Nursing Vulnerability In Nursing

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“Vulnerability is at the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences” (Brown, 2014). Vulnerability can be regarded as a constant human experience that can be affected by physical, social and psychological dimensions (Scanlon & Lee, 2006; Malone, 2000) Deconstructing the concept of vulnerability and how it relates to client care is imperative for nurses due to their dynamic role in health care (Gjengedal et al.2013). In this paper I will provide a theoretical overview of the nursing concept vulnerability. I will explore how a thorough understanding of vulnerability informs the nursing concept of vulnerability and informs the nursing practice and the nursing profession. I will identify the gaps in the nursing …show more content…

It is a multidimensional human condition and constant human experience with the reduced ability to protect oneself (Cousley, Martin, & Hoy, 2014). Bailey (2010) describes vulnerability as an internal conflict which brings feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and lack of control. Vulnerability as defined by Scanlon & Lee (2006) can be broken into three dimensions, physical, social, and psychological aspects. Physical vulnerability can be identified by the potential risk of harm in the environment. Social vulnerability include age, sex, and ethnicity. Psychological vulnerability refers to the feelings associated with the loss of control and can be manifested by stress and anxiety. Vulnerability can be measured by the potential harm and the capacity to overcome it, as stated by Spiers (2000). Only the person experiencing vulnerability can truly understand its implications as it is a unique and individualized experience. (Thorup, Rundqvist, Roberts & Delmar, 2012). Vulnerability can be better understood by examining the external and internal risk factors that increase an individual’s …show more content…

The healthcare system can be difficult for clients to navigate and they are often unsure how to access information which puts them at the mercy of others and can lead to feelings of helplessness (Erlen, 2006). Nurses can provide resources to educate patients when they becomes dependent on a health care provider and no longer feel in control of their own body which can lead to fear, hopelessness, helplessness and loss of control (Cousley et al., 2014). The change in roles individuals face can further increase their stress and feelings of powerlessness (Scanlon & Lee, 2006). According to the CNA code of ethics, nurses are responsible for protecting patients from objective risks that place them in an increased level of vulnerability (Carel, 2009). They can do this by providing the resources necessary for patients to educate themselves and be better able to cope with the health challenges they

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