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Relationships Between Nursing Concepts, Research Paper Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1091

Research Paper

Abstract

In the field of nursing, the major components come together in an almost limitless number of ways. The nurse, the environment, the state of the patient, and what defines health each carries with it enormous variation possibilities, and these are exponentially expanded as the combinations and relationships between the components occur. No single one is more influential than the others, and all must be regarded correctly for the well-being of the patient and the nursing experience to progress as desired by all concerned.

Basic Factors

The paradigms associated with the nursing profession make for definitions that are typically widely accepted and rarely examined. For example, in the popular mind, the registered nurse is the caregiver, and the comforting intermediary between the vulnerable patient and the more distant and authoritative physician. The patient, too, despite the infinite number of reasons which define them as such, is usually viewed as the passive element in the equation.

There is substance to these generalized perceptions, certainly. However, it is worthwhile to seek deeper definitions; the more clearly the components within the nursing experience are known, the better the process can occur. Most essentially, it will be seen that even the most standardized definitions can present differences relating to the process, and necessary to understand to enhance individual situations.

The nurse is, again, the caregiver, medically trained to assist in promoting the patient’s well-being and educated as well in performing all the duties mandated by the attending physician. The actual definition is far larger: “…Nursing is the diagnosis and treatment of human responses to health and illness and therefore focuses on a broad array of phenomena” (Smeltzer, et al., 2009, p. 804). Most telling in this definition is that “human responses” aspect, as all the other factors in the nursing experience contribute to, and shape, it as influentially as does the actual nursing. Nonetheless, the nurse provides a quality to the process no other part of it can match: a degree of consistency and awareness. In more ideological terms, the nurse keeps watch, and this is an enormously vital role.

Of the other components dealt with here, the patient is the only other tangible, single presence, and they are as open to variation as the nurse, if not more so. The patient is the “why” of the entire experience, and what lies behind the patient status can range from minor emotional distress to terminal illness. Far more prone to variation, however, are the other factors of health, and the external circumstances surrounding the nursing. The former is by no means a fixed quality; health is a relative thing, and often only improvement, rather than an ideal state of health, is the goal. As regards external issues, they are truly unlimited in how they can both exist and manifest themselves. Family, lack of family, economic conditions, living situations, and even only the specific environment of the nursing itself make for endless, and influential, factors in the nursing process.

Relationship Dynamics

At its best, there exists within the nurse and patient relationship a genuine partnership. In a sense, it is the two of them against the illness and/or damaging external factors, and the best nursing acknowledges how expansive good nursing must be, to forge this partnership. It requires commitment from both parties, yet the nurse is relied upon as the more active, and usually stronger, half. Nonetheless, there is much that both parties must contribute: “Important components of the nurse-patient relationship include…empathy, trust, respect, knowing the patient, commitment, advocacy, and social control” (Fitzpatrick, Wallace, 383). While some of these concepts are strictly within the nurse’s province, not all are, and all are essential in creating a viable, beneficial nursing process.

This partnership is in place to secure a goal: the betterment of the patient. This is where the commitment levels of both parties are crucial, for external factors may impede progress as much as they may enhance it. Moreover, both patient and nurse must be aware of, and adapt to, their “partner’s” position in regard to these external factors. For example, a patient may be under extreme influence from family and/or culture to defy certain rules in place for their health. Perhaps the prescribed diet is seen by these external elements as unnecessary. It is then that the symbiosis of the nurse-patient relationship must be most evident; the nurse must demonstrate sensitivity to the importance of these elements in the patient’s life, yet not veer from what will be best for them, and the patient must balance his obligations to family and culture, along with their own inclinations, with a regard for the nurse/partner.

For any of this to succeed, there must be real communication between the nurse and the patient: “Nurses must take cultural differences into consideration when planning and implementing care” (Chitty, 2005, p. 508), yet they must take in a great deal more than that. Most importantly, both nurse and patient must realize that greater degrees of communication translate to better treatment. Here, too, is it evident that the patient has a role to play, and that the traditional, passive posture is both unrealistic and unhelpful. Florence Nightingale wrote, and admiringly, of the benefits of “…The patient performing self-care when possible and…not a totally passive individual” (Marriner-Tomey, Alligood, 2006, p. 77).

The relationships between nurse, patient, health, and external factors virtually never occur independently of one another. Simply put, if the nurse is there, it can be assumed that the other three considerations are there as well, and that the significance of each will vary as the treatment progresses. The patient becomes ill, and becomes, as noted, the “why”; the nurse attends to them, and each and both pursue a course of improved health while taking advantage of, or setting aside, external factors present in the patient’s life. The “health” itself, too, is a relative matter dictated by each nursing situation’s unique circumstances.

Ultimately, the paradigm of the nursing relationships must be a very loose social construct. Individual concerns will affect the process as influentially as the actual condition of the patient, and the nursing construct that fully acknowledges the variables and shifting demands of each case is best enabled to achieve real success.

References

Chitty, K. K. (2005.) Professional Nursing: Concepts and Challenges. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders.

Fitzpatrick, J. J., and Wallace, M. (2005.) Encyclopedia of Nursing Research. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, Inc.

Marriner-Tomey, A., and Alligood, A. R. (2006.) Nursing Theorists and Their Work. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.

Smeltzer, S. C., Bare, B. G., Hinkle, J. L., and Cheever, K. H. (2009.) Brunner and Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

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