Community. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/nursing-as-a-discourse-community/> [Accessed 21 Jan. 2021].
Nursing as a Discourse Community [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Sept 01 [cited 2021 Jan 21]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/nursing-as-a-discourse-community/
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