Caring as a verb is an act of showing interest in the other person by helping them even without them asking for assistance. It is the feeling of attachment and responsibility in other peoples' problems or needs that prompt you to help them. Caring is also applicable as a noun. An example of the word caring used as a noun in a sentence is, nursing is a caring job.' Oxford dictionary defines caring as the work or practice of taking care of those who are in need or those unable to take care of themselves (Riley, 2015). Caring or giving care is the act of helping others because you feel they need your assistance without them necessarily asking for it. Caring can be expressed emotionally or physically. According to a nursing theorist, nursing is a science that connects human beings and leads to interpersonal interactions that ensure a patient is always comfortable. The act of caring for others is therapeutic and often allows those offering it to enjoy a long, good and healthy life. This is because the excellent feeling attributed to the act of helping others often causes one to feel happier, contented, and less stressful.
Nursing is one of the world's oldest careers. Its path significantly involves caring for the sick and the wounded because nursing as a career promotes the well-being of humanity through helping the helpless by ensuring they are comfortable and capable of carrying out their day to day duties and responsibilities. According to Alligood, (2015), caring in the nursing field is essential since it allows nurses to create a friendly bond with their patients. This relationship often encourages the patients to freely interact with their nurses thus making it easy for the nurses to acquire vital information that would aid in treating the patient. The nurse may be able to obtain critical information such as how the patient is feeling, when did they fall sick, what measures they took in attempting to treat themselves, and what may have possibly caused their illness. The bond also makes it easy for the patient to communicate their demands such as what they would like to eat, the method of medicine administration they prefer, and the recreational activities they would want to involve themselves in.
Richards, Coulter, & Wicks, (2015) argue that one of the primary goals of nursing is helping a patient to achieve body, mind and soul harmony which is gained through caring practices. Madeleine Leininger said Care is the essence of nursing and central, dominant, and unifying focus of nursing.'
One Sunday as I was preparing lunch for my family, I suffered second-degree face burns from a pressure cooker. Luckily, my husband was at home. After giving me first aid, he took me to a nearby hospital where I got further treatment. The doctor advised that I should rest and to avoid exposing the burns to direct heat for at least two weeks thus allowing my skin to heal. I was worried about how I was supposed to conduct my daily duties such as cleaning our house and preparing food for my family. I have two young children, and my husband who is a civil servant is often busy. However, despite his busy schedule, my husband assured me that he would take care of our children and me. He would wake up early every morning to prepare breakfast for the family. Since his workplace was not far from home, he would come every day to check up on me and prepare lunch. In the evening, he arrived home early to prepare supper. His commitment to doing my duties made me feel cared for. He ensured that I took the medication as prescribed by the doctor. He compassionately applied medical ointment on my face so that my burns would heal quickly. During that moment of my sickness, I felt cared for.
Caring in the nursing field helps to promote good working relationship with the colleagues and creates a good rapport with the patients since it fosters friendship between a caregiver and the individual who is given the care. According to Richards et al. (2015), caring is a core concept that forms the basis of what nurses do every day. Roach gives several attributes of caring, these include, commitment, conscience, compassion, and competence. I concur with Roach because, in consideration of my case, for instance, my husband exhibited the same attributes when caring for me during the period that I was sick. His strong conscience and ability to make sound judgment made me feel confident that he would take care of the family till my burns healed. He was committed to ensuring everything in the family ran smoothly despite the fact that I could not assist him. His competency in whatever he did made it possible for the matters to run smoothly without any gap or my absence being experienced.
Commitment is the attempt to meet the expected standards and obligations of work or duty. Commitment in the nursing field helps the nurses to remain loyal to their careers and also view the numerous challenges they face positively thus ensuring they focus on their duties. Riley (2015) says a nurse should possess a commitment to oneself and others to be caring. To nurses, commitment entails the willingness and dedication to go an extra mile to deliver excellent care to a patient. A nurse is expected to be dedicated to meeting and exceeding the expectations of a patient. They should also possess the conviction to learn and acquire skills thus improving the way they handle their patients (Riley, 2015). High levels of commitment lead to good employee relationship, job satisfaction and ensure an excellent delivery of services since it provides individuals focus on what is expected of them in relation to their duties. A dedicated nurse often acquires the necessary knowledge and skills required to deliver the care that is needed by a patient. Through commitment, caring is achieved because a patient can see and feel the great lengths the nurse has gone in helping him or her.
To care for patients in the best way possible, nurses ought to have a strong conscience. A strong conscience helps a person to make the right decisions even when they are under stress or pressure. Smith Catherine in her journal Continuing Education in Nursing emphasizes that it is paramount for a nurse to have a strong conscience. This would enable them always to make decisions that are ethical since a strong conscience promotes moral uprightness. To deliver care effectively, a nurse is required to have strong morals and ability to make the right choices. A good conscience will help a nurse to care for a patient even under stressful conditions. Though care is an inborn trait that is not taught in classes but rather develops in a person, it is significantly influenced by competency levels. Competency is the ability to do work in an exemplary way because one has the skills and information required for that job. Richards et al., (2015) acknowledge the need for a nurse to be competent in his/her work. Competency influences one's confidence in doing their job. Having confidence when attending to a patient will influence a nurse ability to care for the patient. This is because a competent nurse feels he or she has all that it takes to help a patient (Nelson et al., 2015). Competency in the healthcare field can be expressed by arriving to work on time, asking for clarifications when not sure to avoid mistakes, dressing professionally and being zealous to learn new things.
Caring involves feelings and emotions. For a nurse to express care to a patient, he or she should be compassionate. In the healthcare field, compassion is an inner desire to help somebody because you sympathize with him or her. According to Middleton Jenni an Editor in Nursing Times, empathy is a core quality that nurses should possess. A compassionate nurse can sympathize with the patient, and the patient feels cared. Compassion makes a nurse kind to a patient and promotes the development of concern for the well-being of the patient. Compassion helps a nurse to feel a sense of attachment towards a patient and hence the need to support and care for them. In this way, compassion promotes care. The more compassionate a nurse is, the more caring he or she is.
Caring is a vehicle that drives the nursing career. Caring fosters quick recovery to patients, and even in the situations where a patient dies, he or she dies with dignity knowing that someone cared. According to Watson, curing occurs through caring. Sometimes we overlook the small acts of saying a kind word to others, smiling, listening to others, complimenting others and they are the aspects that can heal ailing patients. The spirit of caring which is fundamental in the nursing field helps the nurses to gain confidence and disclosure with patients, and they can acquire information that may be relevant to patients' recovery. Caring is achieved through effective employment of the attributes discussed above. In this world where diseases are part of our life, nursing is a profession that is essential to humanity. Though caring is applied in many professions, it is more evident and crucial in the nursing profession. This is because caring in the nursing profession can heal a sick person and prevent loss of life. The culture of caring in the nursing field should be maintained and upheld.
Alligood, M. R. (2014). Nursing theorists and their work. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Nelson, E. C., Eftimovska, E., Lind, C., Hager, A., Wasson, J. H., & Lindblad, S. (2015). Patient reported outcome measures in practice. Bmj, 350, g7818.
Richards, T., Coulter, A., & Wicks, P. (2015). Time to deliver patient centred care. British Medical Journal Publishing Group. Retrieved from http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h530.full.pdf+html
Riley, J. B. (2015). Communication in nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=SwndCwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=the+art+of+care+patients+and+their+familes&ots=YZmm44wiBB&sig=sRFnBzRIfz-J9q14aPbgurHOCM8
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