Concept of Care and the Nursing Metaparadigm
Caring is an essential component of nursing, but it eludes the entire nursing metaparadigm. All nurses must be caring in order to practice their profession. Nursing derives its uniqueness and significantly contributes to health care through caring (Thorne, Canam, Dahinten, Hall, Henderson, and Kirkham, 2002). This includes not only the patient as an individual, but also the patient’s family and community. Furthermore, as the nursing profession continues to assume some of the roles of physicians, it is critical to distinguish the profession from physicians. Caring appears to be an obvious component of nursing, but it is not included in the nursing metaparadigm for a variety of reasons. First, it’s possible that caring was mistakenly associated with nursing. True, there is a lack of understanding and agreement about what the term refers to. Again, a focus on caring was seen as limiting nursing territory (Thorne, Canam, Dahinten, Hall, Henderson, and Kirkham, 2002). The variability of care makes scientific investigation nearly impossible. It is true that only medical treatment can guarantee healing. This however, becomes tricky with the aged, frail people and those suffering from chronic diseases. These individuals require assistance.
According to research and nurse experiences, when patients are well cared for, their chances of recovery improve. This is because sickness, even in traditional societies, was thought to interact with the environment, family, community, spirit, and individual people. The better an individual feels, the more likely he or she is to respond positively to treatment. The nurse can provide this good feeling by establishing confidence, a bond, and trust with the patient. Caring is thus an important concept that must be included in the nursing metaparadigm. Without this concept, nurses may struggle to carry out some of their responsibilities.
Concepts and Metaparadigms
The term concept refers to terms that define phenomena that occur in either thought or nature (McEwen and Willis, 2006). Concepts typically have some distinguishing characteristics. Because the formulation of concepts involves the use of words, concepts can be broadly classified as concrete or abstract. The former is perceptible with the senses and includes concepts such as universe, passion, and ground, which are symbolic and represent phenomena. Love, anger, and passion are examples of abstract concepts. All of these terms are unique to an entity and are descriptive in nature. Concepts can be expressed with a single word, two words, or a phrase (McEwen and Willis, 2006). Death, fear, and anxiety are examples of single word concepts. Mutual agreement, self-fulfillment, and other two-word concepts are examples. There are phrases that represent concepts such as user-friendly services, environmentally conscious behavior, poor service delivery, and so on. Many concepts exist in various disciplines that help to distinguish one from the other. It is critical to develop concepts that are clear for the purpose of systematic study of nature (Duncan, Cloutier and Bailey, 2007). This serves as a stepping stone for researchers and scholars to gain a better understanding of reality. It also facilitates the study of phenomena. Scholars must also avoid ambiguity in order to communicate meaning clearly to readers. This means that whenever a term is used in a specific context, scholars must make an effort to define it in order to ensure proper interpretation.
Metaparadigms, on the other hand, define a discipline and establish boundaries with other disciplines. It provides the discipline with a global perspective, which allows practitioners to observe phenomena within their parameters (Van Wyk, 2005). In most cases, it consists of a number of major concepts that serve as defining elements. These concepts within a metaparadigm serve as discipline limitations or boundaries. Again, a discipline’s metaparadigm not only defines it but also outlines its concerns. For example, in the nursing metaparadigm, we have four concepts: environment, person, nursing, and health. These concepts, in general, help to define the nursing metaparadigm and distinguish it from other disciplines or professions. As a result, a clear distinction can be made between nursing and physician practice. This is possible due to the various metaparadigms.
Evidence to Back Up Position
The nursing metaparadigm has traditionally used four concepts to describe the context and content of the nursing profession. As much as the four concepts; health, environment, person and nursing continue to be embraced in the nursing fraternity, they have been a number of challenges and proposals being experienced and given as alternatives (Schim, Benkert, Bell, Walker and Danford, 2007). The nursing metaparadigm, on the other hand, is still recognized by all professions in the field. Aside from the four components, the concept of caring remains a point of contention. Caring was long ignored because it could not be scientifically investigated, measured, or its impact determined (Thorne, Canam, Dahinten, Hall, Henderson, and Kirkham, 2002). In many cases, the ability to cure through scientific means alone through medicinal treatments renders the role of caring obsolete. This does not apply to those who are frail, elderly, or suffering from chronic diseases (Castledine, 2009). These people must be cared for in order to speed up their recovery.
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Despite the numerous perceptions and definitions, there appears to be agreement on the components of care. The physical, emotional, and psychosocial needs of the patients are the primary focus of these components (Castledine, 2009). The patient must be cared for, and in this case, the staff is primarily concerned with providing care, with little regard for the end result. As a result, there is a need to understand care in a far more refined manner than the traditional view of the same (Van Wyk, 2005). It is critical for caregivers to be compassionate toward those receiving care. The level of concern for patients’ health causes nurses to not only experience whatever the patient is going through, but also to offer hope and assurances of recovery. In areas where the patient is unable to perform, the nurse can also assist. There are also specific conditions and situations that necessitate the services of nurses. These issues could be social or medical in nature. Most importantly, care must aim to maintain a patient’s dignity (Castledine, 2009).
According to a study conducted to examine how students perceive stories shared by nurses, researchers discovered four students’ perspectives on care as developing trust (Adamski, Parsons and Hooper, 2009). The stories told by nurses both encouraged and gave one student confidence to pursue similar experiences. This student in particular went into mimicking the nurse’s behavior, such as the use of nonverbal communication, which resulted in desirable results. In this way, the student realized that by experimenting with some of the methods demonstrated and practiced by nurses, he or she could actually form a bond with patients. There is a lot of excitement, and people are encouraged to go try it out with the patients.
Another student’s point of view was that being open to patients and attentively listening to what they said resulted in a high percentage of caring (Adamski, Parsons and Hooper, 2009). This student emphasized the importance of focusing on the patient while withholding judgment. In this way, the student perceived caring as manifesting in a variety of ways, the most important of which was trust and establishing a bond with the patient (Adamski, Parsons and Hooper, 2009). Similarly, the same student desired a mentor who could assist her in gaining confidence, learning to care for others, and improving her nursing practice (Adamski, Parsons and Hooper, 2009). True, the care provided to patients makes them feel good about themselves. In order to be successful in performing duties, the nurse should strive to improve these skills.