Preservation of Dignity and Compassionate Care: A Philosophy of Nursing
Nursing is a helping profession that is intimately tied to human life. As such, nurses must be able to steadily navigate life’s spectrum of experience– ranging from triumph to tragedy – alongside those whom they serve. It is a journey that requires resilience, dedication, and a strong sense of purpose, all of which must be grounded in personal conviction and philosophy. This philosophy should include the belief that all people have value, and as such, deserve compassionate, holistic care that conserves their dignity and autonomy (Wueste, 2005).
A nurse must have compassion …show more content…
Erickson, et al. (1983) suggested that holism is the notion that people have many aspects, including “genetic make up and spiritual drive, body, mind, emotion, and spirit” (p. 44), all of which are interdependent. Thus, health is not simply the “absence of disease” (p. 46), but is wellbeing in all of the aforementioned areas. A person’s health is deeply tied to their environment, socioeconomic status, and access to resources, and if the root causes of health problems are not addressed, patients will return with the same recurrent issues. This can be seen, for example, with patients who have chronic heart failure and do not follow a low-sodium diet or fluid restrictions. Lifestyle choices are a factor in nearly half of the deaths in the United States, and a nurse must not only focus on the treating the problems a patient presents with, but also encouraging a healthy lifestyle (Arnold & Boggs, 2012). In collaboration with patients, nurses should work to set specific, measurable goals for positive behavioral change, such as gradual smoking cessation, exercise and healthy eating. However, the nurse must be aware that the only person capable of making the change is the patient, and this process is not easy. Bandura suggests that when patients are made aware of physical and cognitive motivators and …show more content…
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