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Since time in memorial, there have been individuals who have dedicated their time to care for sick individuals and even attempted to cure various kinds of sicknesses. It’s for this reason that nursing has been described as a “morally central health care profession” (Burkhardt, 1949, p.4). Nursing can be considered as a profession as well as a discipline. Viewed as a discipline, it bears the belief of existence of a dynamic link between the environment and individuals. When considered as a profession, nursing facilitates and supports people, families, societies and communities, to maintain, enhance and improve health along with reduce the effects of sickness. As a matter of fact, nursing has to be performed by recognizing the patients’ psychological, physiological, development, sociocultural and spiritual values. In this essay, I give a broader perspective of my individual professional moral compass; tackle how cultural, spiritual and personal values contribute to my worldview and nursing philosophy. Moreover, I set out to address the way these values influence the practice of nursing and share personal thoughts concerning the ethical and morals dilemmas encountered in the field of health care.
The spiritual, cultural and personal values that contribute to philosophy and worldview of nursing include holism, caring, wellness, nursing practice and nursing process. These values influence and shape in many ways how the profession of nursing is practiced. Since nursing is considered as an interactive practice, one should know that it involves collaboration with patients and individuals from other disciplines. Therefore, commitment, confidence, compassion, competence, and conscience, signs of caring, must be shown in the nursing practice. The nurse should be accountable and responsible for nursing actions and judgments. Wellness care does not lead to chances for nurses to impose their value system on patients or clients. It is a merely an agreed upon behavior change that is aimed at achieving maximum wellness levels for patients.
In this context, ethics is regarded as a thought process in which nurses need to balance between shared values and individual, benefits and consequences and elementary truths from guiding principles to come up with a morally satisfactory solution when faced with ethical dilemma. Values on the other hand, are the beliefs and ideas that matters a lot to nurses and which they embrace so much. They include concern for others, self-reliance and trust in hard work. Morals refers to habits of behavioral conduct that are based on principles of right and wrong for assisting nurses in differentiates decisions, intentions and actions between the good ones and bad ones. As Burkhardt (1949) puts it, nursing is affected by ethics and morals on different levels. Moral reasoning generates the motivation for nurses to care for patients. In fact there are statements of moral principle, discussion of moral issues, codes of ethics and expressions of ideals are all found in the entire history of nursing.
Everyone, whether a nurse or not, has unique personal values, philosophy, ideas, beliefs and worldview that are distinct from others. This creates a great challenge especially in the field of nursing on ways of properly incorporating every nurse’s beliefs and values into the professional and skilled practice. Personal worldview and values may differ with the obligation mandated to all nurses by professional values and philosophy: integrity, caring, excellence and diversity. I reflect on and value nursing as understanding the situations and needs of patients, seeing all clients as unique people and treating them with dignity and respect they deserve. The strong relationship between nurses and patients represents chances to explore and apply relevant personal values (Shaw, 2010). It’s normal that any relationship might have some differences and misunderstandings. Nurses are normal human beings who could also encounter such situations. However, I personally ensure that my family differences or problems do not reflect in my professional work as a nurse. In any case this is what should happen in all professions. Conflict may arise when trying to balance between promoting health life among patients and maintaining family life as well but I try my level best to find time for my family away from the busy schedule of a nurse.
Nursing focuses on ethical and moral implications of technology, research and decision making in the health care. Unlike what most people might think, the motivation for nurses to keep going despite the struggles that come along with the profession comes from spiritual influences, moral or practical experiences. Dilemmas are evident when available alternatives do not lead to acceptable results and final decision directs to undesirable outcomes. For instance, take into consideration an ethical dilemma of a parent of two kids has one kid diagnosed with a terminal illness while the second kid is the only way of giving life-sustaining cure. This is an ethical dilemma since the involved parent is unable to come up with a morally satisfactory solution as any decision will lead in loss of life, either for both or one of the kids. Faced with this dilemma, I would consider that half a loaf is better than none. Hence I would spare the other kid that is not sick and seek for medical assistance from other health practitioners for the sick child.
It has been shown that for nurses to be a Human Service agent, they must discover their beliefs and values. Numerous assumptions, values and beliefs influence perspective of nursing as well as its performance. Just like Draper puts it, while values guide the morality of care and the vision of nurses, some beliefs and assumptions are incorporated in directing care on a daily basis in a highly philosophical and evocative way.