During this semester I learned diverse aspects of nursing and expanded my knowledge on several previously introduced topics. The course in nursing included such modules and explained such sections of nursing as its ethics, and the dependence of the decision-making process on different criteria: intuition, science, personal perceptions, attitudes, and understandings. Hence, the course in nursing and all of its modules helped me gain theoretical knowledge on certain aspects of this medicinal direction and analyze umpteen scientific ideas. It also taught me to recognize the opportunities of their practical implementation, and even allowed me to get some experience in the utilization of the learned information. Several topics such as ethics, the establishment of successful communication between the nurse and the patient, or decision-making in the shape of clinical medicine were more relevant and fascinating. Other themes related to certain paradigms, bullying at the workplace, or some aspects of nursing theory seemed to be duller or more uninteresting. However, even such sections helped me build a stable basis for my further development in nursing.
In addition, during my participation in this course, my belief in the importance of nursing in the provision of medical help significantly increased. Nurses should be well acquainted with diverse aspects and sectors of medicine, for example, genetics is one of the integral parts of healthcare (Montgomery et al., 2017). I assume that nursing is one of the integral parts of care provision as it helps enhance the patients’ satisfaction levels, as well as support their well-being during their hospitalization period. I can conclude that my understanding of the functions performed by nurses considerably changed during the course; hence, now I can fully comprehend the role of these caregivers.
The gained understanding and knowledge helped me realize that nursing is the role that I would like to perform in the future. According to Colley (2003), the nursing theory provides the principles that help patients access a better quality of healthcare. In my perception, the values of nursing are quite similar to those that I try to penetrate in my surrounding environment: care, love, emotional involvement, and a better comprehension of people and their problems. I think that nursing unites diverse people, provides them with interesting topics for discussion and allows nurses to build strong connections that serve the overall social well-being. Therefore, the course in nursing had a great impact on me as a specialist, provided me with the needed theoretical and practical knowledge, and increased my certitude in my decision-making.
Before I started my participation in the course, I assumed several issues and aspects to be different. However, by the start of the subject of nursing my understanding of some problems and situations gradually changed, and I became more acquainted with the inner side of the medicinal practice and its knowledge. For example, diverse aspects of ethics for nurses were rather new for me. Previously, my idea of nurse-patient communication and relation was a simple interaction between both sides during which the health-giver provides the individual with the needed drugs and medicine. I thought the nurse to be a mediator between the physician and the patient who communicates different information about the patients’ health conditions or the required change in treatment.
However, compassion is generally considered one of the most important components of the nursing practice. In this case, healthcare providers are often asked to show respect to their colleagues, managers, patients, and their relatives to establish a healthy, equal, and free environment contributing to a faster cure shown by the patients (Winland-Brown, 2015). Additionally, the nurse’s main commitment is the one to the patient, whether a group of people, a community, a family, or an individual (Winland-Brown, 2015). Hence, the thing that defines the success and effectiveness of the nurses’ functions is generally their emotion, affection, and compassion in correlation with knowledge and professional experience.
One more of my delusion is that educational levels such as college, bachelor’s, or master’s do not affect the effectiveness and professional qualifications of nurses. However, it turned out that the effectiveness increases in direct correlation with the level of the degree. Diverse characteristics influence the ability of a nurse to perform the required functions successfully. Such virtues could include nurse experience, qualification, additional participation in training programs, as well as professional connections. Moreover, according to Aiken et al. (2003), the overall effectiveness of hospitals’ functioning depends on the number of highly-qualified nurses, nurse staffing, experience, and board-certified surgeons as operating physicians. This evidence proves that my previous thoughts about the needed or preferable qualifications were unsatisfactory.
Therefore, due to the high qualifications of the personnel, the social environment at the workplace can be predicted to be adequate, respectful, and convenient for patient care. However, I was also quite mistaken about the working conditions in hospitals and other entities providing healthcare. During the course, I found out that the working environment in such organizations may be violent, or even abusive. Hence, such negative relationships may affect patient care due to diverse tensions and contradictions between nurses and doctors. Therefore, such relationships may result in a decrease in the quality of patient care. For example, according to the American Nurses Association (2015), such actions as writing abusive comments, online bullying, or mocking can be performed to undermine a coworker or raise respect for the abuser. Hence, I did not expect that a medical environment that aims to increase health conditions among patients can be unhealthy or nurses can be prejudiced against one another. I think that such relationships and attitudes towards one another ruin appropriate working conditions, decrease the opportunities for successful patient care, and increase stress levels put on nurses and other healthcare providers.
One of my greatest mistakes about the job of a nurse was the implementation of both the gained knowledge and intuition by performing medical functions. I supposed that intuition does not play such a crucial role in medicinal practice and that physicians rely only on their experience, critical analysis of the situation, and theoretical knowledge. I thought that under no circumstances intuitions should be implemented by working with other people and being responsible for their future and health conditions. Intuition causes subjective thinking that generally has a low rate of accuracy due to irrationalism.
However, based on several medicinal examinations and pieces of research, it turned out that I was wrong and intuition is sometimes implemented as a supportive tool in the decision-making process. Pearson (2013) explains that the perspectives of the utilization of intuition should be examined further to estimate whether such unconscious decision-making can have a positive effect or not. In my opinion, intuition can sometimes be implemented in the decision-making processes generally unconscious thinking represents the gained experience. Hence, I think that in some cases such background ideas without theoretical support can be viewed as a hint from the past such as some interesting or unusual situations and diagnoses that were present during the practice as a nurse.
Although my understanding of the majority of aspects changes over time, several remained in the same position. For example, even before the start of the course, I believed that nursing involves constant self-development, studies, seminars, experience exchange, and professional improvement. Lee and Fawcett (2013) support my opinion by stating that the conscious development of professionalism in nursing hugely depends not only on the nurses’ self-perception as health providers but on the embracement of change and knowledge. Therefore, change and constant self-development are crucial aspects of being a successful nurse and providing a higher quality of patient care.
Additionally, I explained the idea of conflict occurring between the patient and the nurse based on the misunderstanding and inconveniences that happened due to people’s differences. In my perception, nurses work in a social environment and are surrounded by people during their working day; and it is well-known that working with others is generally energy-consuming. Diverse points of view can result in huge conflicts between nurses and patients sometimes causing major problems for both sides. During the course, I found support for this idea in the comfort theory that explains the differences between the perceptions of nurses and patients. For example, Wilson and Kolcaba (2003) describe the patients’ desire to see respect, positive attitude, recognition, and attention to their personal needs from nurses, while physicians see patients’ comfort as pain management and warmth. Hence, the example of the comfort theory helped me develop my understanding of the diversity of needs and responsibilities of both sides, and look into the compound process of social interactions in the medicinal environment.
Aiken, L.H., Clarke, S. P., Cheung, R. B., Sloane, D., M., & Silber, J. H. (2003). Educational Levels of Hospital Nurses and Surgical Patient Mortality. Journal of the American Medical Association, 290(12), 1617-1623.
American Nurses Association. (2015). Incivility, bullying, and workplace violence position statement.
Colley, S. (2003). Nursing theory: Its importance to practice. Nursing Practice, 17(46), 33-37.
Lee, R. & Fawcett, J. (2013). The influence of the metaparadigm of nursing on professional identity development among RN-BSN students. Nursing Science Quarterly, 26(1), 96-98.
Montgomery, S., Brouwer, W. A., Everett, P. C., Hassen, E., Lowe, T., McGreal, S. B., & Eggert, J. (2017). Genetics in the clinical setting: What nurses need to know to provide the best patient care. American Nurse Today, 12(10), 10-17.
Pearson, H. (2013). Science and intuition: Do both have a place in clinical decision making? British Journal of Nursing, 22(4), 212-215.
Wilson, L. & Kolcaba, K. (2004). Practical application of comfort theory in the perianesthesia setting. Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing, 19(3), 164-173.
Winland-Brown, J., Lachman, V., O’Connor Swanson, E. (2015). The new ‘code of ethics for nurses with interpretative statements’ (2015): Practical clinical application, Part I. MEDSURG Nursing, 24(4), 268-271.