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I can’t recall a time when I haven’t had the desire to care for others. It is with little wonder that I’ve become a nurse and able to fulfill my passion. I’m honored to have the opportunity to provide care to all people from all walks of life. While in nursing school I gained a strong desire to care for the geriatric population. When I graduated nursing school, I obtained a position in the Alzheimer’s/Dementia unit. This position has been more than a job, rather; it is the part of nursing that forever changed my perspective.
A metaparadigm is described as a set of ideas that provide structure for how a discipline should function (Depree, July 2017). The nursing metaparadigm is composed of four components: personal, health, environment and nursing. The personal component refers to the individual and their family receiving care. Health is the amount of care the patient has access to. Environment is the surrounding that affects the patients care internal and external. Nursing is the skill, knowledge and communication to achieve the best outcome for the patient.
The Golden rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” applies to nursing in more ways than one. It guides the caregivers in their care, allowing the caregivers to individualize the residents and see them as a person and not just a job. When I apply the Golden Rule to situations in my nursing practice, it allows me to gain respect and compassion for these individuals and allows me to empathize with the family of these residents. According to a journal entry from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a calling is defined as a desire to serve people according to the high values of the task or profession. I believe a nurse must have the passion and desire to care for others. A nurse must be able to set apart their own values and beliefs and give the efficient care the patient deserves. I believe each individual deserves the same amount of care and compassion regardless of their race, religion, sexuality, beliefs or their history. When I was a new nurse, a patient presented to the facility for flu-like symptoms, while the nurse triaged the patient he admitted to having human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). As the nurse returned to the desk she immediately began to talk about the patient and refuse any further treatment to him. I asked to speak with the nurse privately and explained to her that it is our duties as a nurse to give nonjudgmental care to the patient having the human immunodeficiency virus as we would any other patient. When I take report for my patients, my personal beliefs are set aside. It is my professional duty to serve each individual without judgement.
A philosophy is defined by the Merriam Webster’s dictionary as “the most basic beliefs, concepts and attitudes of an individual or group”. My personal philosophy is to provide respect, dignity and compassion to the patient and their families. Compassion is defined as the ability to have a deep connection with someone suffering with intention to act to alleviate the pain (Tierney, Seers, Sutton 2017). I provide compassion to my residents on a daily basis by treating them as a person, not a disease and allowing them decisions in their care. The Code of Ethics states “respect accords moral worth and dignity to all patients regardless of their personal attributes or life situations” (ANA, Code of Ethics 2015). Provision one of the Ethics Code is based on nurses practicing with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity and worth of each person (ANA, Code of Ethics 2015). I believe the resident should maintain their dignity and be respected daily. Giving them a sense of self-worth allows them to thrive instead of losing hope in life.
Assumptions can also be known as the blanks we fill in our imagination. Assumptions can lead to incorrect diagnosis, treatment and can come between the way we care for others. Assumptions are based off of the nurse’s beliefs about the patient. Many times, patients feel that they are dependent on the nurse for all their care needs, whereas; the nurse looks for the patient to be more independent in their care such as having the ability to direct their care. This can be seen more often in the geriatric-assisted living setting. When I began working with the Alzheimer’s/Dementia residents my assumptions of that population were wrong. I assumed that the residents all progressed at the same rate and they couldn’t complete activities of daily living themselves. Working with this patient population has shown me that each of the residents Alzheimer’s/Dementia progress at different rate and many of them remained independent in their living.

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