The Art and Science of Nursing

Maintaining the quality of public health services provided to people is the list of prioritized objectives at most government’s agenda. Health facilities are of primary concern to people when it comes to voting. Therefore, hospital equipment, the minimum number of doctors in an area and most important presences of qualified and efficient nursing staff is pertinent to achieving the goals of public satisfaction with health policies and agencies.

Qualification and attitude of nursing staff hold gravity in the methods of treatment of a patient. Patients are diagnosed and treated by doctors, but they are taken care of by the nursing staff. It is with the nursing staff with which they spend most of their time and interact directly with them. Being qualified as well as compassionate are the two qualities most admired in a nurse. Nursing is as much of art as it is a science. It involves human interaction to a great extent in its methods of practice. A nurse is expected to be fully qualified and apt in the art of imparting compassion and care to other human beings.
Definition of the Art & Science of Nursing

The field of nursing involves escalation, advancement, and safety of health and faculties, safety against diseases, ailments and traumas, the comfort of pain by detecting and treating the cause of discomfort through a person’s reaction and supporting the cause of caregiving at an individual, communal and national level. (“What is Nursing?”, 2017)

It is required of a nurse that he/she is to provide care to the patient which is focused on the patient’s need. This caregiving is to be customized according to the responses observed by a nurse for patients. For this purpose, a nurse must have updated information about their field, refined communication skill, and the capability to diagnose a problem and apply appropriate solution through the use of rational judgment. As it is a technical field interwoven with social interactions, patients and family also expect from nurses to behave in a kind manner and extend courage, sympathy, and courtesy to the patients.

Nursing is a complex field which requires a delicate blend of information, technique, achievement, and behavior. Modern methods of healing present a contrast with the old ones are nursing is now becoming more focused on incorporating advanced technologies of diagnosis and treatment. Only a person who has gone through thorough academic courses and vast clinical experience can become a competent nurse. Furthermore, the nurses are now burdened with having updated knowledge and technique in their required field and apply that knowledge in analytical thinking to make observation based decisions in their profession. It is crucial for nurses to focus on all the above mentioned areas to give maximum results in extending care to their patients. For the sake of maintaining efficiency in their profession, nurses must keep themselves updated on the technological advancements being made in the field of diagnosis, medicine, and surgery. It requires them to embark upon a lifelong journey of continuous learning. (Palos, 2017)

Public is now more aware than ever in new healthcare domain. The public is fully mindful of the fact that being a nurse in the contemporary healthy system requires the perfect combination of information and technical skills. In addition to that, there is a public consensus among patients that nurses should extend kindness and sympathy towards patients as it is an essential part of caregiving. It requires nurses to possess excellent communication skills. These attributes are considered highly admirable in nursing staff and often referred to as the art of healing. These attributes are mandatory if the nursing staff wants to achieve the goal of providing care which is focused on the needs of the patient. Various instruments are available which assist to health officials and health agencies to acquire these qualities. Nurses have a hard time in maintaining balance between the art and the science of nursing as too much is expected of them. But investing the time and effort to achieve effective communicational skills and loving attitude combined with professionalism can maximize patient’s satisfaction and protection. Recent studies suggest that even though it is not possible to precisely measure and illustrate the concepts of sympathy and kindness, they play a significant role in the field of nursing and are known to increase the standard of patient’s satisfaction. Maintaining equilibrium between the science and art of healing can be of immense positive consequences for the general health of the public. (Palos, 2017)
How the Art & Science of Nursing Influences Current Practice

It is important to consider that treating a patient means treating that person as a whole. Patient’s physical as well as emotional and social wellbeing is to be taken into account while extending treatment to him/her. The profession of nursing is much more than a profession which demands a will and commitment to focus one’s self on the recovery and improvement of the patient. Nursing in today’s health system cannot just be a single subject; it requires prescriptions from a multitude of topics to extend care towards a patient. It demands of nurses to have knowledge of the caregiving process as well as human interactions. To maintain and flourish both the scientific and social aspects of nursing a unique concept of caregiving is introduced which is entirely focused on the needs of patients known as patient-centered care or PCC. (Lusk & Fater, 2013)

Given the current criterions of patient-centered care as per the research conducted and literature produced, it is highly anticipated that implying this technique will enhance the quality of care provided to the patients. It is important to note that with the strength of capital system most services providers are focused on the needs of consumers and the practice of PCC is quite relevant in that context. The textbook definition of PCC demonstrates that is nursing a way which includes customizing care according to each patient’s needs, an extension of sympathy and kindness towards patients on behalf of nursing staff and incorporating these techniques with professional techniques of the academic field of nursing. PCC method is based on treating each patient as a unique individual, giving respect to the said patients social and cultural values, reacting to his/her needs promptly and maintaining excellent communication with the patient. These attitudes are also crucial for general nursing practices. (Lusk & Fater, 2013)

Promoting a behavior that focuses on individualization of each patient’s need is the core dynamics of providing excellent nursing care. A kind and considerate behavior are integral to keep the profession connected to its philosophical and ethical foundations. The founding principles of patient-centered care are also the basis of primary nursing practices. The concept of PCC is not only confined to the field of nursing and can be extended to other aspects of health care; it is important to note that nursing field should reflect the standards that are set by PCC. Only then, the nursing staff is expected to produce satisfying results. (Lusk & Fater, 2013)
How the Art & Science of Nursing Influences My Personal Nursing Practice

There are some professions in this world which cannot be thought of just as professions. These professions are much more about than completing a task and getting a paid for it. These jobs call upon the higher moral obligations of a person. Human life is the single most precious thing on this planet. There is no alternative to human life once it is lost. Therefore, it is not possible to put a price on human life. That is why any profession related to the health of a person cannot just be a profession. It is something more. It is about valuing something for which there is no alternative. It appreciates the gift of life.

My reason for joining the field of nursing was its close connection with the non-scientific aspect of medicine and surgery. The main attraction and appeal for me in this profession were human interaction. I was enthusiastic to practice nursing in a way that was not limited to official diagnosis and treatment but also incorporated kindness, compassion, understanding, respect, communication, and satisfaction of the patients.

The acknowledgment of nursing as not just as a science but as an art as well has concurrence with my own beliefs. It is the very reason I joined the field of nursing. The suggestions made in the contemporary literature of nursing recommend incorporation of the human aspect of the patients into the practices of caregiving. These methods tend to produce an optimal level of satisfaction in patients who are at the receiving end of these practices.

I intend to incorporate as much of human aspect as possible into my nursing practice. My top priority would be to customize and tailor my caregiving routing according to each patient. Each patient is different according to the severity of their disease, age, gender, religion, culture and economic class. My primary focus would be to understand these subtle differences and extend my compassion, encouragement, and respect to each patient based on their differences from each other.

I honestly believe that being kind to patients gives them greater courage to fend off the disease and speeds up their recovery process. A sick person feels blue, and he/she need someone to offer them a little encouragement. It gives them an enormous amount of strength and gives them hope that they’ll be alright. One only needs to put themselves in the shoes of an ill person to feel that what miracle a little compassion and empathy can bring.
The Perceived Major Influences on the Changing Health Care Environment

The synergy between patients and nurses is an important determinant in an improved patient’s experience. Patient experience, as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, drives 30% of value-based purchasing (VBP) scores and incentive payments, as prescribed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (Dempsey, Reilly & Buhlman, 2014) According to an assessment made by HCAHPS, predictions of hospital performance were made based on several dynamics. Four out of five dynamics were related to nursing staff and patient’s intercommunication. Consequently, hospitals are more focused on quality of nursing services provided to improve the patient’s experience.

Bedside shift report approach has been adopted by many hospitals to improve nursing communication. It allows the patients to be a part of the decision-making process in their caregiving routine. It also minimizes the potential of patients feeling homesick, lonely and dejected. This method offers an opportunity to communicate with patients about the qualification and capabilities of the oncoming nurses so that the patient is satisfied that he/she will be taken good care off during the next shift. It also helps patients to avoid discomfort while interacting with a new nursing staff member and reassures them that they are in safe hands. (Dempsey et al., 2014).

The method of Question the Foley has been implemented in White Plain Hospital, where nurses are required to evaluate patients who need Foley catheters and those who no longer need it. This approach helped nurses in assessment and decision making while providing care to the patients. (“A Nurse-Driven Process for Catheter-Associated UTI Reduction”, 2017)
How My Practice Has Changed in the Last Five Years

I prescribe to the practice of sitting beside patients and adjusting myself to their eye level to make them feel at greater ease. Usually, I perform this routine at the beginning of the shift, but it may vary from person to person. The practice provides space for nurses to exhibit their soft side and allows a more satisfied patient’s experience.

The research conducted verified the popular belief by nurses that patients feel more consoled and comforted when nurses sit beside them and they are at eye level with them. It is interesting to note that a substantial change was observed in patient’s experience by just a position change. The study underlines the importance of maintaining eye level with the patients, so they feel less vulnerable. (“Sit and deliver: Nurse researchers show that sitting caregivers improve patient satisfaction”, 2017)
How I Incorporate the Art & Science into My Practice

I want to gain more knowledge and skills to deliver evidence-based care to the patients. For that, I will actively participate in nursing continuing education and keep my certificates current. I will join in the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) since the AMSN offers the Scope and Standards of medical-surgical nursing practice, which describes the responsibilities common to all medical-surgical nurses. “The nursing process is used as a framework, including assessment, diagnosis, outcome identification, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The standards also incorporate competencies specific to CNS practice. The focus of CNS practice is to integrate care across a continuum.” (Norman, 2012)
SMART goals for My Future as a BSN

After I graduate, I intend to provide my services in trauma emergency centers. To provide optimal care to the patients, I will secure Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) and Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC). I have further plans of getting myself enrolled in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program and initiate Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program. (“Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG ACNP) | UCSF School of Nursing”, 2017) After I have graduated from FNP and AGACNP programs, I will be capable of providing care based on evidence to my patients efficiently.
Conclusion

Nursing is not just a science but an art as well. Nurses are required to expose their human side to the patients to provide better patient’s experience. It is much more than a profession and demands personal will and commitment from the nursing staff. The future of nursing is full of possibilities as the current literature shows new worlds of healing to be explored.
References

What is Nursing?. (2017). Nursingworld.org. Retrieved 8 July 2017, from http://www.nursingworld.org/EspeciallyForYou/What-is-Nursing

Palos, G. (2017). Care, Compassion, and Communication in Professional Nursing: Art, Science, or Both. Clinical Journal Of Oncology Nursing, Volume 18(2), 247.

Lusk, J., & Fater, K. (2013). A Concept Analysis of Patient-Centered Care. Nursing Forum, 48(2), 89-98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nuf.12019

Dempsey, C., Reilly, B., & Buhlman, N. (2014). Improving the Patient Experience. JONA: The Journal Of Nursing Administration, 44(3), 142-151. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/nna.0000000000000042

A Nurse-Driven Process for Catheter-Associated UTI Reduction. (2017). Medscape. Retrieved 8 July 2017, from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/860698_3

Sit and deliver: Nurse researchers show that sitting caregivers improve patient satisfaction. (2017). Truthaboutnursing.org. Retrieved 8 July 2017, from http://www.truthaboutnursing.org/news/2012/mar/08_sit.html

Norman, B. (2012). Scope and Standards of Medical-Surgical Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice. Retrieved 8 July 2017, from https://www.amsn.org/sites/default/files/documents/practice-resources/scope-and-standards/AMSN-Scope-Standards-MS-CNS.pdf

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG ACNP) | UCSF School of Nursing. (2017). Nursing.ucsf.edu. Retrieved 8 July 2017, from https://nursing.ucsf.edu/programs/specialties/adult-gerontology-acute-care-nurse-practitioner-ag-acnp

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