The Nursology Initiative in the Philippines

Contributor: Rudolf Cymorr Kirby P. Martinez, Ph.D.

Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) is the largest and the national referral center for pediatric cases in the Philippines. I started my professional journey here as a staff nurse after I finished my MA in nursing, and soon after, I completed my Ph.D. I transitioned to academia. After eight years from the time I resigned as a staff nurse, I was appointed as the consultant nursologist of the hospital. This is the first time a nurse assumes a consultancy role in PCMC and the first time that the official designation is that of consultant nursologist. How it came about was serendipitous, to say the least. It all started during the pandemic when the inherent weakness of health care institutions, especially in a developing country like the Philippines, was exposed because of the pandemic’s burden. During this time, the value of nurses received the much-needed attention they deserve. Also, around this time, I realized the fragility of life and the uncertainty of things because of the pandemic. As I was looking for a way to help nurses working in the service sector, one of my mentees in graduate school mentioned that their hospital is currently creating initiatives for their nurses. This hospital was my former employer, PCMC.

I took the initiative to write a letter offering my expertise as a nursologist to the institution’s executive director, Dr. Julius Lecciones, whose office is taking the lead on creating this initiative for nurses. I wrote in the letter how a nursologist could benefit not only the nurses in the hospital but ultimately the children whose lives they are caring for. As a response to the letter, I was given an audience with the department managers, physicians, and some nurse supervisors. During the presentation, I focused on explaining what nursology is all about and proposed a framework for how the expertise of a nursologist could benefit the hospital and its community.

Why “Nursology”?

In the Philippine context, all people educated in nurses are called “nars” (nurse) regardless of where they practice. But most people would associate nurses with those who are working in the service sector as practitioners. (We do not have advanced practice in the Philippines at the moment) so all nurses working in the service sector are “the nurses” in the eyes of the general population. There is a prevailing belief that the penultimate role and function of a nurse in the hospital setting, not academe or research, that to work in the hospital is their reason for being. This is the reason why I deliberately choose “nursologist” to somehow bring into the consciousness of people that nursing is a professional discipline and its practice is not only confined within the four walls of the hospital. From there, I hope that the label we use for nurses will evolve into nursology and its different expressions. I have the same appreciation of nursology similar to some of the contributors from nursology.net, that is it “A name for discipline of nursing, a body of knowledge, a research methodology, and a practice methodology about and for phenomena of concern to nurses” (see “An Invitation to Dialogue about Disciplinary Terms. I am also heavily influenced by Rogerian Science of Unitary Human Beings and the Theory of Nursing as Caring by Boykin & Schoenhoffer: A caring practice means that the knowledge of nursing is expressed by the nurse with the intent to be caring, and their expressions are appreciated by the other person as caring actions.  In addition, I believe that nursology is grounded in the fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing, first identified by Barbara Carper in 1978.

Launching the Nursology Initiative

During the initial talk on the establishment of the Nursology Initiative, I gave a presentation and emphasized in it the unique perspective that a nursologist could bring to the table in terms of nursing research, practice innovation, and creating a center for caring practice. After the presentation, they accepted the framework and further suggested that as part of the consultancy, I will also be a part of the institution’s multi-sector governance council (MSGC), where my expertise as a nursologist would provide a unique perspective on various issues tackled within the board.

Besides being part of the MSGC, my role as a consultancy nursologist is to assist the institution by providing insights, technical inputs, and expertise grounded on nursology on the following matters:

  • Development of a nursing research unit that focuses on human-health research and EBP grounded on nursology
  • Practice innovation with an emphasis on palliative care and caring science
  • Creation of a Center for Caring Practice

I also give short lectures on nursology and other nursing-related topics when needed. I was also given a permanent column for their newsletter aptly called “The Nursologist Corner,” where I share my opinion on issues concerning nursing, health, and wellness sent to me by various members of the community

This was the initial nature of my engagement with the institution as we are continuously exploring the nature of this partnership since this is the first of its kind in the Philippines. The PCMC Nursology Initiative Program is initially under the Executive Director’s Office, and the consultant nursologist liaise directly with the executive director.

During the contract signing, I gave a message to the administrators and nurse managers present, emphasizing that although society needs the expertise of nurses as clinicians, it is not the end-of-it of nursing. There is more to nursing than bedside practice. It is not the clinical skill that makes a nurse a nurse; it is our unique perspective and appreciation of things grounded in our disciplinary body of knowledge. I believe that one of the essential roles of a nursologist in a hospital is the empowerment of nurses and, with it, the advancement of their clinical practice. Nursologists help in creating systems and processes that allow for the empowerment of nurses to happen.

For so long, nurses in the Philippines are seen as second-class health care providers, merely skilled technicians, simply because it seems that some nurses have forgotten their unique disciplinary perspectives and are operating in a system that is not grounded in nursing. As I envision, a nursologist could help nurses remember who they are and the unique perspective they could offer.

An initiative such as the consultant nursologist might offer another model for bridging the gap between the science that is nursing and the art by which it is practiced in the clinical setting.

Memorandum of Agreement signing with Dr. Julius Lecciones, PCMC’s Executive Director,
June 10, 2021
Dr. Lecciones giving his opening message and sharing the story of how the Nursology Initiative came to be. The short program was department managers of various offices and nurse supervisors (those in green scrub suits).
Dr. Lecciones and me surrounded by the audience at the signing ceremony

About Rudolf Cymorr Kirby P. Martinez, Ph.D

Rudolf Cymorr Kirby P. Martinez, Ph.D., is currently the consultant nursologist of Philippine Children’s Medical Center and is a full-time Professor at San Beda University College of Nursing. He also teaches part-time at the graduate school program of Arellano University, Florentino Cayco Memorial School Graduate School of Nursing, and Holy Angels University – School of Nursing and Allied Medical Science. He is an advocate of nursology, caring science, and palliative care and consider himself a scholar of Rogerian Science of Unitary Human Being. His current advocacy includes the decolonization of nursing education through the integration of caring science and indigenous culture and folkloric practices into the nursing curricula.

Theory’s Reality in Nursing Practice: Florence Nightingale’s Legacy

Contributor: Isabel Faia

The contemporary imbalance in environmental matters predominantly involve climate change and our supposedly beloved home planet’s ecosystems issues. Human beings are continuously disrespectful of their relationships with the universe ecosystem.

Humankind is responsible to a great extent for this state of “dysbiosis” of our planet, which is similar to the state of each person’s gut microbiome. This lack of balance and harmony in nature, is the root cause of the emerging of new and complex pathological challenges, which, like the Covid-19 pandemic, have become impossible to ignore. Countries the globe over have been forced to take very strict contingency measures, with different levels of freedom and restrictions in order to slow down the devastating effects of sickness and death that the virus has caused.

Healthcare professionals have an important role in managing the many menacing threats to populations of our planet, their well-being and survival. Nursing as a professional discipline, has many theories that can use used to as evidence for safe and competent practice. The concepts of Fawcett’s metaparadigm of nursing provide a way to understand and guide nursing during the pandemic – human beings, environment, health, nursing  However, given the reality of our current world, other key concepts also provide paths that guide our understanding of the reality we face in the pandemic. 

I contend that we are closing a cycle, a full 360° spin, that brings us back to Florence Nightingale’s work. From Nightingale’s framework, the nurse’s primary role is caring and helping people in their healing process. Nightingale told us that the environment is a key influencing factor in this process, which when operationalized, can increase the potential for recovery and survival. Nursing care in this framework emphasizes the optimization of ventilation and natural lighting of spaces, noise reduction, frequent hand washing and disinfection, hygiene of spaces, among other aspects of the environment. Nightingale supported the importance of these environmental aspects, by collecting and statistically analyzing data from everyday practice.

We can use the symbol of the lamp to illuminate the paths of what today’s nursing practice can be, and promote multidisciplinary recognition of nurses profound contributions to population health. We face the fact that 200 years since Nightingale’s ideas were first published, widespread recognition nursing at both the ontological and epistemological levels still remains a challenge to overcome. Therefore, we all have to effectively communicate to our communities worldwide a clear vision of what nursing is.

At a personal level, I have just completed two decades of my career as a nurse, predominantly caring for critically ill patients in the context of urgency/emergency rooms and also in an intensive care unit. This led to an experience marked by a great many interdependent nursing activities, which contribute to the progressive distancing from fundamental nursing theoretical thinking. I perceive myself in a state of profound professional numbness. Not meaning that the quality of my autonomous nursing activities were questionable, but instead were automatically executed and with little awareness of theory. This is similar to an experienced car driver, who over the years enters into a state of relative unconsciousness, an automated practice, when driving. This progressive loss of professional identity became evident in the scope of the Masters in Critical Care Nursing Specialty that I am currently attending at Univesidade Católica Portuguesa (Lisbon). When re-visiting in class the evolution of thought in and the production of knowledge throughout nursing’s history, in a short time and instinctively my practice gained the semantics of nurses’ expression, more specifically in content format and other implicit dimensions, as if it were on standby and with a click it would switch on. What seemed difficult to transfer into practice, proved to be the root of my daily professional practice.

That is why when I read the post The Impossibility of Thinking “Atheoretically” (Fawcett, 2019) in Nursology, suggested by the Master’s Nursing Theories Chairwoman, I cathartically identified with it. In my experience of hibernated nursing and of unconscious semantics, in the past I considered myself to be a nurse distant from theories, which would belong to an exclusively academic context. Now I confess that this process was a boost of vital energy, illuminating and motivating me to an increasingly challenging and exciting life as a nurse.

About Isabel Faia

I’m an ICU nurse since 2014, working for the past 20 years in a public hospital in Madeira Island, Portugal. Presently, I am doing a Masters in critical care nursing, at Health Sciences Institute, UCP Lisbon. This post was made in the nursing theories curricular unit of the Masters in Nursing Course of the Health Sciences Institute of UCP (Lisbon), with the pedagogical supervision of Professor Zaida Charepe (PhD, Associate Professor).

COVID-19 Through the Lens of Nursing Theories

Contributor: Navninder Kaur, MSN, CMSRN


It all started in January of 2020 when the news started circling around about a contagious viral disease spreading in the East. The situation was not much of a concern, with a thought that just like other diseases like SARS, which originated and spread in one region, it will subside soon. However, as essential resources like gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers started disappearing from store shelves around the last week of February, and come March, our hospital had its 1st case of COVID-19. Soon, things got chaotic and out of hand, when we started running out of PPE’s, medical and ICU beds, ventilators, and staff to take care of patients. While hospitals were overwhelmed with the extensive virus outbreak, health care professionals came to the frontlines, fighting the unknown enemy, without any specific treatment.

Every member of the health care industry was directly or indirectly affected by the virus or its consequences, and above all, nurses played a crucial role in this fight. Nurses, comprising more than 50% of the health care and allied professionals, plunged into desperate conditions to care for human lives. What made their role even more paramount was that they spent far more time with patients than any other member of the healthcare team. Even the nurses who were pregnant, breastfeeding, elderly, retired, had co-morbidities or were students put their patients before their own families and health.

Nursing has evolved through wars and pandemics. The Crimean war led Nightingale to shape modern nursing practice. Her environmental theory saved many lives and improved the face of public health. With the ongoing pandemic, all nurses have a bit of Nightingale in them, working under tremendous pressure to address population needs. In the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, nurses raised concerns of public awareness

What set nurses apart from physicians, respiratory therapists, anesthesiologists, and other health care professionals in this time of incredible adversity? While all of these professionals’ focus is on science and empirical knowledge, it is a strong foundation of nursing theories, frameworks, and models that separate nursing from other professions. Knowingly or unknowingly, nurses have implemented nursing theories in their practice during these times of crisis. Whether it is identifying environmental components as outlined by Nightingale or Abdellah’s 21 nursing problems including physical, social, and emotional, or Johnson’s behavioral system model in which constancy is maintained through biological, psychological, and sociological factors or Neuman’s model which emphasizes that a person is a complete system, nurses have not just treated the “illness” but addressed the patient as a “whole”.

When COVID hit our hospital, our administrators outlined policies based on the recommendations of infectious disease specialists, and nurses were asked to limit visits to patients’ rooms to twice per shift to minimize the spread of infection. Nurses could not swallow that; we ended up being in the room 7 to 8 times on an average! Perhaps that contributed to 85% of patients who were successfully discharged from hospitals.

Above all, it was the application of Watson’s 10 carative factors that played a substantial role in the discipline of nursing during these difficult times. Despite the strict visitation policies put in place by hospitals, nurses made sure families were able to connect to their patients via video conferencing. This nursing action cultivated the spirit of love and kindness. They let family members and loved ones know they could contact as many times as possible during the day. Nurses listened to their fears and promoted their expression of feelings. Social media has a plethora of photos and videos of nurses holding patients’ hands, sitting at the bedside of dying patients when no family members could be present. Nurses comforted family members who had psychological stress and negative emotions from not being present with their loved ones during their last moments. Nurses made it possible for my family to wish goodbye to my father-in-law who was 200 miles away from us and passed away after losing his fight against this disease.

By embracing Leininger’s culture care theory, nurses provided care with transcultural understanding, sometimes performing rituals, praying with the patient, while connected with their families on the phone/video, and providing holistic care. During an unrelenting global pandemic, nurses have promoted transformational changes to sustain and preserve human dignity.

About Navninder Kaur

Navninder Kaur is a student in the Online Nursing Education EdD program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a clinical instructor at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT. She has 10 years of clinical experience in adult medical-surgical nursing.

Does Informed Consent Exist for Black Patients?

Contributor: Harriet Omondi MSN, APRN, FNP

Systemic racism and racial inequality are two concepts that are deeply ingrained in American history. These two issues come up in every single presidential election where candidates compete for the minority vote by promising reparations for black people and an end to systemic racism. Research has repeatedly revealed that minorities lag in the majority of health-related outcomes and this is often directly linked to racial inequity. In a recent blog post by Dr. Chinn titled, ‘Nursing and Racism: Are We Part of the Problem, Part of the Solution or Perhaps Both’, she eloquently addressed how we as nurses can be a part of the solution in ending racism. This can be achieved by educating ourselves on race relations, teaching our children by example by respecting people that may look different, and being empathetic to black people under our care. Patients trust nurses and easily share their fears and worries and nurses are often tasked with the burden of explaining procedures or give informed consent. Black people have been used in research studies over the years without consent or at times treated without full disclosure. How did this begin and how can nurses help resolve this problem?.

Source

The idea of informed consent began in the early 20th century and thus laid the foundation for the assertion of patient autonomy (Bazzano et al., 2021). Four landmark cases Mohr v Williams, Pratt v Davis, Rolater v Strain, and Schloendorff v Society of New York Hospital set a precedent for patient autonomy and formed the idea of the need for informed consent in medicine and research (Bazzano et al., 2021). In Mohr vs Williams, the patient had agreed to surgery on the right ear but during surgery, the surgeon decided that the left ear was worse off than the right ear and performed surgery on the left ear instead of the right ear (Bazzano et al., 2021, p. 80). The plaintiffs hearing thereafter worsened and she sued the surgeon for battery and assault for performing surgery on the left ear instead of the right as she had previously agreed (p. 82). Mrs. Mohr won the case as the court agreed that the surgeon was wrong for performing surgery on the left ear without her consent (p. 82). I have chosen to discuss informed consent because as much as research is important for the advancement of medicine and technology it is equally important to allow subjects to comprehend what they are signing up for and the potential risks or benefits of research. Participants need to also be aware that if they need to withdraw from a research study they can do so freely without fear of retaliation.

The issue of informed consent is a touchy subject when it comes to minorities especially the black population. This stems from the notion that historically blacks were seen as property and therefore the master did not need permission to do with them as they please. It is well documented that Dr.Marion Sims who is seen as “the father of gynecology” for pioneering successful gynecological surgeries, performed experiments on powerless black slaves without consent. The Tuskegee experiment is another well-known example of racial injustice where young black men some of whom were infected with syphilis were recruited for a research study on syphilis. Informed consent was not obtained for this study and when Penicillin became available to treat the disease the men were not treated. In addition, the men in the study were initially told the study would last six months but it went on for 40 long years where these men suffered the debilitating effects of syphilis without treatment. Fast forward to the 21st century while advances have been made in terms of how black people are treated more is yet to be done.

Working as a primary care nurse practitioner I have encountered countless black patients who distrust the medical system so much so that they would rather forgo medical treatment and seek alternative therapies. This distrust is deeply rooted in medical apartheid that they have witnessed or experienced over the years and it is up to us as nurses and frontline health care workers to empower these patients and provide culturally competent care to ease their doubt. Due to a lack of trust in the healthcare system rooted in racist practices, the black community continues to lag in nearly all aspects of healthcare. This issue has been at the forefront in the past year where we have seen black communities fair much worse on Covid-19 related outcomes, in addition, the vaccination rate among the black community is far less compared to the other races. When I ask my black patients why the hesitancy, the most common answer is, “can’t trust what they’re putting in my body”. One recent example that comes to mind is one of my black female patients was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and advised by her oncologists that she needed radiation after chemotherapy to eradicate cancer. The patient told the oncology team that she did not want radiation because she had a near-death experience during chemotherapy and did not want any more treatment. The oncologist kept pressing the idea of radiation on the patient and per the patient, a “black nurse was brought in to convince me to get radiation.” Ultimately the patient vehemently declined and radiation was not done. This is a classic example of how black patient`s requests are mostly ignored or dismissed with the assumption that they do not know any better.

Therefore, as nurses, we must take into account the complicated history of black people with medicine while providing care. We have to be empathetic to the needs of our black patients keeping in mind that they may have fear of not only the physical ailment but of the providers and the healthcare system as a whole and may need a safer environment. Jean Watson who is one of my favorite theorists once said. “Maybe this one moment, with this one person, is the very reason we’re here on earth at this time.” If we approach each patient with this in mind you never know if you might be the one person who changes their view on the distrust of the medical establishment.

References

Bazzano, L. A., Durant, J., & Brantley, P. (2021). A modern history of informed consent and the role of key information. Ochsner Journal, 21(1), 81–85. https://doi.org/10.31486/toj.19.0105

About Harriet Omondi

I have been a nurse practitioner for the past seven years, I graduated from Texas Woman`s University in 2014 and immediately started working in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) where I oversaw a clinic for patients with a dual diagnosis of mental health. When I started at the FQHC the clinic was new and only had five patients and after a year I had a panel of 100 new patients. Currently, I work for UT Health in Houston and care for patients in a primary care clinic. Prior to that, I worked as a nurse for six years with adult medical-surgical patients, pediatrics, and home- health caring for medically fragile children. In the Fall of 2020, I took the bold step of enrolling at Texas Woman`s University to pursue a doctorate in nursing where I have completed two semesters. My primary areas of research interest are obesity, women’s health, and preventative medicine with an emphasis on health promotion.

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Culture Shock, Grief and Nursing Theories

Contributor: Aisha Chahal, MSN, CMSRN

Culture shock is a state where people experience the stages of honeymoon, frustration, adaptation and acceptance. It is an intense feeling that follows the grief process. I had first-hand experience with all these stages of culture shock when I came to the land of opportunities, the United States of America, in 2012. I started my first job as a bedside Registered Nurse. It felt like I had accomplished the purpose of my life by getting a job at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Yale seemed like a place in heaven. It was beautiful to see that people could order food over the phone and a beautiful tray with fancy food items arrive at the bedside within a few minutes. Nurses only had four to five patients instead of the thirty that I had cared for earlier in my career. Patients had call bells and people responded to those bells. There were computers, scanners, medication dispensing machines and robots to deliver supplies. I was in the honeymoon phase.

But then came frustration as food items were thrown away if patients did not like them. Computers took away my time to be with my patients. The machines, robots, and technology had turned people into objects. I barely had time to know my patients or colleagues on a personal level. But I adapted and accepted by learning to fit into the situation. I learned that all this was crucial for patient safety, evidence-based practice, patient satisfaction scores and reimbursements.

After 8 years, I relived the stages of culture shock while learning in-depth about nursing theories in my doctorate program and educating nursing students on nursing theories at the same time. Nursing theories fascinated me and sparked my interest to learn more about the focus and identity of nursing discipline. Learning new concepts, making connections, discussing with nurse educators and colleagues, listening to some of the theorists themselves send me into the honeymoon phase once again.

I was determined to start my clinical day with the students by discussing a nursing theory. With all enthusiasm, I showed up at 6.45 am to meet my students and talk about nursing theories starting with Florence Nightingales’ framework and Watson’s Caring theory before we see our patients. Then once again, I experienced the frustration phase as students were disinterested, inattentive, unpassionate, and incurious which was exactly the opposite of what I was prepared for. I stopped the talk in the middle and let them start their routine patient assessments. I was deeply saddened by reliving the experience as I knew that I would have to adapt and accept the reality just like I did a few years back.

But this time, instead of accepting, I felt challenged to change the norm. Students viewed the content of nursing theories as dry, complicated to understand, of no practical use, and grade-lowering. The next week, I planned to discuss Neumann’s System Model with the vision that students can feel and experience the essence of the theory and view clients as an open system responding to various stressors in the environment. Instead of theory, I started our discussion with the theorist, Betty Neumann. We discussed how she grew up on a farm and took care of her sick father who died at the age of 36, which created her passion for nursing. Her mother was a devoted self-taught midwife. We talked about her academic, professional, and volunteer work. I shared images and videos depicting her life and vision. Then we discussed her vision of creating the nursing theory and related concepts of the theory.

Students were completely engaged, asked questions, and seemed ready to minimize the theory-practice gap. In the post- clinical conference that day, students were able to identify intra, inter and extra-personal stressors for their clients. They also identified the interventions they performed or planned to perform at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of prevention. They developed a deeper connection to the theorist, theory, clients and themselves. They identified who they are in relation to the focus of nursing discipline. After that week, we continued discussing a theorist and a nursing theory each week before clinical and each student-patient interaction is now guided by the concepts of that theory. Every week, we now look forward to our discussion of nursing theories and viewing people from different perspectives to provide competent and compassionate nursing care

I invite all the nursing students, nurse educators, nurse scholars, and nurse researchers to prevent nursing theories from following the similar pattern of stages of culture shock and grief. Instead of frustration, anger, denial, adaptation, and acceptance, our collaborative efforts can lead to a focused nursing discipline in which every nurse is changing lives by using the strong foundational pillars of nursing theories.

About Aisha Chahal

Aisha Chahal, MSN, CMSRN, is a doctoral nursing student in the Online Nursing Education EdD program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Aisha has completed her Masters of Science in Nursing Education in 2019. She is a clinical instructor at Western Connecticut State University. She has have 10 years of clinical experience in medical-surgical nursing. Her passion is exploring effective teaching-learning strategies to educate nursing students on Transcultural Nursing.

Guest Post: Aesthetic Knowing 101

Contributor: Peg Hickey, MSN, RN

For three years, I have been an adjunct clinical instructor. And thanks to a recent course on nursing theory, I have been able to closely examine my own understanding of nursing knowledge and my commitment to the nursing profession. The most extraordinary part about teaching is having the opportunity to impart this knowledge to the future generation of nurses. Students’ primary goal is to focus on the empirical aspects of nursing; however, my unwritten objective for the students is to define nursing by their connection to the human spirit. As an educator, this involves integrating learning experiences related to the patterns of knowing (Chinn & Kramer, 2018).

Day 1

One-by-one, I greeted my six students as they arrived in the lobby on their very first day of their clinical rotation for Fundamentals of Nursing. Their nerves were palpable: they didn’t speak to me or each other and nobody smiled (yes, I have learned to recognize a masked grin by observing the eyes and foreheads). I have never been accused of being a threatening presence in any way, shape, or form, yet the students stood before me with fear in their eyes. (Flashback to my own experiences in nursing school from the early ‘90’s). I was able to discern the truth of this moment and acknowledge the impact of feelings on their very first clinical experience. My aesthetic knowing of being able to recognize a deeper meaning to their human experiences of anxiety and fear laid the foundation for an enriching nursing experience for all of us. I was helping to build the future of nursing (Nursology.net, 2021).

Commitment

First experiences are memorable for students. Some may consider their initial attempts at nursing to be insignificant and only equate success with tasks: starting an IV, changing a wound dressing, or administering medication. Of course, on our first day we didn’t perform any of those tasks, but one student did display an intangible act of commitment: she followed through with a patient’s request for tissues. Keep in mind, this was her first clinical exposure; we were only minutes on the unit in and in the midst of a tour. Yet during those moments, this student spoke to a patient, asked a staff member where the tissues were, located them, and carried them with her until the tour ended, when she brought the tissues to the patient. At face value, simplicity. Yet it was important for her to know that she performed critical acts of nursing in this seemingly simple task: communication, commitment, and caring. Baillie (2007) reminds us of Henderson’s definition of commitment: Nurses who “responded to patients’ needs in a timely manner were perceived as caring; patients were dissatisfied when nurses apparently forgot patients and their needs” (p.6). I complimented my student, and her smile was beaming beneath her mask.

Compassion

The following week, my students were assigned to obtain a patient history, a conventional start to the development of communication and interpersonal skills. During post-conference, one student reported that she was unable to complete the assignment; instead, she had connected with a young woman with a terminal disease who requested a foot rub. She decided to fulfill the wishes of the patient and put off asking about her medical history, demonstrating an appropriate and meaningful prioritization of care. The lesson in post-conference focused not on an incomplete assignment, but on the ability of nurses to recognize significant and meaningful moments and to take action (Chinn & Kramer, 2018). This student completed a patient history the following week and that was OK with me.

Caring

During an attempt at a physical assessment, my student and I encountered a Mandarin-speaking patient who was visibly distressed. While using an audiovisual interpreter, our patient kept repeating a phone number over and over and over. The interpreter told us “she wants to call her husband.” Recognizing that nothing else mattered to this patient at that moment, we stopped our assessment, dialed the number, and the patient spoke to her husband. Following their conversation, she was smiling, grabbing to hold our hands, and visibly relieved that we understood. This encounter allowed us to distinguish between the science and art of nursing and to feel how the experience of being understood is both inspiring for the patient and gratifying for the nurse.

What better way to introduce the aesthetic pattern of knowing by calling it out in the clinical setting and defining what it is: “An intuitive sense that detects all that is going on and calls forth a response, and you act spontaneously to care for the person or family in the moment” (Chinn & Kramer, 2018, p. 142). Another idea for incorporating the meta-paradigms in nursing education is to change the course titles “Fundamentals” and “Foundations” to “Aesthetic Knowing in Nursing” so beginning students feel empowered by authentic nursing actions of communication, commitment, and caring behaviors.

The first introduction to a clinical experience lays a crucial foundation for nursing students. My hope is to impart a meaningful impression about the interpersonal nature of nursing; one they will be reminded of when they miss that first IV or administer a medication late. My students are off to a great start and I hope they know that every week when our clinical day ends, I am smiling beneath my mask.

References

Bailie, L. (2007). An exploration of the 6Cs as a set of values for nursing practice. British Journal of Nursing, 26(10), 558–563. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2017.26.10.558

Chinn, P. L., & Kramer, M. K. (2018). Knowledge development in nursing: Theory and process (10th ed.). Elsevier.

Henderson, A., Van Eps, M. A., Pearson, K., James, C., Henderson, P., & Osborne, Y. (2007). “Caring for” behaviours that indicate to patients that nurses “care about” them. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 60(2), 146–153. https://doi-org.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04382.x

About Peg Hickey

Peg lives in Queens, NY and has been a nurse since 1993. She is currently a nurse educator at Columbia University Medical Center working on a program designated to incorporate diabetes-related simulation into the curriculum for medical and nursing students. Peg is also an adjunct instructor at Hunter-Bellevue and Pace University Schools of Nursing.

Guest Post – Emancipatory Nursing in Chile

Contributor: Luz Galdames, PhD (Nursing)

Today, more than twenty years after nursing was incorporated into the Chilean Health Code in 1997 as an autonomous profession, one begins to see how nurses empower themselves defending their rights at the institutional, social and political level. This is seen through events such as the establishment of the National Nursing Directorate at the Ministry of Health and the role that nursing has had in the Covid-19 pandemic. Nurses are raising their voices. In the political sphere, nurses are campaigning as representativeness to draft the new Chilean Constitution, defending/advocating care as a constitutional right and guarding professional autonomy. Another important example of nursing empowerment is the growing generation/development of nursing scientific associations. These organizations seek to socialize what nurses do, the ongoing research in different areas of care and the development of profession itself. Currently, there are more 40 scientific nursing societies in the country.

In 2005, through the Health Authority Law 19,937, self-managed hospitals were established, which brought with them an important change in their administrative organization. It implied that hospitals in their structure should consider the Medical Directorate and the Subdirectorate of care management, both with direct dependence of the hospital management. Historically, nursing had depended on the medical directorates. In this context, the nursing professional association of the time and, the scientific societies (in that period there were no more than ten) defended before the authority of the Ministry of Health and the Comptroller General of the Republic, that by then nursing was the only profession that in its definition evidenced care management as a component of its role. As a result of these negotiations in 2007, by means of the General Administrative Norm No. 19 of the Ministry of Health, it recognized the nursing profession as the most suitable for implementing the care management model in self-managed hospitals.

In this context, “Nursing Care Management” was defined as the professional practice of the nurse based on the nursing discipline, the science of caring (based on Watson’s philosophy and theory), understanding the exercise of the profession as the application of professional judgment in planning, organization, motivation and control of the provision of timely, safe, comprehensive care that ensures continuity of care and is based on the institution’s strategic policies and guidelines. This achievement was constituted a demonstration of empowerment of the nurses of the decade.

However, even when the definition indicated that “care management” was based on the science of caring, the care provided to people was mainly focused on the biomedical model. The National Directorate of Nursing: it is specified through Exempt Resolution No. 1443, on August 20, 2019, during the mandate of the Minister of Health Jaime Mañalich who formalized the appointment of the National Director of Nursing. Being a milestone for the profession, providing from the central level, support to direct and guide the care of people, develop the nursing structure for the health sector, ensure that the nursing care management sub-directorates are not only considered in in-hospital care, but also in primary care.

In parallel, there have been other relevant events in the country, which show the awakening of nurses as a professional group. An example has been the number of nurses who present themselves to the process of electing representatives to the constituent assembly, in defense of care as a constitutional right, as well as the defense of the autonomy of the profession and the rights of nurses.

Another event that has led to the empowerment of nurses has been the Covid-19 Pandemic, which has resulted in the defense of the right of profession, the union of the group to be in the spaces where decisions are made. Likewise, the growth of scientific Societies that bring together nurses for a common purpose, whether it is around the care of people, such as the defense of the rights of the profession (see the list of Scientific Societies below).

The immunization of the population through the vaccine for Covid-19, means another instance in which the nurses raised their voices to defend the vaccination process as a historical nurse’ s responsibility. To respond to the vaccination demands, other healthcare professionals were called by the authorities as volunteer. This led, the nurses defended before the authorities, that although the voluntary participation of other professionals in vaccination is recognized, the vaccination programmeshould be under the supervision of the nursing staff only. Highlighting that, vaccination does not only imply the act of inoculating the vaccine, but an entire process of organization, administration, register and following up.

One of the last events that brings together nurses as an empowered group is the call that the National Director of Nursing makes to Scientific Societies to be part of a Technical Working Table, with the purpose of generating strategic collaboration links in for the development of protocols for the management of care and research in the discipline of Care.

Photo of group meeting from the Scientific Societies

Scientific Societies

  • Agrupación de enfermeras holísticas de Chile (AEHCh)
  • Agrupación de enfermeras y enfermeros ecologistas
  • Agrupación de enfermeros perioperatorios (AGEPCH)
  • Asociación chilena de enfermería en estomas heridas y/o continencias (ACCHIEHC)
  • Asociación chilena de enfermeros educadores en diabetes (ACHIENED)
  • Capítulo de enfermería de la Sociedad Médica de Cuidados paliativos
  • Capítulo de enfermería de SOCHIQUEM
  • División de enfermería intensiva de la sociedad chilena de medicina intensiva (SOCHIMI)
  • Federación Latinoamericana Esterilización FELACEH
  • Fundación de enfermería Gestión del Cuidado
  • Fundación latinoamericana de enfermería en cuidado humanizado (FLECH)
  • Sociedad de Enfermera Latinoamericana en Heridas (SELH)
  • Red Nacional EBE Chile
  • Red Chilena de Enfermería en Lactancia Materna (REDCHIELM)
  • Red Chilena de Enfermeros En Odontología (RECHIENFOD)
  • Red de Enfermería en Informática Chile
  • REDENFI Chile
  • Red Chilena de Gestión del Cuidado REDGECU
  • Red de Enfermería en Salud del Adulto Mayor- Chile (REDESAM)
  • Red Chilena de Historia de la Enfermería
  • Red en Salud Ocupacional (RedENSO Chile)
  • Red iberoamericana de investigación en educación en enfermería-RIIEE Chile
  • Red Internacional de Enfermería en Cuidados Paliativos – Chile (RienCupa)
  • Red internacional de enfermería quirúrgica -RedIEnQu Chile
  • Sociedad Chilena de Enfermería en Salud Ocupacional (SOCHENSO)
  • Sociedad chilena de enfermeras de salud escolar (SOCHIESE)
  • Sociedad Cientíca chilena de enfermeras del niño y adolescente (SOCHENA)
  • Sociedad Chilena de Enfermería en Cardiología y Cirugía Cardiovascular (SOCHICAR)
  • Sociedad Chilena de Enfermería en Donación, Procuramiento y Trasplante (SOCHIENFDPT)
  • Sociedad Chilena de Enfermería Oncológica (SEOC)
  • Sociedad científica de enfermería comunitaria y familiar (SOCHIENFA)
  • Sociedad chilena de enfermeras comunitarias (SOCHIENCO)
  • Sociedad Chilena de Enfermería Prehospitalaria, Agrupación Científico-Técnica. (SOCCHIENPRE)
  • Sociedad chilena de prevención y control de infecciones asociadas a la atención en salud, (SChIAAS)
  • Sociedad Chilena de Enfermeras de Pabellones Quirúrgicos y Esterilización
  • Sociedad Chilena de Terapia de Infusión (SOCHITEIN)
  • Sociedad científica de atención temprana, rehabilitación e inclusión
  • Sociedad Científica Docente Estudiantil de Enfermería UACh Pto Montt (SOCIDENF)
  • Sociedad de enfermeras de diálisis y trasplante renal (SENFERDIALT)
  • Sociedad Chilena de Enfermería Geronto-Geriátrica
  • Sociedad de Enfermeras Dermoestéticas (SOCHIEDE)
  • Sociedad de Profesionales en Esterilización de Chile
  • Sociedad Chilena de Simulación Clínica (SOCHISIM

About Luz Galdames

Luz Galdames Cabrera Ph.D. in Nursing, Mg. Instructional Design, Nurse-Midwife, Research Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Mayor. Researcher in project “Development and validation of the prototype dressing with copper nanoformulation for the treatment of infected chronic wounds, Universidad Mayor, Project ID18I10085 Funded by the Fund for the Promotion of Scientific and Technological Development FONDEF 2018-2020. Director of the Nursing Specialization Program in Adult Oncology at the Universidad Mayor. Member of the International Center for Nursing Research CIIENF of the Chilean Association of Nursing Education. Coordinator of the international Care Management Network. Founder and President of the Chilean Network of Care Management Last publication Galdames l., Enders B., Pavez A. Self-regulation, Autonomy and Identity of Nursing as a profession. Science and Nursing Magazine. 2019 24 (4). Doctoral thesis Care Management: Understanding the Meanings of the Social Role and Professional Autonomy of the Nurse in Chile. Funded by the Vice-rectory for Research and Doctorate as a start-up project, Universidad Andrés Bello Chile 2014.

Guest post: The Overlooked Impact of Case Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Contributor:
Christy McDonald, BSN, RNC, Case Manager

I have witnessed an amazing workforce in our hospitals during this pandemic. While physicians and nurses are clearly lifesavers at the bedside, hospital rooms are scarce. These frontline workers need the partnership of nurse case managers to arrange safe discharges and free up beds for those waiting in the ER. But this partnership provides much more than just discharges.

Nurses have a unique perspective that is vital in every area. This idea was explained well in 1952 by Hildegard Peplau, “mother of psychiatric nursing,” who understood the strength of nurses that could create a personal connection with their patients. She created a Theory of Interpersonal Relations, where she named 6 main roles for nurses which could be applied individually according to the needs of the patient. This differentiation of roles including counselor, surrogate, teacher, stranger, resource person, and leader can help nurses today in many different areas of care beyond psychiatric nursing. I believe it has been very beneficial for RN case managers working alongside bedside nurses to fulfill these roles for patients during this pandemic.

These behind the scenes case managers efficiently arrange placement while taking the time to comfort patients and family members, filling the role of counselor, which allows the patient to express their feelings to the case manager. In a time of urgency, these nurses can be a listening ear for family members to process their worries and discuss medical conditions. Often information has been relayed, but family members don’t want to take time away from the bedside staff with clarifying questions. The loved ones value the time and sacrifice given so highly that they are willing to forgo understanding. I personally filled the role of surrogate, which allowed me to fill in for family, when I had a patient who never told his bedside nurse he was a vegetarian because he didn’t want to bother her. He was only eating the bread of his sandwiches. I was able to speak with his spouse who informed me of his diet, and quickly messaged the nurse who changed his meal that very day. The teacher role is something nurses are excellent at providing in normal circumstances, however this pandemic has created a unique need for patients to be educated on a novel virus.

As with all nurses, case managers connect with their patients and loved ones, and want the best outcome for all involved. This in it’s simplest form if fulfilling the stranger role by offering the decency that should be given to any human. However we know that we often connect deeper with the emotions of a patient. For example, a fellow case manager cried with a family member about no visitation policies, because we all mourn the necessary changes needed to slow this pandemic. While continuing these much needed conversations, case managers arrange for home health or skilled nursing admissions. If we can find placement for recovered patients, those who are sick and waiting in holding areas of the ER can receive care from our skilled floor nurses. I worked tirelessly to find an open bed in another state for a pt while discussing end of life decisions with another family, fulfilling both the resource role providing information and the leader role offering direction with the patient’s wishes. It takes so many people working together to provide care in these unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves fighting.

Nurse case managers truly maintain the flow of care so we can provide the maximum benefit to as many patients as possible. Without nurse case managers there would be nowhere for our loved ones to go. And with them we can fulfill the necessary roles as described by Peplau needed to care for our patients.

About Christy McDonald

Christy is a hospital case manager in a large metro healthcare system. She had the privilege of being a bedside NICU nurse for 17 years before moving into Case Management. She has cared for those in public schools, remote Haiti, and the hospital setting. She serves on the Board of Directors for a Haitian NICU and children’s home.

Guest post: Aesthetic Knowing: A Transformative Encounter

Contributor: Bibiane Dimanche Sykes

Knowing is an elusive concept. It is fluid, and it is internal to the knower (Chinn & Kramer, 2018). Carper (1978) identified four fundamental patterns of knowing for an understanding of the conceptual structure of nursing knowledge. The four patterns are classified logically to elucidate aspects of empirics, personal knowledge, ethics and aesthetic knowing in nursing. Here, the pattern of aesthetic knowing is demonstrated through the actions, comportment, thoughts, behaviors and exchanges of the nurse’s relationship with the patient. It is aesthetic knowing that allows us to navigate when faced with nuanced situations.

The Call

It was late on a Tuesday morning. I was pleased to finally have a few days of rest from work and was already planning how I was going to spend my second day off, when I heard the ring tone from my phone. I glimpsed at the phone screen and noticed that it was a number I was unfamiliar with, so I decided to skip the call and told myself that they can always leave me a voice message if it is important. Ten minutes later, I heard the same familiar ringtone of my phone. This time it was coming from work. “Oh my,” I thought, what could it be…. did I forget to enter a note on the computer, or have I failed to sign the medication sheet? When I picked up the phone, the Director of Nursing at the subacute nursing facility I worked for was on the line. She mentioned that Ms. Smith’s situation took a turn for the worse; her condition had weakened overnight. According to Nancy, the Director of Nursing, Ms. Smith had been asking to see me since yesterday, and it was her nephew whose desperate call I had moments earlier ignored.

Nurse-Patient Relationship

Ms. Smith was a 75-year-old widow who moved about 7 months ago to the hospice unit where I worked as a charge nurse. Her overall health and well-being had since deteriorated. Her cancer had metastasized to other adjacent organs of her body, and treatment was no longer a viable option. She had very little family support. Her only living relative was a nephew who visited occasionally. Although she had many other disciplines assigned to her care, she seemed to gravitate more towards me. I also enjoyed her company and spent many hours of my free time listening to her joys and regrets about life. I would play her favorite songs, encourage her to eat, to bathe, and to take her medications, before her pain became unbearable. She looked forward to the days I was at work, and I would always stop by her room for a chat whenever I had the chance. She confided in me and shared many of her life and death expectations, which included the minute details of her imminent death and funeral wishes. She and I developed a bond and maintained a caring nurse-patient relationship that encompassed understanding, trust and compassion.

The Encounter

It was already afternoon when I rushed into Ms. Smith’s room that Tuesday. She seemed agitated; however, she immediately became calm at the sound of my voice, telling her that it was going to be okay. As I was helping her take her prescribed medications, she appeared to be hallucinating. She kept on saying something about not being able to get on the bus. She was becoming restless and continued to repeat this for about an hour. I finally approached her and asked why she was not able to get on the bus. She opened her eyes for the first time since I entered her room and mumbled, “they wouldn’t let me, I don’t have money to pay for it.” I was devastated at the thought of that. I knew this day would come but still I was becoming emotional. I reminded myself that I needed to stay on course to help fulfill her wish of an undisturbed, smoothed transition. I thought for a second, what could I do to alleviate her suffering at this moment? I searched in my pocket and found a quarter. I slipped it into her hand and whispered in her ear, “use this for your bus fare, it’s going to be fine.” I felt her tight squeeze as she received the quarter, and less than five minutes later, Ms. Smith peacefully took her last breath with poise and dignity.

Aesthetic Knowing

Aesthetic knowing is what makes possible knowing what to do and how to be in the moment, instantly, without conscious deliberation (Chinn & Kramer, 2018). I am currently an adjunct professor, teaching nursing fundamental to first year students. Every semester, I share this experience with my students. It serves as the perfect introduction to the conceptual framework of the nursing discipline through the patterns of knowing (Carper, 1978). The patterns of knowing in nursing ultimately presents a tool for developing abstract and theoretical thinking in the classroom. It allows for broader, clearer perspectives and self-integration of the concepts of empirics, personal knowledge, ethics and finally aesthetic in nursing education (Carper, 1978). This transformative encounter that I had experienced with my patient embodies the true essence and elements of aesthetic knowing.

Sources

Carper, B. (1978). Fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing. ANS. Advances in Nursing Science, 1(1), 13–23. https://doi.org/10.1097/00012272-197810000-00004

Chinn, P. L. & Kramer, M. K. (2018). Knowledge Development in Nursing: Theory and Process. 10th Ed. Elsevier. St. Louis, MO.

Aesthetic Knowing. (2021, February 2). https://nursology.net/aesthetic-knowing/

About Bibiane Dimanche Sykes

Bibiane Dimanche Sykes is a student in the Doctorate of Nursing Education (EdD) Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned a Master of Science degree in Nursing Education at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York. She’s an Adjunct Professor at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York and also works as a Clinical Nurse Quality Assurance in New York City. Bibiane is a wife and mother of 4 sons. She enjoys reading, traveling and prides herself in giving back to the community. She serves her community through various philanthropic and nursing organizations.

It’s Time We Raise Nursologists!

Report from the 2021 Virtual Nursing Theory Week

Contributors:
Christina Nyirati
Sharon Stout-Shaffer

At the time of the 2021 Virtual Nursing Theory Week, Christina Nyirati and Sharon Stour-Shaffer presented the baccalaureate curriculum they designed and now implement at Heritage University located on the Yakama Reservation in Washington State. This is the only session that was recorded during the conference; it represents the value of nursing knowledge in shaping the present and future of nursing as a discipline. The following is a brief description and a video of their presentation.

The first Heritage University BSN Program Outcome reads “The Graduate of the Heritage University BSN Program explains how nursing’s fundamental patterns of knowing –personal, aesthetic, ethical, empirical and emancipatory –contribute to understanding the complexity of nursing care in the treatment of human response”.

Carper’s (1978) Fundamental Patterns of Knowing in Nursing is the foundation of the BSN Program. Freshmen study discrete courses in each of Carper’s fundamental patterns: personal, aesthetic, ethical, and empirical knowing. The Personal Knowing course is founded on personal knowing as a precondition for nursing care. Students practice various methods of reflection to develop personal knowing in every moment of nursing care. The Aesthetics of Nursing course is grounded in assumptions from Nightingale’s theory of nursing arts and aesthetics as a fundamental pattern of knowing in nursing. An experiential course, based in the principles of performing arts, the focus is on the act of care; Students explore and apply dramatic arts foundational to holistic nursing care competencies. The Ethical Knowing course emphasizes the practice of ethical comportment in nursing care. The Empirical Knowing course students introduces students to fundamental theories, concepts, evidence, and competencies pertaining to generation of nursing knowledge.

Senior year features the community as the unit of nursing care, and is founded on Chinn and Kramer’s (2019) emancipatory knowing in nursing. The Policy, Power & Politics of Nursing course focuses on the professional nurse role in taking responsibility for shaping social policy. The two Community Oriented Nursing Inquiry and Practice and the Community Based Participatory Research courses center on principles of socially just reflective action to overcome health inequities.

Faculty developed rubrics to evaluate how students integrate the fundamental patterns of knowing nursing into clinical practice. Students complete reflective writing assignments during clinical practice each semester from sophomore through senior year.

About the contributors:

Christina Nyirati, RN, PhD

Christina Nyirati is Professor of Nursing at Heritage University on the Yakama Nation Reservation in Washington, where she serves as the founding Director of the BSN Program. Dr. Nyirati came to Heritage from Ohio University and The Ohio State University, where she directed the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Programs. She practiced more than 30 years as an FNP in primary care of vulnerable young families in Appalachian Ohio, and worked to reduce dire neonatal and maternal outcomes. Dr. Nyirati challenges FNP educators to consider nursing knowledge as the essential component of the FNP program as the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) evolves and becomes requisite for entry into advanced practice. Now at Heritage Dr. Nyirati prepares nurses in an innovative undergraduate curriculum faithful to the epistemic foundations of nursing. Two cohorts have graduated from the Heritage BSN Program. They openly proclaim and use their powerful nursing knowledge to correct inequities in their communities.

Sharon Stout-Shaffer, PhD, RN

Sharon Stout-Shaffer, PhD, RN, Professor Emerita, Capital University, Columbus, Ohio; Adjunct Faculty, Heritage University, Toppenish, Washington; Nursing Education Specialist, S4Netquest, Columbus, Ohio. Sharon has over 30 years of experience in educational administration and teaching in both hospital and academic settings. Her career has focused on developing education based on a nursing model that includes concepts of holism and healing.

Her Ph.D. in Nursing from The Ohio State University focused on the psychophysiology of stress and relaxation-based interventions to promote autonomic self-regulation and immune function in people living with HIV. She has attained certification in Psychosynthesis, Guided Imagery, and more recently, the Social Resilience Model; she has presented numerous papers on integrating holism into curricula as well as caregiver wellbeing and resilience including Adelaide, Australia, 2011; Reykjavik, Iceland, 2015; American Holistic Nurses Association Phoenix, 2016 & Niagara Falls, 2018.

During her tenure as Director, Post-Graduate Programs at Capital University, Sharon taught the graduate theory course and co-developed a theoretically grounded holistic healing course as the foundation for graduate study; the graduate program has been endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Center. Since her retirement, she has co-developed and implemented numerous educational interventions designed to develop the Therapeutic Capacity of working nurses and nursing students. This work includes concepts of centering, compassion, managing suffering, the psychophysiology of resilience and essential contemplative practices to develop stress resilience, deal with moral distress and promote long-term wellness. She is currently teaching courses in Personal Knowing and Nursing Ethics for undergraduate nursing students at Heritage University. Her most recent publication is dedicated to holistic self-care and self-development. (Shields, D. & Stout-Shaffer, S. 2020). Self-Development: The foundation of holistic self-care. In Helming, M., Shields, D., Avino, K., & Rosa, W. Holistic nursing: A handbook for Practice (8th). Jones and Bartlett Learning, Burlington MA.)