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As a brand-new nursing student who is in the first semester of nursing school, I do not have much experience in the nursing profession and do not have a decent grasp on the philosophy of nursing. However, I do know my own beliefs and values. These two factors are very important in helping find my personal philosophy of nursing. The purpose of this paper is to explore my personal philosophy of nursing: specifically beliefs, values, and moral responsibilities. Additionally the paper highlights the challenges that nurses face today and in the future, the significance of lifelong learning, and my educational goals. Philosophy is the study of general questions that people have about existence, values, knowledge, or reasoning. Everyone has their own philosophy. Personal philosophies vary depending on one’s personal experiences and knowledge.
I believe that caring is the most essential aspect of nursing. According to Adams (2016), caring in nursing occurs through two domains: the act of caring for another person when that person is unable to care for themselves and when the nurse displays actions of compassion, kindness, and concern. I believe that caring helps to create a relationship between the nurse who is caring and the patient who is being cared for. Building a caring relationship helps the two to understand each other emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually which can improve the quality of the care the patient receives. While it is important to be caring, it is equally important for a nurse to be professional and get their tasks done, be able to work with other healthcare professionals, and improve patient safety. Since I find caring vital to nursing, my personal philosophy is closely associated with Watson’s theory of human caring. I believe in providing a safe, professional, and clean environment. To make sure the environment is safe; there must be enough resources, functioning equipment, use of precaution signs, no clutter, and freedom of judgement. The goal is to make the patient feel safe and comfortable while providing the best care.
The greatest challenge of the nursing profession today is dealing with the pandemic with limited resources such as PPE supplies. During the pandemic, the biggest challenge the hospital leaders are concerned with is taking care of patients with COVID-19 while keeping their staff safe. Because of the limited PPE, nurses are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 since they are the ones who make the most contact with patients. Not only will it put them at risk, but it can also put their family and people around them at risk. Shortages of PPE and testing supplies, and the delay of test results have “limited the ability to monitor the health of patients” and interfere with giving the best quality of care (Neil, 2020). This may open more lawsuits against hospitals or the staff. Another challenge the hospitals have to face is “maintaining or expanding their facilities’ capacity to treat patients with COVID-19” (Neil, 2020). It is very important to be able to provide a safe environment. Unfortunately the pandemic has limited the space of facilities and the lack of PPE has led to a decrease in the quality of the environment.
The greatest challenge to the nursing profession in the future is the nursing shortage. According to Spurlock (2020), “with the risks and impacts of COVID-19 on registered nurses … the extent to which nurses leaving the workforce … earlier than planned exacerbate the nursing shortage further”. Not only the retirement of current registered nurses, but the delay of nursing student graduations will cause a shortage. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, college classes convert to online format and hospitals have restrictions due to lack of PPE supplies and trying to limit the number of contacts. Many nursing students are facing difficulty due to lack of clinical experience and sudden transition to an online format. In addition, the online format may delay the graduation of nursing students ”because of regulatory and program requirements that are challenging or impossible to fulfill in a completely online environment” (Spurlock, 2020).
Because technologies, medications, and treatments advance, policies and the method or process of taking care of patients may change. Nurses must always learn and adapt to new ways because these factors change over time and nurses want to give the best quality of care so nurses must adapt to them. If nurses do not learn and adapt it will be difficult to keep up and nurses can no longer give the best quality of care. To keep up with lifelong learning, I plan to get into graduate school to obtain a master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner. First, I would get a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Upon completing nursing school, I will apply to become a registered nurse. Then practice as a registered nurse for a couple years and apply to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner. To educate myself and adapt to changes: I would learn how to use new technologies, review the use and dosage of medications, teach classes or do presentations, and read or write research journals.
I talked about my personal philosophy of nursing: specifically my beliefs, values, and moral responsibilities. Based on my personal philosophy, caring is the most important aspect of nursing. I believe that building a caring relationship with patients to understand and support them emotionally, mentally, and spiritually will improve the quality of care. I talked about how the COVID-19 pandemic affects the quality of life and the nursing environment, puts nurses and others at risk, and contributes to the shortage of nursing staff today and in the future. Lastly, I talked about how important continued education is and what I plan to accomplish after becoming a registered nurse. I have realized that I am a rather empathetic person; during my clinicals I have found myself often connecting with my patients and doing my best to make sure they felt as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, before this semester, I was under the impression that all nurses have an empathetic view of their patients and are caring individuals. During my clinical practices, I have noticed this is not the case and that some nurses simply do not bother to make any personal connections with their patients. I have made the promise to myself that I will not become the same kind of nurse.
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