In considering the concept of caring, the following attributes immediately comes to mind which comprise of, but are not restricted to: kind, thoughtful, gentle, helpful, compassionate, considerate, loving, sensitive, concerned, caregiver. Together these words fit into the philosophies of nursing and the provision of care to individuals, which provide the marked distinction between the profession of nursing and just another job carrying out assigned duties or providing a service for a pay check. The purpose of actual caring occasion is arranged around helping the patient advance to a higher degree of harmony with the mind, body, and soul. It is achieved through caring transactions. Caring moment/caring occasion focuses on the moment the nurse experiences something greater than themselves.
Caring has been given great importance in the field of nursing and medical. In fact, it is the founding stone of nursing. The purpose of the analysis of caring is to know what caring really means for the patient. A sick patient will recover more quick if he or she has been provided adequate care. Many researches have been conducted on this which highlights the importance of caring. Many of the individuals chose to be a nurse by profession due to their aspiration to care other people. It is acknowledged that the central concept of caring caused many theories to emerge, one of them being, Jean Watson’s theory of human caring. The theory has evolved overtime and has been applied by many professionals.
Caring is wide and assorted theory that can be defined in a number of ways. From Watson’s definition, caring is the practice by which nurses in a medical institution react to patients as exceptional people and make out their needs and feeling as they settle them. A large number of people consider caring as one of important aspects of nursing, to be explicit, caring is a requirement of nursing. For example, medical experts consider caring as essential as expertise and knowledge are to the medical profession. Even so, several medical experts deviate with the fact that caring and nursing are similar. For instance, Phillips maintains that, replacing nursing with caring is a mistake and invasive. On the other hand, Warelow, terms it as disadvantageous.
In the middle of all these variations, caring is a vital component of the nursing practice and the key to choosing the concept of caring is because it is very essential when it comes to healthcare. Facts show that caring sways the impact of nurses on the patients. Globally, the effects of the availability of deficiency of caring have been acknowledged and have increased tremendously. A number of people argue that, caring affects the health of nurses in addition to their competence and safety. As a result, health care organizations put it in order. Watson points out that, availability of caring is the crucial measure for the nurse’s knowledge and expertise with the patient (site). In accordance to the available credentials for patient’s satisfaction and nurse care, majority of patients see nurse care as their source of satisfaction. This paper tries to make clear the concept of caring in the field of nursing and it makes use of the Walker and Avant outline to support the concept. It is for that reason that, the paper starts with recognizing the concept and its functions. It will then identify the important aspect of the concept and provide examples of presence and absence of the concept in nursing. At last, the paper will recognize the antecedents, the effects or consequences and describe the empirical referents. In further detail the paper will argue the importance in caring as part of the nursing practice.
Uses of the Concept
Caring is not atypical or has a singular meaning but instead is viewed as an action that must be uniquely tailored to the recipient’s needs. The Oxford Dictionary defines caring as the work or practice of looking after, as well as, displaying kindness and concern for those who are unable to care for themselves, especially on account of age or illness. Meanwhile, Avant and Walker (2011) terms caring as an interpersonal process which requires an emotional commitment coupled with willingness to fulfill combined responsibilities and to be trustworthy enough to act on behalf of a person. In essence, it helps in developing great interpersonal relationship between the nurses and the patients in the healthcare centers in a systematic scientific manner.
“Caring is the central concept in the discipline of nursing” (Vance 2003). , therefore caring is the principle objective of the nursing profession (Leininger 1991). If it is delivered correctly, caring can preserve life or allow a patient to have a peaceful death (Vance 2003). Edwards (2001) refers to caring as having three types. They are ‘deep care’, ‘intentional care’ and ‘identity constituting care’, which all pertain to the level of care an individual needs in order to meet their satisfaction of being cared for. What is common amongst them is that the nurse gives care willingly while the patient returns a conscious favor of gratitude. It is evident that nursing theorists, scholars and health care professions have varying interpretations of what caring is or should be. The most common view is that, when caring, there should be an established relationship of trust, knowledge of care delivery process, commitment and willingness to care (Watson 2011).
Florence Nightingale (1860, 1970) states that in addition to treating a disease, that caring and self-healing can take place once an environment conducive for good health (i.e. fresh air, light, cleanliness, warmth, calm, good diet, monitoring and observation) is facilitated with hope and advice while being realistic (Baughan ; Smith 2008). Similarly, Abdellah (1979) emphasizes that caring should also be focused on attending to the patient’s needs, encouraging self-help ability where possible and not just on the curing of the illness. McCormack and McCance (2010) highlight the fact that nurses should be professionally capable and able to demonstrate the competence required in their tasks or caring procedures. The role of a nurse is viewed as stressful, so nurses need to be emotionally ready and be physically fit to participate in delivering care. Acts of kindness, trustworthiness, promoting privacy, ensuring dignity, being engrossed into the artistry of caring and engaging in anti-discriminatory practice (Baughan & Smith 2008) by respecting everyone, irrespective of age, culture, gender, socio-economic class, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and the condition from which they are afflicted, are caring indicators of a nurse.
The outcomes that are evident once the concept of caring has been delivered (Walker & Avant 1995 p.45) to a patient include healing, curing, relief and prevention of suffering through pain management or in the case of terminal illness, being able to die peacefully. When a patient is healed or cured they may be able to return to their lifestyle independently or with supportive assistance. Supportive assistance can come from nurses, other health care professionals and family members who can be included in the decision making and participation of care. If the patient is satisfied with the care provided, consequently, a trusting relationship between the patient and nurse is established and validated.
The term attributes is defined as characteristics which are inherent and essential to the meaning of a concept (Avant & Walker, 2011). The main aim of defining attributes of caring is to collect the outstanding and unique features related to the concept and allow a broad insight. The latest analysis of the concept of caring in the nursing field acknowledge certain attributes of caring and they include attitude, variability, relationship, action and acceptance.
From this analysis, relationship engages the concept of sharing and reciprocating, where you give and take of the shared relations. Relationships are considered the basis of nursing and a moral imperative of entering into a relationship with the patient. The relationship starts when the nurse identifies a patient needs and is motivated to help.
When it comes to action, it simply refers to the intentional acts like presence and physical care whereas patient’s acceptance involves the identification of the fundamental qualities and the importance of each patient. Professional caring consists of different actions that are aimed at helping the patient. The nurse can decide to be with the patient. The actions result from the nurse’s perception of the patient needs. The nurse is motivated to act so as to meet the patient needs.
Attitude is the obvious concern and respect of the patients in the concept of caring. The nurse should show a positive attitude when caring for the patient in order to be considered caring. The nurses should be strong, courageous and have love, peace and joy to caring. The nurses should be attentive, open, good listener, understanding, respectful and committed. Lastly, variability assumes that caring is ever changing and improving.
Deb is a nurse who works at the emergency unit of one of the big hospitals in town. On a Saturday evening, the hospital receives ten accident victims who are badly wounded. She was prepared to leave in five minutes, but the charge nurse ordered the available nurses to respond immediately to the victims in need and also save lives. Without hesitation, Deb rushed to the emergency room to offer medical assistance and attention. Deb was very concerned that the hospital may loss ten victims if they do not helped immediately. She also ensured that the doctor in-charge is also available to help save lives. Employing her nursing skills and expertise, she made sure that every victim is in the hospital beds in order to get medical attention from the doctor. This vigorous incident took three hours for each victim to be attended and Deb later left for her home at 9 o’clock in the evening.
This occurrence demonstrates the chronological activities that Deb exercised while showing care to the victims by ensuring that they are in stable conditions. She started by ensuring that she carries every nursing practice perfectly without compromising the situation. It is evident that Deb understands how the caring field operates as she started by obtaining her proper nursing attire along with other protective attire. There are series of activities that took place in the intensive care unit where Deb was expressing her care for the accident victims. She further shows her concern and devotion by accepting to go back to work when she was about to leave the hospital and extended her excellent care to the victim. Although she was about to leave, Deb devoted herself for three hours to offer care to the victims without any hesitation. Additionally, Deb also made sure that the victims are in stable condition before leaving for home and ensured that there is a doctor around to take care of the victims. Deb maintains this great interpersonal relationship with the accident victims. Lastly, Deb also ensured that every scientific and systematic process in the nursing practice was followed. By wearing the nursing attire, ensuring the accident victims are in good condition and waiting for the doctor to attend to the victims, Deb has engaged the necessary systematic scientific process.