As I take another look at the syllabus for this course, it does appear that most of the objectives have been met. Prior to taking this class, I could not say if my nursing practice was guided by any specific nursing theory. The associate’s degree program that I completed over 22 years ago never made any mention of the many theories that could explain the care that I would give. Now, I have a much greater understanding of all the foundational theories and the conceptual frameworks that each contains. All the assignments completed allowed me to delve deeply into the history of the theorists and their inspiration. Each theorist had their own unique viewpoint on the practice of nursing and each theory has its own unique perspective on the definition of the concepts of person, health, nursing and environment. While doing research on the theories, the application to current practice, education, research, and leadership were revealed.
I now have a greater understanding as to why nursing theories were created. These brave theorists knew that if they took the precious time to completely and meticulously define what nurses do, then the profession as a whole could be taken more seriously. We are not just doctor’s helpers. We are much more. As nursingjournal.org (2017) suggests, the future development of nursing theories will lead to better patient outcomes and satisfaction, and evidence-based practice can be facilitated by research and the creation of new theories. Administration, education and direct patient care can always benefit from the discovery of middle range theories (para. 4).
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The study of these theories has allowed me to analyze my own nursing care and to understand my own values, beliefs, standards and ethical principles that guide my nursing practice. Many of the theories seemed extreme and incredibly unconventional, but as nursing has a myriad of practice areas and every nurse approaches their job with their own set of beliefs and values, I can appreciate the unconventional theories as part of that diversity. The theories I gravitated and related to were those that were very simple and defined nursing care in simple terms. Katherine Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory is exactly my style of nursing. From the beginning of my nursing career, I have always felt that my job was made much easier if all the comfort needs of my babies and their families were met. Making sure they had everything they needed, both physically and emotionally to feel at ease with their stay in the hospital was the concept that has guided me. As Smith and Parker (2015) relates it is the interventions that are “small, nontechnical, but very comforting acts of compassion and understanding” (p. 387) that matter most, and it is these acts that have the most positive effects on our patients and their healing (p. 387). I cannot say that I will strictly consider any of the theories learned as I progress in the coming years of my career, but I will be much more conscious of their existence.
Wishing all my fellow students great holidays and a very Happy New Year!!
Nursingjournal.org. (2017). The practicality of nursing theory in the future. Retrieved from https://nursejournal.org/community/the-practicalit…
Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.