2010 Winning Essay

2010 A Nurse I Am Scholarship winners were asked to answer the following: The metaparadigm concepts of nursing are person, health, environment and nursing. These terms are generally used to define nursing as a discipline. Pick two nurses from the film and tell how they fulfilled the needs of the patients they cared for using these concepts. Compare or contrast how these 2 nurses use these concepts to the way you plan to use them in your practice as a nurse.

Jane Schulteis

Concordia University Department of Nursing

As Mother Theresa once said, "it is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing." Today's nurses amongst their rigorous schedules and stresses of the everyday world manage to convey themselves in a professional manner while striving to make each patient feel like they are significant and cared for. Nursing is not just a job or occupation, but a true art form; an intricate ballet if you will. Nursing takes into account many different aspects: the environment the patient came from, their heath condition, and their role as a unique individual. Nurses do all of this while illustrating compassion and empathy for what that person is going through.

In the film “A Nurse I Am” two nurses, Bob Wilkinson and Ardis Bush took into account all aspects of nursing in order to give tailored care to each person. Since Bob is a pediatric oncology nurse, he knows his patients can't comprehend medical terms or phrases, so he talks to them with words and ideas they can understand. He brings in humor to help the children feel more at ease while treating them with empathy as if they were his own. Parents of Bob's patients have said that he made their child's hospital room a home away from home by recognizing what kind of environment the children were used to, and making their time with him as similar to that as possible, Bob uses his entity in his nursing practice. He walks into work every day with a huge smile beaming with positive energy that radiates to everyone. He strives to be an advocate for his patients by critically analyzing their health and making tough decisions. While bringing an analytical mind, Bob also treats each patient he cares for with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Ardis Bush being a nurse manager finds time to respond to health and environmental changes in all the patients she cares for and supervises over while expressing her genuine compassion and concern for each person individually. Knowing that her patients aren't used to a hospital environment, she makes every effort to make them comfortable and worry free. Another concept Ardis employs in her nursing practice is that of open-mindedness. She shows sincere kindness for her patient's pain while being non-judgmental about their concerns. It is important for a nurse to listen to their patients and not just dismiss the information. Ardis treats the whole person, a person with changing feelings and fears, not just the diagnosis. Ardis keeps up with advances in nursing and technology so she can use it to maximize her patient’s health. While she knows how to expertly monitor her patient’s present health situation and ask tough questions on their behalf, she also knows when her patients just need love. When delivering bad, confusing or frightening news, Ardis explains the situation in words her patients can understand while holding their hand. This gesture lets them know she is there for them and that she cares for them as if they were a member of her family.

Taking what I've learned from these exemplary nurses, I can begin to figure out what kind of nurse I want to be for my patients. I admired Bob Wilkinson for the humor element brought to the workplace. He made the children feel more comfortable in their intimidating setting. I hope to use humor in my professional career to give my patients something else to think about then their present, perhaps grave, state. I also look forward to using Ardis’ approach of touch. Sometimes all one needs is to feel that someone cares about them. Holding their hand seems simple, yet can bring about remarkable changes in a patient's personality and will to survive. When in pain, it is hard not to fear and become anxious about new and confusing data. I want to take a page out of the books of Bob and Ardis by relating the information about my patient’s health in a calm and understanding way.

After viewing this film, I have a new perspective on our nurses today and what kind of nurse I want to become. Amongst great pressure and stress, nurses continue to rise to the occasion and provide exceptional care for their patients. Not only do they provide extraordinary medical care, but they also bestow upon their patients the concept of love and compassion. In my future, I look forward to serving others in any way I can, but I know nursing is my true calling. I can’t wait to become an angel in scrubs.

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