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Philosophy

Philosophy Paper Stevie A. Williams The University of Tulsa

Philosophy

I believe what characterizes an individual as a human being is having compassion for their fellow human beings, having a sense of connectedness with others, and a willingness to put others before self. Compassion for fellow human beings is described by Butts and Rich as a desire to separate another being from suffering as well as having a sense of intimacy toward all other feeling and perceiving beings (Butts & Rich, 2008). This describes compassion as equality between fellow beings and a desire to deter pain and suffering. I believe that people have embedded needs that require us to form bonds with other humans in order to feel complete. These embedded needs are an inherent tendency to love, nurture, and protect the people we connect with. These inherent tendencies cause human beings to put the people we love, nurture, and connect with before ourselves. I believe a person is responsible for their own health. As human beings we have a tendency to put others before self. However, when people do not take care of their own health, they may unknowingly be forsaking their loved ones when they themselves become sick. In practice I have seen mothers, and fathers who always take care of their family, but when they become ill, the family suffers because they no longer have the support that person provided. There was a case in particular of a husband who put his own health issues aside to take care of his wife who was diagnosed with cancer. This husband had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, uncontrolled diabetes, as well as being overweight, and was not taking any of his medications. He was so worried about his wife getting her medications and treatments that he ignored his own health. The man ended up suffering a heart attack and when he was hospitalized he felt he lost all control because he could not care for his wife while he was sick. When people do not

Philosophy

take responsibility for their own health, they may end up regretting it later when or if they become ill. I believe that everyone needs to take responsibility for their health if they want to be around to take care of their loved ones. I believe a person should have the right to choose their level of health. I believe that people should be able to decide whether or not they want to live a healthy lifestyle. However, I believe that the healthcare community has a responsibility to educate people on their choices, as well as truthfully state possible outcomes of their unhealthy choices. In practice, at a clinical site, they hold a weekly meeting for patients whose diabetes is not controlled. These patients have to be referred by their doctor in order to attend, and the class is optional. These meetings are conducted by the diabetes doctor as well as diabetes nurses, and they focus on different areas of diabetes management every week. These patients are informed of their current physical condition including weight, Hemoglobin A1C level, and blood pressure. The meetings are educational and informative for these patients, and the doctor and nurses say they see improvement in a lot of patients. However, it is up to the patient what they do with the information, or if they even attend. I believe that educating the patient and holding them accountable for their own health is a beneficial approach. It allows the patient to receive the imperative information they need to manage their illness, and allows them to make decisions regarding their health. My definition of health is being free from mental and physical illness. Wellness is a state of feeling good mentally and physically as well as socially and emotionally. Therefore, illness can be described as a period of sickness involving mental, physical, emotional, or social contexts. I believe what contributes to promoting a persons

Philosophy

definition of health is the environment they grew up in and live in currently. This environment includes social, physical, and mental aspects. I believe health is a right. I do not believe that health should be allowed only to those who can afford to buy health care. I believe that there are too many people in the world who are unnecessarily suffering because they do not have access or money to receive the health care they desperately need. Turning away from these people who need affordable care is, in my opinion, inhumane. I cannot imagine telling a mother that we cannot treat her childs cancer because they cannot afford the treatment. I do not believe that anyone deserves to be treated like they are unworthy of being healthy. One persons health affects many including their family and community; this can be positive or negative. When a family member is sick, it affects the entire family. The sick person could be the one who brings home the income, which has a huge impact on the family unit when that person is sick and unable to work. It also affects the familys emotional state. Having a sick family member in the hospital is emotionally draining for most families. On the reverse, when a person is healthy or making changes to become healthy this can also affect the family, but in a positive direction. If a family member were to make healthy changes in their lifestyle such as choosing healthy foods and exercising, this could inspire other family members to do the same. I believe that health care should be the responsibility of the patient. However, if the patient cannot afford private insurance, some kind of assistance should be provided so that these people can have access to health care as well. I believe we have an ethical responsibility to open our doors to those who cannot afford to help themselves. As far

Philosophy

as allocation of resources goes, I am not a politician, so I will not pretend that I know where the money should come from. Environment can be defined as the physical place a person lives or works. The way I see nursings interaction with the environment in health promotion is to promote a healthy lifestyle in any and every way that we can. I think this should be done by promoting ones self as a healthy human being. I believe doctors and nurses should keep an active lifestyle, choose healthy foods, maintain a healthy weight, and choose to not smoke. By promoting ourselves as healthy individuals, we can set a good example for our patients that they can follow. Fontaine proclaims that before nurses can care for clients, they must first learn to value and care for themselves (Fontaine, 2011). A persons wellness or illness can be affected by their interaction with the environment. If the environment the person lives or works in is not a healthy one, this can obviously have a huge impact on their health. For example, a person who lives in extreme filth is probably being exposed to all sorts of pathogens. Also, a person who works in an extremely hazardous environment is being exposed to numerous unhealthy conditions. Major environmental factors affecting health in my practice setting might be possible exposure to hazardous drugs, possible exposure to blood borne pathogens, or exposure to the various infectious diseases we come in contact with, as well as the possible threat of bioterrorism. The factor I see most amenable to nursing intervention so far in my career is the exposure to blood borne pathogens. Since nurses work around bodily fluids all day and night, I feel we have the most ability to change the standards we currently use. For example, just the other day I went in to a patients room to help a nurse. The nurse needed me to lift the patients leg while she managed a wound. This

Philosophy

particular patient is quadriplegic and needs complete assistance with everything. I put the required contact precaution gear on since the patient was in isolation. When I lifted the patients leg, I almost got a mouth full of dead skin cells because there was a fan blowing straight in my direction, and the patients skin was extremely dry and flaking. At that moment, I wished I had more personal protective equipment including a mask and face shield. However, the only option I had was to turn my head away and try not to breathe, all while maintaining the patients dignity. This is an example of how nurses need to have the power to be able to change environmental hazards in the work place. If this had been a bodily fluid that splashed on my face, I would have had no way to protect my face from it. However, if nurses get together and raise awareness, changes can be made so our work environment is safer. I believe the major goal of nursing is to assist patients in their journey to recovering from whatever illness is affecting them, or to assist the patient who is dying to die in comfort and with dignity. This includes the patients physical needs as well as their psychosocial needs. The major role of the nurse is to provide the patient with comfort, encouragement, and ultimately promote the patient to their maximum level of functioning. The unique characteristics of the nursing profession that differentiates us from other health professionals are we give complete care to individuals who are at a most vulnerable point in their life, and we have an extensive body of knowledge from the human anatomy to the psychosocial aspects of a person and with this knowledge are able to make clinical decisions. We also advocate for our patients, comfort our patients, and communicate with patients, their families, doctors, as well as other health care professionals, and we teach our patients at every opportunity.

Philosophy

I believe nursings accountability to the patient is to treat every patient with the same level of care and dignity. Nursings responsibility to the providers is to accurately report the assessment of the patient and document care given. When nursing is completed with accuracy and documentation to the best of the nurses ability, it allows for providers to complete their job to the best of their ability, and ultimately this is what is best for the patient. Nursings responsibility to the community is to have an accurate educational background to be able to assess the community as an aggregate and be able to plan and implement interventions for the better of the community. Finally, nursings responsibility to society is much like to the community, but on a larger scale. We must be able to assess problems within our society, plan interventions, and implement those interventions in order to better our society as a whole. I believe the essential cognitive characteristic of a professional nurse is to be able to use our education in times of clinical judgment in order to make accurate decisions for our patients. Chitty and Black claim that making sound clinical judgments requires excellent critical thinking skills and as nurses we are responsible and accountable for your own decisions, the development of critical thinking skills is crucial as you provide nursing care for patients (Chitty & Black, 2011). The behavioral characteristics of a professional nurse are to always act in a professional manner, always follow the Nursing Code of Ethics, and always practice nursing within the Scope and Standards of Nursing Practice. Commitment can be defined as dedicating oneself to a job, person, or a way of life. Behaviors that evidence a committed professional nurse are dedication to patient care, dedication to continued education, and dedication to bettering the nursing profession by always showing professionalism in every situation. By exhibiting these behaviors of a committed professional nurse, we can further our profession and ourselves.

Philosophy

References Butts, J.B. & Rich, K.L. (2008). Nursing Ethics. 2nd Ed. Sudbury, MS: Jones and Bartlett. Chitty, K.K. & Black, B.P. (2011). Professional Nursing Concepts & Challenges. 6th Ed. Maryland Heights, MO: Elsevier. Fontaine, K.L. (2011). Complementary & Alternative Therapies for Nursing Practice. 3rd Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Perason.