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My Philosophy of Nursing Mindi E. Arnett Dixie State University

MY PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING My Philosophy of Nursing I have a lifetime of experiences, education, friendships and studies of theology that have

all contributed to my philosophy of nursing. There are so many pieces that fit together in dozens of ways, to weave the fabric of what nursing is to me. I see it as a profession, a vocation, and for myself, as a calling that I began my tutelage in at a very young age. To share how my belief in nursing began and evolved is a daunting task. It is my hope that I can manage, in some small part, to share my philosophy of nursing; that we may continue to learn, to have a greater understanding, and find deeper meaning in our practice of nursing. My story My family lived in a small town, about two hours time, from the hospital where I received care following an automobile accident. We were on our way to an amusement park. It was my brothers birthday, and the whole family was in the van; my mother, father, three brothers and a sister. The accident happened years before society knew seatbelts and car seats were a necessity, and no one in the vehicle was buckled. My father missed the freeway exit we should have taken, and decided to turn around in the median between northbound and southbound Interstate 15. Positioned in the fast lane, and slowing nearly to a stop, to make a left turn into the dirt separating the two directions of freeway traffic, our van was hit from behind. The driver of the other vehicle was a young man, only 19 years old. He might have been going a bit faster than the limit allowed, but a van moving at a snails pace to make a left turn was the last thing he expected to encounter. The impact sent both vehicles into multiple flips, and all seven passengers in my familys van were ejected. It really could have been much worse. There was no loss of life. I do not have memories to tell me of the care given to our family. My mother kept a journal of sorts, though. It was

MY PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING more like taking notes really; just a small pocket notebook with entries in short sentences. But simple things can teach, and her notes have taught me a great deal of all the care and service we received. She writes, Im ok, will not be admitted. Had x-rays of my head. Kids and G

(Gordon, my father) are admitted upstairs. Jan has skull fracture. Toby and Dori have stitches in their heads & concussions. Gordon has 3 compressed vertebrae and hurt eye (Martin, M. personal journal, 1978). I was seven months old. I was in my mothers arms when she was thrown from the vehicle. I was in my mothers arms when she hit the ground. What I now know of motherhood can be summed up in those words. On our way out of the van my left arm was nearly torn from my body. It was ninety-five percent severed. A small section of skin was the only thing that held the mangled limb to my miniature frame. Shes going to lose her arm, isnt she my mother wrote (Martin, M. personal journal, 1978. p. 1). Mindi was taken from me & I hear her crying. Shes alive. She will be taken to surgery. All told, it took nearly twenty surgeries to save my little arm. But a brave surgeon and good nurses were willing to try, when many would not have. Mindi from surgery 5:30. All night is hour checks for vitals- Im up from 1 to another child all night. Mindi nurses o.k. and looks good. Im surprised to see her fingers. (p. 4). With the technology we have today, saving a limb is still a challenging task; thirty six years ago, it was next to a miracle. There were no clean edges to put together. Bones that had been in splinters needed plates and pins that were put in and taken out; a bone graft from the growth plate in my hip so that the arm would grow; multiple skin grafts and more than one complication made the hospital my second home. I spent a month there, initially, but spent many more nights, through multiple surgeries to put broken pieces back together.

MY PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING Five days after the accident my mother writes, Crashed. Nurse had them check me at

ER. Was given some valium and put into another room and slept for five hours. Mindi survived ok thanks to good nurses. (Martin, M. personal journal, 1978. p. 8). An attentive nurse understood that my mother needed rest and provided a way for her to get what she needed. There were many times a nurse walked the halls with me so my mother could sleep a few hours. I was in and out of the hospital weekly, then bi-weekly and monthly for the first two years after the accident. I went to my primary surgeons office yearly after that, until I was sixteen. They were always thrilled to see me, and it was a celebration of sorts for my doctor, and for my nurse, Karen. I remember looking forward to those trips, and waiting anxiously to see everyone in the office. They made me feel important, special, and I always felt loved. My Philosophy I believe nursing to be composed of two key principles. First, we must have intelligence guided by correct intuition. We must have a high level of knowledge about the whole person, including health, illness and wellness on a physical and psychological level. And then we must be able to apply, or use the information that we have. We must possess and be able to use intuition to help us to ask the right questions and notice the subtleties inherent in life. Second, we must have a desire to serve that is driven by love. We must desire to help, lift, heal, protect and teach, and to do all of the things that nurses should be doing. And this desire must be driven by unselfishness. It must come from a heart full of love. When we desire to serve, in order to gain a paycheck, or prestige or social status, the true nature of great nursing is lost. When we serve because we love that is when great nursing happens.

MY PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING Other Theories of Nursing I have learned a great deal in my study of nursing theory that has helped to shape my

belief in nursing. McCurry, Revell, and Roy, (2010) suggest that the body of knowledge that the nursing profession possesses and how we expand that body of knowledge helps to define our profession. Jean Watsons theory has helped expand my concept of caring and provided great growth for our profession through her teaching of the ten caritas (Biley, A. 2000). Nursing, Clients, Environment, & Health We provide nursing care when it is needed, in whatever place we practice. The environment of nursing care is not only a location, but a state of mind. The health we seek to have in our own lives and in the lives of those we provide nursing care to, is a balance of physical, and psychological well-being. When I was injured, the nursing care that was given, was not only given to me, the patient; it was provided to, and benefited my entire family. When we provide nursing care to one individual we can affect and enrich the lives of many. Our service has effects that are so far reaching we may not see it always. My arm was saved in such a way that I have never had to limit my activities. (With the exception of typing- which looks rather peculiar, and is kind of slow.) I am going to be a nurse. Everyone I provide care to, will be beneficiaries of the care I received as a child. Conclusion I will continue to learn and grow with the profession I have learned to love. I will seek after knowledge, and be tuned in to my patients so that I may be guided by intuition to apply the knowledge I have in their care. I will serve, and I will do so because I am full of love. In so doing, my hope is that I will be a great nurse.

MY PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING References McCurry, M., Revell, S., & Roy, S. (2010). Knowledge for the good of the individual and society: Linking philosophy, disciplinary goals, theory, and practice. Nursing Philosophy, 11(1), 42-52. doi:10.1111/j.1466-769X.2009.00423.x

Biley, A. (2000). Post modern nursing and beyond by Jean Watson. 1999. Churchill Livingstone, London. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 9(4), 649. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2702.2000.0374a.x Martin, M., Personal Journal. 1978.