The three values that I chose to discuss in my paper and that I find are most important are: integrity, altruism, and autonomy. I chose integrity as the most important value because I think that it is a value that a confident and accountable nurse should possess. I chose altruism as my second value because I think that it is essential to be compassionate and show openness towards others. I chose autonomy as my third value because to be it is important to act independently.
Integrity is the value that I chose as the most important because it is essential that a nurse is someone who the patient can trust to give them the best care possible. Also, practicing ethical care and holding yourself responsible for your actions is a major part of being a professional nurse. Integrity means to me doing the right thing, even when someone is not being observant of your actions. Kang (2017) defines integrity as, “A concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness of one’s actions”. I demonstrate integrity in my life by being accountable at school, work, and home. The people in my life know that I am reliable and if I say I am going to do something, I will.
Altruism is another value that I chose because being able to portray compassion towards other people who need it, is essential in the nursing career and everyday life. Gol (2018) states, “Altruism is defined as the material or nonmaterial positive contribution to others’ life without expectation of a profit. It includes many positive social behaviors such as helping, taking responsibility, donating” (663). This quote is just one definition of altruism, but I think it describes my definition accurately. One way that I demonstrate altruism in my everyday life is volunteering. I have volunteered all throughout my life because it was very important to me and my school to give back to those in need in our community. One volunteer experience that I think portrayed altruism was the coats for kids drive. The coats for kids’ drive was held at the salvation army and my job was to take families around to help them pick out winter coats, gloves, and hats for their kids. Gol (2018) writes, “In the literature, it is stated that altruism is in the basis of nursing individuals who have a high level of altruism choose this profession because they want to care for and help people. The attitude developed for a profession is one of the important determinants of the individual’s success in that profession” (664).
I picked autonomy as my third value because I think it is very important to be independent and confident in your ability to be able to make effective decisions. Rao (2016) states, “Autonomy is central to both professional and interprofessional practice in health care. For nurses, autonomy translates into the ability to act on professional knowledge to exercise judgment over patient care and clinical decision making. Nurses working in settings supporting greater nurse autonomy, in comparison to those in settings with less autonomy, are more satisfied in their jobs, are less likely to be burned out, and are more likely to plan to continue working in their hospitals; they also report greater teamwork and better quality of care” (74). This quote portrays that autonomy is essential because a nurse and their patients will both have better outcomes in their care and professional career. In this semester I have practiced autonomy by using my own judgment to make decisions about my resident. I did this by creating a care plan on certain areas that I thought my resident needed improvement or help on.
Nursing to me is a career that focuses on caring for the sick in a holistic approach. One major concept that I think contributes to the nursing profession is caring. Two other major concepts that I think also contributes to nursing is patient education and safety.
Caring contributes to the overall nursing profession because it is a vital part of being an excellent nurse. Adams (2016), “As caring has become one of the greatest fundamentals in nursing, introduced by Florence Nightingale as being the essence of nursing, some nursing proponents fear that it is no longer a central theme to the nursing profession and has become only second nature to the busy, overworked nurse in a technologically dominated setting” (1). This quote exemplifies that the nursing profession was built upon the concept of caring, but overtime it has been overlooked. Adams (2016) quotes Lukose, “Nursing is a caring science…human beings are connected to each other in the caring process; a nurse’s humanity embraces the humanity of others to preserve the dignity of self and others” (2). This explains that being a caring nurse can help the patients healing process be faster and to provide care that is unique and purposeful to the patient. Caring relates to the value of altruism because putting someone else’s needs before your own encompasses the goal of an excellent nurse.
Patient education is the second concept that I think relates to nursing as a whole because providing clear and informative education about any illnesses, surgeries, or medications is essential for effective care. Also, providing an effective way to educate your patient based on age or knowledge level is important to get your message across. Sesser (2018) states, “Now it is time to start the training but the teaching methods need to be decided. The decision is based on the method that will best help the patient understand and remember the message. Typically, more than one method is used to do patient education” (53). Teaching methods include: demonstration, visual aids, or discussions. Demonstration is a way of showing how a patient will perform a certain task. Visual aids such as videos or pictures can help the patient understand how to complete their task. Lastly, discussion is a way for the patient to listen and ask questions on that certain topic. Patient education relates to the value of autonomy because patients have to learn how to do certain tasks related to their own health problems. This can allow a patient to be more independent in their lives and know more about their own health situations.
Patient safety is the third concept that I chose to discuss that relates to the profession of nursing. Sousa (2018), “It is understood that safety culture is defined as the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies and behavior patterns that determine the commitment and behavior of a health organization with patient safety management. It is increasingly valued within health organizations, as the sustainability of a positive safety culture guides the professionals in building high-priority vision and improving care” (2501). Values that relate to patient safety are: integrity, autonomy, and knowledge.
In conclusion, the values that I think are most important are: integrity, altruism and autonomy. A nurse that possesses these three values can have a positive and effective impact on the overall patient experience. My philosophy for nurses include the concepts of: caring, patient education, and patient safety. Overall, this explains and defines my definition of a successful and valuable nurse.