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Theories of nursing - Research Paper Example

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Patricia Benner is one of the most important theorist in the field of nursing, especially on the way nurses develop, gain knowledge and use experience. At the hospital I work for, her theories are used as part of the cornerstones of employee evaluation, especially her five…
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Theories of nursing

I believe that Benner’s focus on experience as the central aspect of skill development for a nurse is completely accurate, and see her concepts in practice frequently. One of the central tenets of Benner’s work is the idea that care forms the central aspect of nursing, that it allows a nurse to better connect to a patient, to better administer care, and to better see possible problems and situations before they arise (Alligood, 2002, 157). Though I agree to a certain extent with the primacy of care to any practical nursing environment, I believe that care can only be of actual use to a nurse if he or she has the advantage of experience to guide them in how to best support their patients.
Much of my recent practice has been as a primary triage nurse for an (unfortunately) over-crowded emergency room. This emergency department has fifty-three adult patient beds and it is up to me to decide how they are best used in most situations, only changing significantly when patients develop new symptoms or problems become apparent after the triage process has already begun. In a recent experience I had fifty-two beds filled with extremely high priority patients, something of a nightmare, and nearly simultaneously had six patients presenting the extremely distressing symptom of chest pains, all describing them in nearly identical ways. I obviously had only one bed to give until other beds cleared from patients being released or transferred, and had to make one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make as a triage nurse.
I realize in retrospect that I naturally applied many of Benner’s theories of Person, Environment, Health and Nursing to the situation at hand without necessarily realizing it at the time. Obviously, in a triage situation, two of the aspects of this theory most directly applied to what I was doing in practice – Health and Nursing. In a triage setting two things are important: identifying the patient most in need of care (or in ... Read More
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