Nursing evolution


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Nursing evolution

  1. 1. Nursing Evolution Latoya Donaldson To understand the evolutionary process we must first understand what nursing was and where it came from. With this in mind, my main goal is to look at the evolution of nursing while paying special attention to the Professional, occupational and academic disciplinary aspects of this field. The University of the Southern Caribbean Royal Road, Maracas St Joseph, Trinidad Lecturer: Mrs. Archer 10/10/2013
  2. 2. Introduction The Nursing profession has developed throughout history, seeing a transformation in practice, types of caregivers, roles and policy changes, but nursing remains an act of caring and service to those in need. (ANA, 2013). To understand the evolutionary process we must first understand what nursing was and where it came from. With this in mind, my main goal is to look at the evolution of nursing while paying special attention to the Professional, occupational and academic disciplinary aspects of this field. Nursing as a profession A profession is defined as a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification. (Oxford Dictionaries, 2010). With the initiation of a number of human rights movement and endless information in vast circulation the way in which the society views he rights of its members has evolved with time. A consumer with the rights to quality care and protection and now patients are no longer called such but are now seen as clients. However because of this nurses are now having the professional responsibility of being advocates for the patient. In an attempt to fulfill their professional responsibility nurses seek to administer care in a conscientious and knowledgeable manner in benefit of themselves and others, (Potter & Perry, 2009). Due to the advancement of medical research and technology a professional outlook has to be maintained. “Nurses today have to keep up with a lot more technology than their predecessors, not only do professional nurses have to provide basic skilled nursing care they also have to learn to work with many types of equipment that are specific to their area of expertise”. In the global industry computers are now a common way to document cares and requires training for that as well (Stine.D, 2010). Modern day nursing has been characterized as a profession based on a number of primary characteristics. In 2004 the American Nurses Association completely updated the scope of nursing and standards of practice which is an essential part of the nursing profession. This body requires Nurses to attain pre-set standards before allowing persons to practice. It also requires an organized period of extensive study by its members in recognized institutions of higher learning for acquiring theoretical and practical skills (Potter& Perry, 2009). Most importantly nursing has developed a code of ethics that govern the development of the profession and its members. (Erina, 2006). Ethicalnursing is the philosophical ideals of right and wrong that defines the principles you will use to provide care to the clients (Potter& Perry, 2009). Although there are all these principles of ethics are in place it’s a sad reality when nurses fail to exercise them when nursing should be concerned with service to mankind. (Erina, 2006). Nursing is now functioning on a scientific basis with its dedication being to solely improve the quality of life. According to (Erina, 2006) economic and monetary gain should be secondary on the nursing professional mind. However many speculates that this is not the case in modern day nursing since money and 1|Page
  3. 3. power almost always disrupts the natural functioning of things. Nonetheless nursing as a profession has the responsibility to protect society from unscrupulous persons doing professional practice. (Erina, 2006). The professional responsibility is also upon the nurses to obtain and maintain specific skills and knowledge to carry out their professional duty. In the past the past nurses provided a narrower scope of care and comfort but changes in nursing has expanded the professional role of the nurse in that he or she has become autonomous. Nursing interventions are now being made without orders from the medical team as the nurses are now more confident and knowledgeable. However it should be noted that with autonomy comes greater accountability and responsibility (Potter&Perry, 2006). In Contemporary nursing nurses are not only required to be patients but also an educator. With the certification of health promotion, nurses now seek by means of client education to reduce hospital stays and enhance life expectancy. The manner in which the nurses communicated in the past with patients changed drastically due to the realization that it is essential to have a nurse- patient relationship. This not only builds the level of trust and respect between client and nurse but also aids in evaluation and assessment (Potter&Perry, 2009). For years nursing was predominately thought of as a female dominated profession but every year more males are getting in this noble profession. This shows another area of evolution. The stigma that was attached to male nurses are no longer there. They are as welcomed as the females in the clinical setting. Nursing is not only demanding physically but mentally as well. Stress is a common aspect of nursing but the rewards gained greatly outweigh the everyday difficulties that nurses face every day (Stine.D, 2010). Transition from Education to an Academic Discipline According to Taylor (2005), a nursing curriculum refers to planned learning experiences that an educational institution intends to provide for its learners. In past times, nurses were not fully trained and operated under the direct supervision of doctors and adopted the apprenticeship role. In 1950, the Nursing Council was formed and shouldered the responsibility of registration, education and discipline of nurses. This evolutionary milestone brought about a better way forward because it made persons more qualified for the job and less dependent on the physician (NIHERST, 2008). According to McEwenand Willis (2010), Nursing is changing in response to the need and resources of society as a whole. Healthcare delivery is in demand and the nurses responded by becoming more educated I higher learning institutions and independent and autonomous. Nurses were now broadening their scopes of thought and seeking now to develop numerous frame works which were used as a guide to care. This achievement brought about a new level of higher learning which had its pros and cons. Academic disciplines are distinctions between bodies of knowledge found in academic settings. It is a branch of knowledge ordered through the theories and methods evolving from more than one worldview of the phenomenon of concern. Nursing knowledge base draws from many disciplines with grand theorist like Betty Neuman, basing her work on the postulates of many other scholars. Nursing Theoretical framework has depended on physiology, sociology, psychology and medicine to provide an academic foundation and an 2|Page
  4. 4. informed practice. With these advancements “ Nursing has become an art and a science that requires a blend of the most current knowledge, practice standards along with an insightful and humane approach to client care” (Potter&Perry, 2009). Occupational Nursing The Thesaurus dictionary defines occupation as an activity that serves as one’s regular source of livelihood. History dictates that occupational nursing has taken many different faces over the years as the job of nursing was perceived differently by or predecessors. However care has been the one constant variable that nursing has been centered around. Treatment in the past was carried out by physicians and general nursing care of the patients was in the hands of the women in the household or of slaves. Christianity in those times was the major driving force behind nursing care since it endorsed the fact the belief that it is the duty and privilege of the strong to bear the burdens of the weak while ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of the poor and sick (Becks &Polit, 2007). In this time nursing as regarded as a form of religious devotion so because of this many women in the rural community took up the occupational role as nurse and midwife not for financial gain but heavenly rewards. No education was needed because they were selected on good character and not educational status (Becks &Polit, 2007). Nurses were instructed to obey the physicians and to whole heartedly serve patients (Erina, 2006). However the introduction of institutionalized care nursing took place and nursing was no longer confined to churches and monasteries and the home of midwives and community care givers. This marked the beginning of governmental and legislative intervention. (NIHERST, 2008) This brought about the genesis of Public Health Care, making way for a new scope of care. During this period nursing transformed because the need for trained individuals was in demand to manage the newly constructed Health Care Facilities. Delivered in an article to the Trinidad and Tobago Registered nurses association Dr Quow stated that in the year 1982, it was the government’s aim to make healthcare accessible to individual and families of the community by acceptable means through their full participation and at a cost the community can afford. Additionally it was now the government’s responsibility to meet the health needs of all persons who now became dependent on the health care system. Being dependent up to this present time has negatively affected nursing due to the desperate need for a large quantity rather than quality nurses. However because of the institutionalization of nursing we were afforded the opportunity to provide a more scientific and standardize method of nursing care through education. (NIHERST, 2008). Conclusion Indeed it is a fact that nursing has evolved into a complex framework which takes this profession to higher scopes. It is my greatest hope that the continuous development of nursing takes positive strides in the direction of efficient and effective care. I am urging all the nurses to maintain a 3|Page
  5. 5. caring and professional demeanor while carrying out duties, ensuring that our noble profession maintains the standard of practice. 4|Page
  6. 6. References Education Encyclopedia, (2009), Academic Disciplines- Disciplines and the Structure of Higher Education Discipline Classification Systems, Discipline Differences, History and trends of nursing, Erina.E, 2006, Mc Ewen.M, WillisM.E, 2010, Theoretical Basis for Nursing, (3rd Edition), Williams and Wilkins. NIHERST, 2008, Historical Highlights of nursing in Trinidad and Tobago, The Costatt Library. Oxford Dictionaries, 2010, Profession. Potter A. Patricia, Perry A. Griffin, Fundamentals of Nursing (7th Edition), Mosby Inc., Elsevier Inc. PolitF.D, PhD, & Beck T. C, 2007, Nursing Research Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice Hardbound, (8th Edition). Stine D.,(2010), How Nursing has changed in the last 10 years, 5|Page