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Nursing is an art just as Florence Nightingale described it. Nursing is an art, and, if it is to be made an art, requires as exclusive a devotion, as hard a preparation, as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or cold marble, compared with having to do with the living body- the temple of God's spirit? It is one of the fine Arts; I had almost said, the finest of the Fine Arts' (Nightingale,1868). It therefore goes to show that nursing is the case of giving while expecting little back. It means that there should be discipline with helps in undertaking the hardships that at times come with this profession.
A profession can be termed as a group of people who come together as learned people. They abide themselves to given rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are what help them in doing their daily activities with ethical standards. According to Boone (2001) he states that professions are acquired through facts that can either be philosophical or scientific. These facts are either acquired through scholarly endeavor. For those who wish to join any kind of profession they are distinguished from other kinds of works.
Any profession has characteristics and these characteristics are found in majority if not all professions. The characteristics include the giving and rendering of services that are mainly based on specialized and accumulated skills and knowledge. By use of such skills, it involves handling problems not on a physical and manual level but at an intellectual level. Due to the ethical standards that are involved in any profession there is a degree of confidentiality between the practitioner and also the client. A characteristic across all professions is that they have a sense and a degree of obligation towards the public. Any profession has an accumulated store of skills, knowledge, and status from the previous generations of collective and individual efforts. There is always an ethical code that ties the professions to the public. Most of the professions are also recognized from the degree in which they carry out their activities. This is because most services are rendered to the public. They therefore receive fees which are limited at times instead of the profits that they might gain from their activities. According to South Illinois University (2004) main characteristics found in profession includes the fact that any kind of preparation of any kind of profession must require the training in the application and use of the knowledge of that profession. The standards in any profession are also high which are mainly maintained through the formation of organizations.
Professionalism in nursing
Nursing by itself is a profession. This is because there is degree of professionalism in it. As it happens there has been a lot of knowledge gathered over the years that have been put into nursing. Nursing fulfills all the requirements and characteristics of a profession. It has a higher degree of service towards the public as it involves constant contact with people of all walks of life. It is also control and based on a set of guidelines that ensure its public accountability. Among other characteristics of nursing is that it has a wide gathering of information and knowledge. Any practice in nursing involves practicing the quality care towards the patients. It also involves a great deal of learning and also clinical skills. For those who later become nurses, they are accredited with credentials depending on the line of nursing professionalism they have undertaken. There are also ethical codes that are in use in the nursing professionalism.
Characteristics of a professional nurse
There are certain characteristics that are embedded in any professional nurse. There are many characteristics that a professional nurse plays among them being a care giver and provider. This is the most essential role and can be related back to Florence Nightingale who is credited as the mother of secular nursing. Being a care taker or a provider means that the person has the responsibility of ensuring the patient is well attended to with comfort and direct care administered. The professional nurse also is a teacher. This means that the professional nurse will help in interpreting the information for a client. It also includes administering the required health lifestyle while at the same time giving full compliance to the therapy required by the patient. A professional nurse also a counselor as this aspect is mainly portrayed when giving professional guidance while at the same time creating a personal and professional relation with a client. This can be in times of hardships and also in stressful times. As a counselor, the nurse helps the client to become acquainted with the promotion of better attitudes and also in terms of behavior. As a counselor, the nurse promotes more that just intellectual growth. Another characteristic of a professional nurse is that they are aspects of change or what can be termed as change agents.
This is because they help clients to make certain kinds of modifications in order to achieve desired goals in their lives such as the kind of system that the client has. The professional nurse also advocates on behalf of the client. This means advocating what is of the best interest for the client and also invoking and involving change. Some professional nurses are trained in other languages and they are therefore useful in interpreting the information in a language that the client can easily understand. They also help in supporting the decisions made by a client. Along other characteristics of any professional nurse is the managerial character. This means that the professional nurse will ensure making good and effective decisions while at the same time allocating resources. They also evaluate the care and the personnel that are in the hospital or the kind of work force where they render their services. The overall characteristic of most professional nurses is that at one time or another, they have to conduct researches. Therefore a professional nurse is also a researcher as they can easily help in identifying problems that can be researched on. They also partake in research as a way of ensuring that the issues that can be related to human subjects are well protected.
Other characteristics of professional nurses are kind people who are obedient and devoted to their work. They are also tender towards their clients and also ensure they administer service that is aimed at the well being of the client.
Values of professionalism in nursing
The values of professionalism in nursing include professional values and professional behavior. The professional values include autonomy or freedom, equality, humanity or what is best termed as altruism, truth, justice and human dignity. Among the professional behaviors are clinical reasoning, cooperation, organization, dependability, professional appearances among others. These values are the underlying factors for the nursing competency in which nursing is best understood.
Personal beliefs that help in nursing include the fact that there should be commitment. This helps in competent performance towards the health care of the patients. Beliefs in nursing ensure that all patients are treated with equality in terms of understanding, compassion, respect and also kindness. By ensuring that the standards of behavior are attained it hen becomes easy to administer the best care towards the patients. Nursing does not always have to have a stop or an end, but continuous learning and support among nurses can help achieve better results for the nursing profession. This requires more knowledge and practice of the skills for the better service of the patients.
In the relation of the four phenomena of nursing such as nurse/nursing, person, environment, and health is that the primary focus of nursing is most concerned with patient- environment interface. In relation to the personal values of nursing there is need to view the person or client more of a holistic being that comprises of psychological, biological, sociological and spiritual components that are in constant connection with the environment. The person and the environment are said to influence each other and they both have an influence on health. People and the environment at large are inseparable energy fields. Health is a transcendental process from the process of these two fields. Therefore in the values of nursing it is important to play the cards right in order to ensure that the health of a client is well attended to through the Meta paradigm of nurse/nursing, person, environment, and health.
Relationships of the values to the patterns of knowing in nursing (Carper, 1978): aesthetics, science, personal, and ethics) are well shown through the values of professional nursing. The values continue to be of use in nursing even with the emergence of other fields in nursing. As for the forensic nursing, there is need to have values that can create a breakthrough in such fields. This can be helped by the use of the acquired and learnt values of nursing both professional and also personal. Values acquired are of use to help implement ways in which patients can be helped more on personal levels. To those who require ethical help such as use of mercy killing can also be helped among other issues.