Demonstrating the “Art” of Caring
Care is defined as an action by an individual or group of people showing deliberate care and concern for one another and acting to meet the best interests of an individual. The act of caring for others has been recognised as one of the most important aspects of the nursing profession and labelled an “art.” Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals or groups, sick or well and in all settings. A nurse’s work includes promoting health and preventing illness as well as caring for the ill, disabled and dying; however, the most important aspect of nursing care is meeting the potential and actual health needs of a client. ...view middle of the document...
Although meeting the basic physiological needs of a patient promotes an improvement in a patient’s health status and can easily demonstrate deliberate and meaningful care toward a client, simply meeting these needs is not enough.
Assessing the Psychological Needs of a Patient
While meeting the physiological needs of a patient is important to the general health status of that patient, it can also be expected that a nurse meets the psychological needs of a client in order to promote positive well-being and healing. Psychological needs are defined as meeting the safety needs of a patient which invoke a sense of security, stability, structure and order, but may also encompass the spiritual needs of a client (McLeod, 2007; McMurray, 2009). One of the most valued practices of a “good nurse” as defined by Van der Elst (2012) is for a nurse to be physically present in the room with a patient, and make themselves available to clients and residents within the facility. Rieman (as cited by McMurray, 2009) also promotes the need for nurses to return voluntarily, without being called, and taking the time to really listen to the client and their concerns. The need to instil a sense of safety and security in patients is highly valued by patients (Riemen as cited by McMurray, 2009). The patients’ perceptions and the caring behaviours displayed by nurses include the use of a kind and soft voice, an ability to show genuine concern for patients’ needs and attending to the patients’ comfort before anything else. Although it is important to recognise that all clients will have different perspectives on what it means for a nurse to truly show they care, acts of genuine kindness never go astray.
Spiritual Caring – A Psychological Need
Another form of care demonstrated by nurses as a response to the psychological needs of a patient is the meeting of the spiritual needs – that is, an individual’s ability to balance life goals, values and beliefs. Not always considered a top priority, the spiritual needs of a client are considered important as they tend to influence a person’s physical and emotional well-being (Pearson, 2013). McMurray (2009) states that meeting the spiritual needs of a client is termed “spiritual caring” and is defined by the individual client rather than a textbook; it is unique to the individual (Welch, 2013). For...