Nursing as an Occupation

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Nursing as an Occupation Works Cited Not Included Nursing has, quite possibly, been one of the most difficult professions to define in the medical field. Clarke (2003) stated that the nurse needs to `articulate' who s/he is and what his/her `value' is in medicine or risks having others define it. As with the profession itself, definitions of nursing are ."..dynamic...constantly evolving to meet new knowledge."(Royal College of Nursing, 2003). Down through the years as the role of the nurse has expanded and diversified, so have the opinions of those who respect and view this career with intrigue. The author believes that nursing is and the functions of the nurse are: the "provision of care", a "commitment to partnership" between nurse and client (Royal College of Nursing, 2003), health promotion and the use of skill and biological knowledge in patient care. The provision of care as a basis for nursing has also encountered change ever since Florence Nightingale (1889), perceived that "the patient, rather than the disease process, should be the primary focus of health professionals." (Cited in Lindberg, Hunter, Kruszewski, 1998 p.12). Virginia Henderson (1960) described caring as "assisting persons in performance of activities they would accomplish independently given the necessary resources." (cited in Lindberg, Hunter and Kruszewski, 1998 p.12). Thus, both pioneers of nursing thought that the best way to carry out nursing practice is to undertake patient centered care. Patient centered care is "essential care, technological care, psychosocial/emotional care, and continuity and co-ordination." (Kitson, 1999). This is called holistic care, which focuses on all aspects of the client's being as a whole: the physiolog... ... middle of paper ... of intervention..." It is central to what nursing is and what nurses do such as, encouraging the mother (and, sometimes, the father!) to use deep breathing exercises to overcome labour pain, inserting chemotherapy needles and changing the dressing on a wound. These are learned skills and are acquired use of scientific knowledge that is obtained through years of training. To conclude, the author believes that the altruism of learning the applied science of nursing, that is as diverse in topics to the science of our bodies to the science of our society, has earned respect and interest in what the value of the nurse is and the importance of what s/he does. The author perceives these four aspects of nursing: provision of care, commitment to partnership, health promotion and the use of skill and knowledge, are the foundations of what nursing is and what nurses do.

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