The purpose of this assignment is to explore the meaning, definitions and various characteristics of the concept of hope. Moreover, its relevance and obstacles in nursing practice will also be discussed in this framework. Hope sets a foundation stone for an individual’s life to expect good to happen in future which gives positive energy to an individual. Analysis on hope is important, because hope is a basic element of human existence (Vaillot, 1970). In addition the term hope is essential in nursing as well as in healthcare practices. So, it is relevant to analyze the concept of hope as it has a therapeutic effect on promoting the wellbeing of an individual.
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Defining the concept of hope
In the literature review, different definitions of hope with its different attributes can be found. Hope is an essential aspect of an individual which gives meanings and values to their life. Hope is defined as a multidimensional personal construct with cognitive and affective dimensions that reflect a realistic appraisal of the situation and anticipation of a good outlook (McCann 2002).In this context, hope have various aspects which will be unique to an individual. Furthermore, the concept is future oriented positive expectation related to reality. Herth (1990) stated that hope is a source of energy, enabling healthy coping, and influencing survival. While an individual experiences hardship in his life, the hopefulness helps him to adjust with the situation. Therefore, the above statement illustrates that hope and coping are interrelated each other enabling an individual to survive in crisis situation. Tennen et al (2010) stated that hope is a thought to motivate goal directed actions in the face of impediments. For instance, if a terminally ill person shows hopefulness towards their life that hope can bring positive effect to survive with their condition. This means hope is a source of energy which influences healthy coping with the situation. Further, this objective oriented perception facilitates an individual to cope up with the circumstances. Hope is exactly what is needed to stay engaged in the living while shouldering the burden of an uncertain future (Kalina, 2001).Through hoping the individual will continue to be focused on his future. Moreover, hope gives life meaning, direction, and an optimistic focus (Lillis and Prophit, 1991). The individual will find out meaning of his life which further directs him towards goals. Woelk (2008) described that “hope is one of the necessary traits of a successful life, it ties into what we expect out of life is for us”. Therefore, the concept of hope is identified as a necessary quality of an individual as it is helping a person to succeed in their life. It connects with present as well as future expectation of a person. Moreover, hoping can assist an individual to maintain positive attitude towards their life. According to Herrestad et al. (2010) hope is a movement of appetite aroused by the perception of what is agreeable, future, arduous, and possible of attainment of desire. The expression of indefinite hope may serve to ignore expression of failure, disappointment and hopelessness. Mathis et al. (2010) describes that hopeful style of thinking was associated with adaptive coping and greater adjustment when faced with stress. In above perspective the concept of hope plays an important role when an individual deal with disease condition. As a result of incredible willpower and healthy coping an individual can be speedily recovered from the illness despite of all challenges which they confront in their disease condition. . Hope is identified as a dispositional concept, which stays stable across different situations and overtime. According to Lohne (2004) the phenomenon of hope is a prospective phenomenon as it is future oriented (in relation to the process) and with a positive content (in relation to the substance).In this study ‘hope’ was defined as future oriented towards improvement. Certain attributes of hope are discovered by evaluating above analysis. According to Johnson (2007) concluded that positive expectation, personal qualities, spirituality, goal oriented, comfort, help/caring, interpersonal relationships, control and legacy are considered as some of the characteristics of hope. Moreover, it is a multidimensional dynamic aspect which helps a person to live in present as well as in future. Although the concept of has certain common characteristics, it will be different to the individual according to their perception. Moreover, it tranquilizes a person perception and helps him to move forward with confidence.
Relevance of hope in nursing
The concept of hope in nursing practice is identified as significant aspect. Moreover, it is connected with nursing activities and role of a professional nurse is to instill hope in patient with chronic illness (Roberts, 1978). The term hope stands to be an indefinable, blurred, ambiguous and over used concept in nursing practice. The nurses while delivering care maintain hope in their patient as it helps to cope up with suffering and is considered as powerful mechanism of healing. Furthermore, it is important to sustain hope in terminally ill patients in order to encourage and support them to live their remaining days fruitfully and find meaning in their life.
Davison and Simpson (2006) stated that hope is the basic process in advance cares planning for those patients that their hopes help them to determine their future goals. In this view, nurses who encourage, support and plan can smooth the progress of advance care planning especially at the end stage of client’s life. The importance of hope in the nursing practices can be understood as a sum of intrinsic motivation, personal self efficacy and outcome expectancy (Roth and Hammelstein, 2007). Therefore, it is necessary for a nurse to motivate patient through their inspiring presence and support to achieve good patient outcome. Moreover, it is needed to maintain hope in patients since it is the easiest method to gain the confidence of patient as well as important for the physical, psychological, and mental rehabilitation of patients. It act as restoration of the general abilities and maintain trust towards health care system. Goal planning gives a sense of future, and working toward something reinforces hope’. (Von Roenn and Von Gunten, 2003).Therefore, nurses has to encourage patient thus they can have a sense of wellbeing in their life. The most common symptom in advanced cancer is pain, but other symptoms must also be alleviated such as diarrhea and dyspnoea, in order to make room for hope’. (Benzeinet al, 2001).In this perspectives, while the patient suffering from chronic illness, nurses have to address their minor ailments also, which can ensure a feeling of hopefulness in patient with chronic disease. Moreover, Flemming (1997) stated that health care professionals are working with individuals with a potential for loss of control, it is essential that care is delivered in a manner that can enable maximum autonomy, and therefore, hope’. So, it is essential for nurses to provide freedom for a patient to maintain good inter personal relationship. According to Johnson (2006) the concept of hope as perceived by patients with terminal illness, to develop hope as evidence based nursing concept, to contribute new knowledge and insight about hope to the relatively new field of palliative care, endeavouring to maximize the qualitative of life of terminally ill patients in the future. There are some barriers that can pull out a nurse to preserve hope in their patient during their care delivery. The negative outcomes in patient condition, lack of knowledge in both nurse and patient about treatment and poor communication skill can withdraw a nurse to sustain hope in patient. Further, Jackson et al (2000) identified that lack of diversity among health care staff, lack of knowledge regarding health care system, differences in values regarding medical care or disagreement with treatment, differences in spiritual beliefs and fear related to death are some of the barriers that prevent the application of the concept of hope in nursing practice. Even though the concept of hope’s application in nursing practice has some obstacles, it is identified as a significant notion in health care practices.
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To sum up, it is identified from the above analysis with different perspectives that the concept of hope has significant role in human life and health care practices. In addition, the relevance and impediments of the concept hope in nursing practice was also recognized in this piece of work. The process of hoping helps both nurse and patient to find out meaning of their future life. In health care practices nurses have unique position in maintaining hope in their patient while they are providing care to the patient with life-threatening illness. Besides, understanding the concept and its relevance in care delivery helps a nurse to get good patient outcome by providing quality care to the patient.
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