Nursing Concept

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Nursing Concept

Nursing Concept


The care of patients in hospitals today has become increasingly more complex for nurses. Nurses must contend with increases in medical technological capabilities, changes in health care consumer demands, changes in the allocation of health care resources and changes in the legal system governing nursing practice such as withholding or withdrawing life support. Nurses may perceive themselves as advocates for the patient's welfare. However, as new complexities develop surrounding the medical and nursing care of severely ill individuals, nurses may become more involved in situations in which being an advocate for the patient may conflict with loyalty to the institution, physicians, family and others. Conflicting loyalties can create conflicting options in the resolution of the problems of patient care, which in turn, can create ethical dilemmas for nurses. The types of decisions made and actions taken when faced with an ethical dilemma falls under the construct of ethical practice in nursing. Many factors can influence the way in which nurses respond to ethical dilemmas, including prior knowledge of the dilemma, the conception of the nurse's role in the dilemma and congruence between the ideal resolution and the realistic resolution of the dilemma. The influence of one's culture on ethical practice in nursing may also affect responses to ethical dilemmas but cultural influence has not been well described in the literature. Fabrega (1990) suggested that culture is closely linked with moral behavior and medical practice since 'each culture and tradition of medicine is held to stipulate a moral way of looking at illness and a moral way of conducting medical practice” (p. 595). Hence, analyzing and describing modes of healing among any group of people may, in part, describe their “medical ethics” (Fabrega, 1990).

Health beliefs in nursing are viewed as cognitive structures within an ethnic group's larger system of knowledge. The sets of beliefs in cultural knowledge systems represent the basic truths and values shared by group members(Chalfin 1990). Beliefs are the basic guidelines for perceiving, interpreting, organizing, and understanding meaningful experiences. Beliefs also serve to guide behavior and provide strategies for solving problems and making choices among alternatives for action (Bunting 2008). Health beliefs form the basis of the reasoning process used by individuals to link plausible explanations for causes of an illness with alternative solutions for the health problem(Chalfin 1990). Health beliefs are basic to the formulation of explanatory model propositions whichassist the individual in constructing the illness reality. Although illness realities are thought to change and evolve during one's life experiences with illness (Callahan 2007), several researchers have found that basic health beliefs, even after one is exposed to Western biomedical models of disease, remain unchanged(Bunting 2008). Therefore, the concept of health beliefs was used to elicit the common sense system of perceptions, lay terms, and definitions that imply a range of potential explanatory models.

Help Seeking Patterns in Nursing

Help seeking patterns in nursing are viewed as forms of illness behaviors specific to the individual's choice of treatment and the resources they ...
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