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Running head: PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY

Personal Philosophy
Vera Nixon
Bon Secours Memorial School of Nursing
NUR 3240
Professor Gardner
June 19, 2015
Honor Code I pledge..

Personal Philosophy
Putting my personal philosophy into concrete ideas is a difficult and enlightening process.
This allows me to take a serious look at what I consider to be important as a nurse, and how to
explain that to another individual. In addition, I am able to pinpoint a theory that I feel truly
strikes a chord with my own values, and learn many things about my idea of nursing.
As I think about my personal philosophy, I consider the situations when I feel as though I
delivered adequate, not excellent, nursing care. The aspect that strikes me as consistent
throughout, is the feeling of a lack of connection with the family and/or patient. I dont expect to

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have a personal connection with every patient/family, but I feel that a minimum should be

achieved to perform my job, to the best of my ability. This connection affects every interaction
with healthcare providers; more specifically without trust, I am unable to effectively apply my
philosophy in my care. Trust in the medical team leads to optimal care of the patient. Without
that trust, actions are questioned and patients tend to stay longer, have more tests/procedures, and
overall have a negative concept of the hospital stay.
My personal philosophy is that the overall scope of practice for a nurse, is to assist the
patient (and often their family) in transitioning to their previous level of health, or above, before
they had a health-changing incident. This focuses on four major areas: education, advocacy,
assessment, and critical thinking. With such a broad idea of nursing, specifying my overall
philosophy to kindhearted healing, is decidedly influenced by my experience as a pediatric nurse.
Educating the family and patient, advocating for the optimal treatment of the patient, assessing
the patient and familys needs, and generalized critical thinking throughout, are essential to
everyday nursing practice. While these ideals are more task-oriented, performing them in an
optimal way demands the use of the personal values of each nurse.
Bon Secours values of respect, compassion, quality, and innovation (Bon Secours
System Health Care, n.d.) are the focus of my philosophy. Respecting each familys different
dynamics and beliefs, empathizing with the family and patient during their struggle of illness of a
child, innovation through finding how a mode of treatment can be ideally implemented for each
family, and consistently maintaining my personal level of quality of care are the backbone of my
philosophy.
Compassion (Bon Secours System Health Care, n.d.) is a large component in my
philosophy, and I know it is due to my experiences as a pediatric nurse. I find that in my

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previous experiences, pediatric nurses tend to demonstrate compassion and empathy readily and
often, as many patients tend to be more demonstrative in their age ranges. In addition, the
concept that many incidents occur to the patient, instead of by, as they are minors and need to be
taken care of, leads to this idea as well. This is not to say that adult nursing doesnt include
compassion as a whole, but in my experience is demonstrated widely and often on my floor.
Respect (Bon Secours System Health Care, n.d.) for the patients and familys decisions
is also important. Attempting to respect a patients need for that independence is demonstrated in
many different ways, such as asking a patient to choose an option instead of a yes/no question
such as: Do you want your blood pressure taken on your arm or leg? instead of Can I take
your blood pressure? This allows for the patient to maintain a level of independence during a
time when much independence is taken away.
Innovation (Bon Secours System Health Care, n.d.) when applying treatment plans and
discharge goals is constantly occurring, as every patient-family dynamic is different, as well as
how children respond to changes in their schedule. Little things are commonplace, such as
bedtime meds, scheduled for 22:00, given at 20:00 because that is their bedtime. Another
concept is obtaining vitals and assessments during feeding times for babies instead of at specific
times, to allow for maintenance of a home schedule. Bigger concepts occur as well, such as
setting up care conferences with family members and all members of a healthcare team to
discuss treatment and discharge plans.
Lastly, quality (Bon Secours System Health Care, n.d.) is an important value. As a nurse,
I strive to maintain a level of quality that I personally feel I should have as a nurse, which
encompasses the level expected by Bon Secours and my manager. This is different for every

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nurse, as it is essentially a personal concept; what I feel as quality nursing care may not meet

someone elses personal standards.


When considering nursing theories, I found my personal philosophy similar to Dorothea
Orems Self-Care Deficit Theory (Masters, 2014), and honestly, influenced by her theory. I tend
to be a more concrete thinking individual. Orems theory appeals to me as easy to understand
and explain, with easily objectified goals. The self-care theory stresses the importance of the
patients need to maintain and perform baseline health activities, and outlines the nurses
responsibility to assist, if the patient is unable to meet that ideal (Masters, 2014).
Conclusion
My personal nursing philosophy of kindhearted nursing in order to bring the patient back
to, or above, their baseline of health, allowed me to look at myself as a nurse. This experience
taught me how I held myself to the standards of Orems theory and how I ranked the values of
Bon Secours. I am aware that my philosophy has changed from what I held as a new nurse. In
addition, I am aware that my philosophy will continue to grow and change as I expand my
knowledge and participate in lifelong learning. I look forward to being able to look back and
compare my philosophy now to what it will be in 5, 10, or even 20 years.

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References

Bon Secours System Health Care. (n.d.), Our Values, Retrieved from http://www.bshsi.org/aboutus-our-mission-our-values.html
Masters, K. (2014). Framework for professional nursing practice. In Role development in
professional nursing practice (3rd ed., pp. 47-87). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett
Learning.