The Art of Nursing
Part I: Caring and Metaparadigms in Nursing
The role of caring is of paramount importance in the sphere of nursing as it increases the quality of healthcare services, improves patient satisfaction, and enhances collaboration among patients and nurses. Caring is the core element and the heart of the nursing practice that remains fundamental to the entire nursing metaparadigm. The current paper aims to shed light on four main metaparadigm concepts as well as evaluate the role and significance of caring.
Many researchers and authors of grand and middle-range nursing theories have made successful attempts to define, describe, and assess the notion of caring and its significance in the field of nursing. From the perspective of nursing as the process of caring, the focus and aim of nursing are closely associated with nurturing and providing effective caring processes and procedures to patients. In order to understand and clearly interpret the phenomenon of caring, it is crucially significant to be aware of four main metaparadigms of nursing, including nurse, person, health, and, finally, environment.
Jean Watson, a prominent American nurse theorist, nursing professor, and the author of a comprehensive and functional nursing model, provides evidence that the term “person”, or “human being”, as a core metaparadigm concept, should be interpreted by nurses and other health care professionals as a valued individual who should be cared for, understood, respected, nurtured, and assisted in meeting the basic needs, desires, and expectations. Taking into account the information provided in Swanson’s middle-range theory of caring, a person, as one of the main metaparadigm concepts, should be viewed as a unique being who possesses a variety of traits, feelings, behaviors, skills, thoughts, and actions. Moreover, K. M. Swanson, who designed and developed this comprehensive nursing theory, claims that the behaviors and actions of every person are influenced and shaped by multiple external factors and processes, especially genetic heritage and numerous spiritual determinants. Although there is no universal definition or conceptualization of the term “person”, I associate this metaparadigm concept with an individual and human being who should have a fundamental right to be cared for and respected by other people, including nurses. I share the views of the researcher Jean Watson that human beings should be perceived as a functional and integrated whole and a unity of the three core components, including mind, body, and, finally, spirit.
Jean Watson defines the metaparadigm concept of nursing as a sphere that is primarily purposed to promote the health and well-being of patients, thereby preventing illnesses and contributing to positive health outcomes. I absolutely agree with the estimations of the researchers that the notion of caring is directly linked to health promotion and disease prevention. In my opinion, nursing is a rational and natural combination of art and science that may be applied to many practical situations. Despite the fact that the meaning and nature of the term “nursing” is ambiguous and controversial, I assume that nursing, as a core metaparadigm concept, encompasses a variety of goals and objectives, including mobilizing and promoting physical health and emotional well-being of patients, fostering self-education, preventing threatening diseases and illnesses, minimizing risks and threats, setting a clear medical diagnosis, and focusing on a variety of timely and efficient intervention options. Thus, nursing is closely connected with the themes of struggle, hope, commitment, humility, kindness, nurturing, hope, and spirituality.
According to the data provided in professional resources, the metaparadigm concept of health is extremely versatile and multidimensional as it includes several key elements, in particular, appropriate levels of physical, social, and mental functioning as well as the absence of life-threatening diseases and illnesses. Jean Watsons, as a representative of a comprehensive and consistent middle-range nursing theory, provides convincing evidence that the phenomenon of health corresponds to harmony, comfort, and wholeness within the human mind, body, and soul. In fact, I believe that health should be perceived as the state of well-being that is analyzed from different perspectives, including physical, mental, psychological, social, and spiritual. Moreover, although many people mistakenly limit the notion of health to physical welfare, the role of mental health is no less significant as it motivates people to realize their abilities, gives them a chance to cope with challenging and stressful situations, makes work more fruitful and effective, and ensures an opportunity to contribute to the growth and welfare of the community.
The term “environment” is also included in the list of fundamental metaparadigm concepts as an integral part of caring in the nursing practice and profession. Kristen M. Swanson describes environment in the field of nursing as any context that has the dominant and potential power to impact and shape the physical health and psychological well-being of patients. In this context, it is critically important to evaluate the notion of environment as defined by Jean Watson since she emphasizes that environment stimulates and assists patients in meeting their needs and desires. Generally, I think that there are two main types of environment, including internal and external, that have the power to impact health on the individual, family, and community levels. Thus, environment encompasses a variety of physical, chemical, social, and even biological contexts that contribute to the state of soundness, wholeness, and effective physical and mental functioning of a human organism. In conclusion, the central concepts of the nursing discipline and profession are person, health, nursing, and, finally, environment. The role of these clear and comprehensive concepts is predominant as these abstract and multifaceted phenomena give a chance to determine, describe, explain, and evaluate the significance of the nursing practice.
Part II: The Concept of Caring
Regardless of the fact that caring as a concept in the sphere of nursing remains controversial and elusive because the researchers have not reached universal and acceptable definitions of this term, it should be perceived and analyzed from several dimensions. The latter include qualified and professional skills, traits, knowledge, and attitudes with the purpose to provide effective informational, emotional, and practical health care services and procedures to contribute to the health and well-being of patients with a variety of mild sicknesses as well as life-threatening and long-term diseases. I am a proponent of the idea that that notion of caring is a complex, interactive, continuing, and dynamic process that should be manifested in daily nursing actions through effective interactions, meaningful collaborations, and transparent nurse-patient communication processes. Caring in the nursing practice is inevitable because caring as well as uncaring practices and behaviors of the personnel have a direct and tremendous influence on the feelings and emotions of every patient. Therefore, caring behaviors and practices of nurses include a variety of informational, emotional, and practical services purposed to ensure patients' recovery and improvement of their health.
Taking into consideration the notion of caring provided in professional resources, my definition of the term corresponds to the views and estimation of scholars who explore the nature of this concept. For instance, researchers who investigate the conundrum of caring in the nursing discipline stress that it is considered a universal human attribute that has withstood the test of time. Many authors prove that caring remains crucially significant in the nursing practice and profession, as it is the key factor that assists nurses in turbulent times remaining at the forefront of the nursing discipline and profession. Moreover, the phenomenon of caring in the nursing profession and practice motivates nurses and other experts in healthcare to be supportive, collaborative, sympathetic, and kind. It is crucially important for nurses to enhance their understanding of the inner meaning and nature of care and caring with the purpose of developing their understanding of the nursing profession and nursing itself.
The Holy Bible proclaims that all human beings have a special role as well as special responsibility to provide effective care and healing services to individuals who need assistance. The Bible promotes the idea that Christian nurses should give adequate fostering and comprehensive care to other people because every person is God’s creation, and God loves, motivates, and empowers every human being to love what God loves. According to Ephesians 4:32, one of the inspiring Bible verses about caring, humans should be kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving to other people as God always forgives everyone. In addition, according to Galatians 5:22, love, peace, patience, security, kindness, and faithfulness are the fruit of the Spirit.These two bright examples of caring in the Bible are directly applicable to the nursing discipline and profession as they claim that nurses and other professionals in the field of health care should not underestimate the power and tremendous positive effects of a touch, a sincere smile, a compliment, a kind and pleasant word, a genuine commitment, and a tiny act of caring as all these processes and actions have a huge potential to turn the life of every patient around.
The worldviews of nurses, including the Christian worldview, impact and shape the role and nature of caring. For instance, I know from personal experience how the lack of assistance and indifference of nurses put the health and well-being of patients at risk. When I had an opportunity to provide caring services to the patients in one of the local hospital departments, I understood that love, commitment, truthfulness, responsibility, generosity, and sympathy are the core components of caring that should be extensively applied in the clinical practice. They do not only contribute to the health and well-being of patients, but make them happier as well as more satisfied and motivated. Therefore, the Holy Bible required and motivated me to have a deep connection and commitment to the spirit within the self and to the spirit within every patient.
Thus, the role of caring is instrumental as it is directly linked to the feeling of concern, commitment, and empathy for other people. However, caring is a versatile and multidimensional process that requires and motivates nurses and other professionals to take immediate actions in order to contribute to the physical and mental health of patients. Finally, caring may be interpreted as an ethical task that is influenced by different religions, including the Christian worldviews. In general, the nursing metaparadigm and profession, shaped by different worldviews, should begin with God as God created a suitable environment for human beings and gave them an opportunity to live in health and peace in a God-centered society with a sense of absolute physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being.