Nursing: A Beautiful Blend of Art and Science
It isn’t easy to distinguish whether nursing is an art or a science. On the one hand, it involves physical contact with the patient and the demonstration of compassion. Nurses must master the art of management and be updated with new policies, procedures, and practices. It qualifies nursing as an art. On the other hand, it involves using data and evidence-based practice. Nurses must know disease mechanisms, medication, and a patient-centered care plan. They must also know how to manipulate diagnostic machines and equipment. It makes nursing a science. Thus, it is both an art and a science because of combining creativity, calling, and communication skills with knowledge, lifelong learning, and research.
The Art of Nursing
Art is the creative use of knowledge to offer services. Nursing was originally considered an art. Its categorization as an art is based on caring behavior. Nursing focuses on the response of a patient to an illness. It involves the possession of positive qualities necessary for patient care. A nurse must be compassionate and meet the emotional needs of patients. The one cares for people in critical conditions, such as terminal illnesses, and those undergoing great pain and emotional suffering. He or she should be able to explain the care plan so the patient will understand. Nurses are expected to be responsive and focus on how they will put their plan of care into action. They are also to be caring. Nurses meet patients, who are strangers, but they should earn the trust of patients and assure the latter they will take all aspects of care seriously. Thus, nursing is an art because it requires possessing the right character.
Nurses actively participate in the process of treating patients. Assessing patient signs requires critical thinking to identify their problems, make appropriate recommendations, and take necessary actions. Nurses should communicate patient information to doctors effectively to enable them to make final treatment decisions. The task involves using the human creative skill of communication, an art. Nurses must have effective communication skills and practice true presence. Nursing care does not involve systematic explanations to reach conclusions but rather the observation of experiences and interpreting of what they mean. Nurses listen to what patients say and how they describe situations; they note nonverbal feedback, such as gestures, facial expressions, and even silences. Nurses infer these communication aspects and use them to introduce new possibilities for quality care. They employ the therapeutic use of self to understand and create ways to deliver effective care intuitively and creatively.
Nurses are trained to be culturally sensitive. They are always prepared to meet all categories of patients and harbor wide-ranging skill sets to approach all aspects of patient care. Nurses provide care for patients from diverse cultures. They have to understand their cultural peculiarities and those of their family members. They care for patients with mental challenges and those from diverse social backgrounds. Thus, nurses must involve imagination and consider personality differences to offer quality care to each patient. They are to develop innovative approaches to create an environment that makes patients feel that they have value.
Nurses store and regulate medical equipment in care procedures and tools for patient examination. They move heavy medical devices from one room to the next. Nurses select the best medical equipment for assessing the patient’s condition. Using it is an art because it involves human creativity in visual forms.
Nursing is more of a calling than a career. A calling is a pressing internal desire to commit to a task that a person perceives as valuable. Nurses should have a deep desire to serve people with great altruism. They care for patients with severe illnesses or those suffering from infectious diseases and isolated from their loved ones. Though these people are strangers, nurses offer emotional support and companionship to them. Despite these discouraging working conditions, nursing professionals are underpaid. Nurses are the most underestimated employees by their employers, but they attend to their patients gladly without showing discouragement. They commit to working under these circumstances because they perceive nursing more as a calling than a profession.
The Science of Nursing
Nursing is also a science. The latter is a body of knowledge informed by scientific research and analysis. It involves the application of theory into practice. Nurses obtain knowledge from observation, research, and critical thinking. They apply the knowledge of anatomy, chemistry, psychology, microbiology, and physiology. The following are the reasons why nursing is a science. Traditionally, nurses had full knowledge of the basic principles of nursing practice. However, these had never been tested. As the body of scientific knowledge expanded, nursing shifted to tested procedures. It informed the establishment of standards for practice that nurses must obtain before being licensed to practice. Scholars then formulated nursing theories and provided scientific justification for those approaches.
Nurses base their practice on evidence. They treat what they can measure. Nurses must show measurable and objective data to support the positions they take. Though they are known to treat the soul, they also treat the body using scientific means. Nurses no longer depend on policies and procedures based on other sources in clinical decision-making. They use theory-driven and research-based knowledge to make decisions on care delivery. The nursing practice involves using data collected and proven through scientific trials.
Nursing research is a common practice in the nursing career. It is a systematic inquiry aimed at developing knowledge about issues important to nurses, such as nursing education, practice, and administration. Nurse researchers undertake studies and share data and findings with other stakeholders in the healthcare system. They use such information as a basis for writing grant proposals to solicit funding. Nursing research helps nurses to contribute to key medical findings. It advances the nursing practice and shapes health policy. Nursing research seeks to accomplish several goals. It helps nurses to understand the symptoms of chronic illnesses. Nursing research findings enable them to develop effective approaches to sustain health. Research also helps in the improvement of clinical settings where care is offered. It enables nurses to assume the role of patient advocates. They are positioned as researchers because they have a deeper understanding of patients’ physical and emotional needs. Therefore, they have a unique perspective as researchers because they can ask important research questions and analyze information that can improve patient health.
Nursing involves lifelong learning. Nurses continuously seek and appreciate new ideas to gain new perspectives. They are engaged in reflecting and interrogating current care approaches to improve care. They exchange, share, and confirm their knowledge with their coworkers in uncertain situations. Nurses continuously improve their nursing and technical skills. They operate in ever-changing social and cultural environments. Nurses continuously learn to provide the best patient care in these settings. Technology progresses at an exponential rate. Thus, what nurses learn in training becomes obsolete very fast. They can only endanger patients if they use updated skills. Nurses believe that learning does not end upon graduation. They translate knowledge into high-quality nursing care. For example, the regulator reviews a nursing license every year in countries like Malaysia or the USA. Reviewing involves checking continuous professional development. Nurses who attend additional nursing-related courses are given additional points. They continuously acquire new skills, practices, and knowledge to improve themselves and the services they offer.
Nursing entails the provision of direct care for patients. Activities involved in this responsibility include treatment, patient education, counseling, and the administration of medications. When nurses provide direct care, they observe patient conditions and record symptoms. They use this information to formulate a plan of care and arrange treatment. They collaborate with physicians to manage patient conditions and administer medications. Nurses also provide health education to patients.
Nursing education involves the study of science courses. All degree and diploma nursing programs have science as a core requirement. They teach scientific subjects like chemistry, biology, human anatomy, and nursing practice. As nursing students progress to bachelor’s and master’s programs, their science coverage expands to specialized areas, such as oncology, maternity nursing, and senior care. Nurses are prepared to become educators on healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. They can only educate people on these aspects effectively by studying the scientific characteristics of causative agents of diseases. The tasks of nurses require technical and scientific skills. They clean and dress patients with broken body parts. Thus, nursing duties require knowledge of human anatomy.
In conclusion, nursing is both an art and a science. Nurses employ creativity in tasks such as establishing relationships with patients, knowing their culture, and offering compassion to those critically ill. They also perform such tasks as regulating medical equipment, which does not involve scientific knowledge or research. On the other hand, nursing is also a science. Nurses are required to make their decisions based on the findings of scientific research. Nursing curricula involve the study of science courses, and nurses are engaged in lifelong learning.
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