The role of nursing in the rapidly developing “patient-practitioner” paradigm has now been gaining considerably more power and responsibility if compared to the past decades. Thus, the question of establishing proper frameworks for nursing has become more relevant, drawing the attention of medical researchers worldwide. The overall scope of nursing theories can be represented in the form of hierarchy, shifting from the abstract and broad frameworks towards specifics-oriented ones (Roy, 2018). However, while some scholars and practitioners argue that the working theory should be chosen according to the nurses’ setting, others dwell upon the notion of nursing philosophy in order to identify the behavioral patterns that would help nurses adapt a particular framework. Nursing philosophy, as a notion, stands for the nurses’ system of beliefs that help them allocate their professional effort in such a way that they would act in compliance with their moral values and practice fundamentals (Meehan et al., 2018). Hence, it is of paramount importance to define the philosophy that works best for an individual in order to further develop patterns of professional behavior and achieve tangible results in an ethical manner.
Primary Nursing Values
Primarily, it is necessary to outline some of the major branches and principles related to nursing philosophy to obtain a better perspective on the issue. Briefly speaking, the very idea of this philosophy development is to guide individuals through their daily challenge of caregiving without losing their beliefs and morality. This guide mostly consists of several statements that nurses tend to follow despite the situational setting, as philosophy serves as a line one is not to cross under any circumstances. Thus, bearing this idea in mind, some of the universally accepted nursing philosophical ideas might be outlined, including:
- Respect for one’s life;
- Account for the patient’s values and views as of an independent individual;
- Acting according to the established individual, professional, and social principles.
Considering the aforementioned concepts, it should now be outlined how crucial it is for the nurses to understand the paradigm within which they want to follow these principles in order to be of maximum benefit for the patients. In fact, there exists a variety of philosophical branches that contribute to the development of a certain outlook and model of social behavior. Some of the most widespread terms relevant in the field concern analytical and continental philosophy, both of which might be applied to the reality of nursing practice (Donahue & Ochoa Espejo, 2016). Thus, it is necessary to dwell upon each of the theories to define the one that would comply with my personality.
Analytical Philosophy and Nursing
To begin with, the notion of analytical philosophy in nursing should be discussed. Scholars define this branch of philosophy to be closely correlated with the ideas of linear thinking, objectivity, and logical reasoning (Butts & Rich, 2017). Thus, the following approach is mostly identified through one’s objective perception of the situation, paying minor attention to the aspect of emotiveness. When perceiving this idea in the context of nursing, the overall impression is rather controversial.
On the one hand, such an approach might be quite beneficial for the nurses who tend to frequently communicate with patients, as when driven by logic and objectivity, a patient has a high chance of obtaining justifiable treatment and respect. In such a way, the principles defined by both organizations and individuals could not be violated due to one’s determination to the process of treatment without letting emotions prevail. On the other hand, however, such a philosophy, when used on a regular basis, is considered impersonal given the setting in which nurses find themselves every day. For this reason, while being beneficial in terms of treatment objectivity and diagnostics preciseness, the analytical model of philosophy should be combined with other options in order to find common ground with patients.
Continental Philosophy and Nursing
Another model to consider when trying to reach a consensus is the branch of continental philosophy. While being primarily associated with the analysis of languages, the core idea of continental philosophy deals with putting things in perspective and relying on sociohistorical context in order to find the answer to the situation (West, 2017). Thus, in terms of the following theory, everything that takes place in a particular timeframe is to be analyzed concerning the external factors that might have influenced a certain setting. When it comes to nursing practice, such an approach is extremely beneficial in the context of the “patient-nurse” relationship paradigm, allowing nurses to perceive the process of treatment in the context of one’s social environment. In such a way, the nurses would be able to develop emphatic thinking, along with taking into account more factors that define the approach to the treatment and intervention. However, quite often, the following framework lacks objectivity, making nurses find a proper balance in emotive and cognitive aspects of this relationship.
Continental Philosophy as Major Approach to Nursing Practice
Having considered the options, it was concluded that while both of the approaches have their advantages and drawbacks in terms of their empirical implementation, the latter theory was more relevant to my personality. In fact, when having the chance to look into the specifics of a patient case and see the issue through the prism of context, there is a better chance to develop a trusting relationship with the patient. Such a relationship then leads to a higher probability of the patient’s adherence to the treatment. Moreover, according to the scholars, the efficient knowledge model presupposes taking into account every possible detail of the case, whether it relates to the personal preferences or theoretical framework, in order to reach a relevant conclusion (Chinn, 2018). Thus, the influence of context is, by all means, one of the central notions in the sphere of nursing philosophy.
Continental Philosophy Failure Instance
However, whereas a continental approach obtains a variety of positive outcomes for the nursing practice, it could not be successfully applied to every situation within the work process, as sometimes treatment is not about context. An example of such misconception is evident in the cases where the holistic perception of the patient’s issue becomes confusing for the practitioners. For instance, a middle-aged Caucasian man is admitted to the hospital with suspected appendicitis and requires an immediate medical examination. The patient’s primary examination and medical history display no serious health conditions except for the suspected gastritis therapy from a few years ago. In terms of the holistic approach, the nurse might put this information into some perspective in order to define some possible complications, as context plays the most important role in such a philosophical attitude. As a result, the time for timely medical intervention is lost for the sake of one’s subjective assumption. The analytical approach, on the other hand, is primarily focused on separating a present precedent into tangible parts and dealing with them in a consequent manner.
Future Ethical Considerations
Given the following example, it becomes evident that the beneficial model of personal nursing philosophy goes far beyond the application of a separate theoretical framework. Situational perception of the nursing practice encompasses epistemological, ontological, and ethical questions that are to be applied to separate cases in an individual manner. Moreover, it is important to establish a symbiosis between the nurse’s personal attributes, including physical and emotional state, philosophy priorities, experience, knowledge, and possible bias regarding the case (Yoder-Wise et al., 2019). Only such a decent behavioral model might secure beneficial treatment results for future patients.
Another issue that should be raised within the question of personal philosophy in nursing is the problem of discrepancy between the ethical models prevailing within the workplace and individual attitudes. In terms of these misunderstandings, nurses are often the intermediators between the management’s decision and the patient’s actual treatment model that might be, in fact, violating some ethical nuances. For this reason, the personal nursing philosophy should be an individual matter that complies with the outlook prevailing in the setting in order to find the most appropriate ways to reach a consensus.
Taking all the aforementioned information into account, it might be concluded that developing a personal philosophy is a sophisticated process that does not fall into any pattern of behavior. When it comes to nursing, it is of paramount importance to define one’s personal values and attitudes in order to build a philosophical paradigm that would be beneficial for both the patients and personal physical and mental state. Thus, further investigations in the field of personal philosophy might concern the development of a working framework that would help nurses define their inner values in the first place.
Butts, J. B., & Rich K. L. (2017). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Chinn, P. (2018). Fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing. Web.
Donahue, T. J., & Ochoa Espejo, P. (2016). The analytical–continental divide: styles of dealing with problems. European Journal of Political Theory, 15(2), 138-154. Web.
Meehan, T. C., Timmins, F., & Burke, J. (2018). Fundamental care guided by the Careful Nursing Philosophy and Professional Practice Model©. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(11-12), 2260-2273. Web.
Roy, C. (2018). Key issues in nursing theory: Developments, challenges, and future directions. Nursing Research, 67(2), 81-92. Web.
West, D. (2017). Continental philosophy. A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy, 36-68. Web.
Yoder-Wise, P. S., Waddell, J., & Walton, N. (2019). Leading and managing in Canadian nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences.