Seollman's View Of Patient Vulnerability

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Being vulnerable is an experience every human being encounters in his or her lifespan. According to Sellman (2005), all individuals are vulnerable and exposed to numerous risks like activities of daily living (ADLs) without the feasibility of being harmed ever disappearing (p. 3). Sellman (2005) suggests the importance of labelling patients as “more-than-ordinarily vulnerable” as they require the assistance of health care professionals to maintain their normal everyday function and for protection (p. 4). Although the author is not right or wrong, vulnerability is an ambiguous, multifactorial concept that differs among diverse patients and contexts. In regards to a patient with anemia and metastasized cancer, Sellman’s view of patient vulnerability…show more content…
6). However, Spiers’s (2000) view indicates that vulnerability is based on how “objective assessment views person as she/he actually is while subjective assessment derives from the self-concept” (pp. 716-717). Carel (2009) supports this indicating “subjective vulnerability plays a role in patient’s experience of illness, as they may perceive themselves as (as well as actually be) susceptible to external threats, pressures, and harm” (p. 217). It is crucial to evaluate both vulnerabilities. For example, this patient expressed the feeling of being afraid and scared of the pain that comes with this malignant disease during admission. However, the patient’s subjective perspective showed awareness of vulnerability, acceptance of life and death, and motivating strength to prosper in battle this cruel illness. Then from an objective viewpoint, this patient would be vulnerable to psychosocial complications and impairment of everyday…show more content…
Still, the previous advantages discussed should influence the nurse to improve in identifying patient vulnerability. This is evident by this patient where I utilized my interpersonal skills to communicate to this patient so that he/she is aware that he/she is not alone in this journey. Nurses need to utilize models and theories to guide nursing practice. For instance, McCormack’s framework focuses on patient-centered care which influences nurses to understand the patient as a whole and their values (Abley, 2012, p. 42). Being able to identify values will give nurses and myself a better comprehension about the patients resulting in worthiness and belonging expressed. As a result, informing nurses about patient’s subjective vulnerability because a trust and understanding relationship is established. This is supported in a clinical experience where a patient “felt understood and opened up for further interactions based on trust” through an honest, supportive relationship with a nurse (Gjengedal, 2013, p. 134). Nurses should provide patient-focused provision of service, and assist this patient in overcoming his/her obstacle as a way of encouragement. Furthermore, Sellman (2005) explains how encouragement may compromise human flourish (p. 7), it is dependent on the situation and it cannot be assumed all encouragement will lead to harm. This informs nurses to be aware of the consequences that prevent the
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