The changing philosophy of nursing
Every profession has a set of values guiding its operations, and nursing is not left behind. A nursing philosophy is a mission statement outlining a nurse’s beliefs, values, personal and professional ethics. There’s a collective and individual philosophy. The earliest one was set down by Florence Nightingale when she established the nursing profession. Nursing philosophy is important because it fosters a healthy relationship between patients, their families and nursing colleagues. It serves as a reminder that nursing is serious business.
Thanks to technological advancements, this philosophy has evolved from what we knew decades ago into something more complex. It has added more prestige to the job and has made patient care straightforward. This article explores how nursing philosophy has changed over time to adapt to modern-day challenges.
Nurses know more about disease transmission
The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 and the ones preceding it have been turning points in the nursing profession. In the past, nursing was a trial-and-error process. Nurses would contract diseases while caring for patients. Today, the nursing leadership in every hospital or establishment has policies regarding treating infectious patients. Nurses are encouraged to carefully read and understand the guidelines to stay safe. They’re provided with sophisticated personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper disinfection procedures. Some processes are complex, while others require simple habits such as frequent handwashing. Nurses who are unsure how to protect themselves against infectious diseases are encouraged to speak to a superior.
Thanks to technology, patient care and the way nurses function in the workplace have received a facelift. The healthcare system continues to evolve as the latest innovations emerge. Nurses say it is the best thing to happen to their profession. Others argue that the increased reliance on these technologies has led to decreased personal interactions between nurses and patients. This may be true to an extent, but it is still in line with the nursing philosophy that patients deserve the best care.
Many years ago, nurses depended on their brains and a few other manual technologies to function in the workplace. Not only did it leave room for errors, but they were also grossly inadequate. Many nursing processes are now automated, which makes the work faster. Take telehealth, for instance: this new development enables nurses and doctors to care for patients without having them visit the hospital.
Advancements in technology have also helped those looking for a career in nursing. The online BSN for non nurses allows students with a bachelor’s degree in non-nursing disciplines to earn an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing upon completion of 62 hours of nursing courses. Baylor University’s program includes a clinical placement that the university helps arrange to accelerate your success.
In the 1800s, nurses worked under tight schedules without adequate compensation. In the 20th century, nurses were often found in hospitals and battlefields during World War I and II. They were seen tending to wounded soldiers. In the latter half of the 20th century, new opportunities started opening for nurses.
A nurse’s philosophy has now expanded from basic caretaking to real clinical experience and medical knowledge. The work environment has also moved beyond hospitals and battlefields. Nowadays, these nurses work in military bases, schools, facilities, doctors’ offices, teenage homes, and other areas. The nursing profession involves much more than Florence Nightingale envisaged it to be. You should thoroughly review what it is now like to work as a nurse, as it opens your mind to the current reality.
Why a nursing philosophy is important
As stated earlier, there are collective and individual nursing philosophies. Every practicing nurse needs one. Here’s why every nurse needs a personal philosophy:
It keeps you motivated
Nursing takes a toll on your mental health. It requires patience to stay on track while performing your duties. As you work long shifts, the pressure increases, and you start questioning why you chose this career in the first place. You’re not the first to be in that position. Many experienced nurses you see today once had a breaking point but remained focused. Think about how you can make a difference in your patient’s daily life. This reminds you of why you joined the profession in the first place.
It improves your interaction with patients
Patients love to see that someone cares about them. The least a nurse can do is give them their utmost attention. Understanding values such as dependability, integrity and respect can help you approach them calmly. You can show integrity by admitting a mistake or dependability by allowing patients to feel vulnerable around you without judging them.
It helps you answer common nursing interview questions
When applying for a job, interviewers need to be sure that you are passionate about the career and not just there for the money. They’ll ask questions about your values and expect that your answers will align with the organization. Having a personal philosophy helps you outline these values and understand your reasons for becoming a nurse. Aside from the common nursing philosophy, draft one for yourself because you’ll need it.
Below are quick tips for writing a nursing philosophy:
- Determine why you’re interested in nursing
- Why is it important to you
- List your strengths
- Outline your personal values
- Consider the impact you want to make as a nurse
The nursing profession only welcomes selected people into the fold. It is home to passionate practitioners who see beyond the instant gratification it offers. The career is guided by numerous philosophies to keep practitioners on track and to allow them to enjoy their job. Have you outlined a nursing philosophy for yourself? How has technology affected your philosophy of nursing in recent times?