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.

Kiarah Perkins

University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you do, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou.

The metaparadigm concepts of nursing are person, health, environment and nursing but the nurses in the video brought the concepts to life. Mona Counts and Bob Wilkinson presented each concept as a whole when caring for the individual person.

The concept of "Person" was shown by how Mona and Bob treated each patient they cared for with respect and dignity. They didn't look to the patient as just a "patient" but as a whole and a unique individual. They cared for every individual differently and accommodated to each individual's needs. Mona supported her patients and focused on how she could build a better relationship with them. She advocated for them and was there for them even outside the clinic. Bob showed powerful sincere connections with his patients. He made sure they were comfortable, got down on their level and did what he could to make sure his patients were satisfied. Both nurses sought to do whatever they could to care for each individual and support them as a whole person.

Mona said, "Health in Appalachia is function not just absence of disease." Her definition of health was not a definition from a book, a dictionary or any other type of source, but the definition that resided right in her hometown. She has an understanding of health in her community which makes it easier to give them the best care that she can. She followed up with her patients, not only with documentation, but made sure they were succeeding as a whole. Bob always wanted the best for each of his patients whether it was making sure they were pain free or giving them little toy soldiers to play with and take home. He wanted the best for each patient and did whatever he could to put a smile on their faces and stay optimistic.

You have to understand a person's environment and where they come from before you can truly care for them. Mona understood her patients and their values and what they needed. She made sure her patients were ok even if that meant going to their homes. Bob not only made connections with the children he worked with but also their families. One of the patient's families said that working with Bob and in his care made them feel as if their stay was a home away from home. With each patient, Bob and Mona made a point to know the circumstances and conditions that surrounded and affected the individual inside the hospital as well as outside.

For the nursing concept, Bob said, "…you got to give them love, I think that's with anybody, you got to give them touch, got to give them confidence in your voice and sincerity, got to give them hope but you still have to be honest with them..." He was honest with his patients and their families and really showed a heart for what he was doing. Mona said, "...just to make sure that we are keeping you healthy and we don't miss something just because we know you." You may build relationships and become attached to the patient, but you have to always remember you are a nurse first and you have roles as a nurse. Bob and Mona were competent about health and nursing care and an advocate for each individual, their families and their communities. They made sure that optimization of health and bonding with each individual was top priority.

The two nurses exemplified in the video, Bob and Mona, helped paint a picture of what person, health, environment and nursing really is. I plan to help and encourage the rights of all clients and ensure proper care to each individual and figure out what they need to feel comfortable and safe. It's important to treat each patient as a human being who has feelings, aspirations, friends, families, values etc. Mona and Bob didn't just scrape the surface, but dug deep with each person to get to know them and give them what they needed. I plan to care for my patients how I would want myself to be cared for or one of my family members to be cared for. I will be prompt and insightful of each individual with their time and keep a professional caring attitude at all times. Both nurses showed dedication and all four concepts of nursing and I plan to do the same in my practice as a nurse.

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