As I embark on starting a new career, nursing offers me a demanding profession that involves my strength in interpersonal relations coupled with the desire to participate in a challenging career field. The nurse-patient relationship is the most important factor in starting an effective assessment of a the patient. Establishing this relationship is important to gain the trust of the patient as well as a rapid diagnosis in what will become a fiscally-challenged environment of health care.
In the current environment of Health Management Organizations (HMO’s), a patient often feels that their individuals needs are not met because every visit to the HMO results in seeing a new nurse and doctor. The patient history is lost, and the individual feels detached from the “organization” of HMO’s. As a result, the patient can feel that their needs are not being met. I believe that interpersonal relations between nurse, patient, and the patient’s family is a critical event of the treatment process. My role as a professional nurse is being more than just a mediator for a doctor. I believe that a “nurse can serve as a resource person, counselor, and surrogate”, and “as a nurse-patient relationship develops, the nurse and patient mutually define the problems and potential solutions” (Potter, Perry, 2013).
Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs is a philosophical model that puts health as the most basic and fundamental of needs (Potter, et. al., 2013). In order to reach a self-actualized state of a happiness and security, the basic physiological needs of an individual must be met. A person’s psyche can be directly tied to their current health, and great amounts of distraction can be cause by “nagging” conditions that do not get resolved. While the medical advancements continue to refine and discover cures, the human factors that lead to disease and illness is still very complicated. The days of our youth are, for the typical person, spent in relative health, with the body in great shape to adapt and overcome many obstacles. As we age, our bodies lose some of its resiliency.
The environment a patient lives in can play a critical role in a patient’s health. Work factors and home living conditions provide for the majority the time that a person spends. In addition, a third of a person’s life is spent sleeping, and this can also play a pivotal role in both health and mental well-being, or alternatively, provide for a root cause of poor health. While many work and home conditions may not be a factor in some situations, the nature of an illness or personal condition can, unbeknownst to the patient, be a direct result of those conditions. Left unexplored, the patient would be left with a developing condition of unknown cause, constantly exposing themselves to the same initiating conditions. Gastams (1998) supports these factors in claiming that “it becomes apparent that observing a person’s state of health and his or her responses to sickness and health forms an important an very specific part of the task of nursing.
Given the facets of health, environment, and person, the average patient will provide an entirely unique set of initial conditions by which a nurse and doctor will seek to resolve and eventually heal the patient. My philosophy of nursing is one in which “the well-trained health care worker who co-operates with the doctors and other health care experts [is] promoting the patient’s well-being.” (Gastams, 1998) Specifically, as a nurse with high standards and a continual desire to learn, I want to be a proactive and competent provider for a patient. To do that, I believe in bringing my interpersonal skills to assist the patient and provide a conducive environment for healing and caring. “It is critical that nurses have the ability to skillfully interact with patients in any setting. This fosters trust, mutual goal-setting, therapeutic interventions, and improved learning experiences for the patient and the nurse. More often than not, nurses use a combination of nursing theories and conceptual frameworks in daily nursing practice.” (Senn, 2013) By being professional and always seeking more knowledge, I can become a resource and advocate to my patient. As McNaughton (2005) points out, “when clients used nurses as resources, they primarily used them as sources of information, as confidantes, or as partners in problem solving.” In summary, while no one theory defines my personal philosophy, I predominantly believe in the Peplau philosophy of interpersonal relations as the fundamental nursing philosophy by which I will interact with my patient.