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Nursing Knowledge

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What is nursing knowledge?

A nurse is a professional in the sector of health care that specialises on the care of persons, communities, and families in order to ensure that they recover, maintain, or attain optimum health. It is not possible to articulate the precise role of nurses and this attributable to the fact that it is an evolving profession (Risjord, 2010). Nursing is a profession that is supposed to be embodied by professional analysis and clinical effectiveness. This is why, nursing knowledge is deemed to cover those features of information that are pertinent to nursing.

Types of Nursing Knowledge

It is imperative to appreciate that many different types of knowledge exist, which is relevant to the field of nursing. There are four main types of nursing knowledge, namely: empirical, ethical, aesthetic and personal (Dahnke & Dreher, 2011). The existence of various types of nursing knowledge is a clear proof that nurses rely on more than one type of knowledge.

Empirical knowledge is characterised by scientific enquiry and empirical research. This type of knowledge hails from traditional science such as pharmacology, sociology, biology, and psychology. It also entails theoretical knowledge that is contained in journals and books.

Ethical knowledge is concerned about the day to day practices of a professional nurse (Risjord, 2010). This is because it determines the time during which specified procedures should be carried out. Ethical knowledge provides nurses with the moral guideline for the purposes of effective decisions as well as provision of quality health care.

Aesthetic knowledge is mainly concerned with the motivation of the nurse to care for patients. It is also concerned with professional practice that enables nurses to care for patients effectively and efficiently (Rodgers, 2005). Aesthetic knowledge captures the motivation of nurses to care for their patients, by enabling them to manage their illness and attain health restoration.  Personal knowledge emanates from the ability of the nurse to be aware of their individual capabilities. This type of knowledge is not acquired through reading or any form of academic work.

What is caring in nursing?

Caring in nursing involves high ethical and moral commitment, respect and sensitivity. In this particular profession caring is a choice and it mainly involves the enabling of a patient to handle illness (Watson, McSherry, & McSherry, 2012). Caring also involves the preservation of human dignity by putting  care in the first place, and only then - cure. Caring entails the relationship between patient and nurse thus making care to be the pivotal point of the nursing profession.

Why do nurses care and how do they care?

Nurses care for their patients in order to enable them to manage their illness. When nurses take proper care of their patients, they enable them to attain a relatively speedy recovery. This is mainly attributable to the fact the nurse will counsel the patient on how to manage the illness thus enabling them to attain peace of mind (Dahnke & Dreher, 2011). Nurses also take care of their patients because they are required to do so by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. In the event that a nurse is found to contravene these ethical and legal procedures, they risk being removed as a registered nurse.

Nurses care for their patients by knowing the nature of treatment that a patient requires. A nurse’s  task is to ensure with the responsibility that the patient is taking medication as prescribed by the doctor. Nurses care for the patients by offering physical, mental and emotional support during their time at the health facility (Watson, McSherry, & McSherry, 2012). Nurses enable patients to carry out tasks that they find to be challenging due to  their illness such as visiting the toilet.

The various types of nursing knowledge and caring in nursing are complimentary. None of the four types of nursing knowledge is superior. Thus, nurses should use these types of knowledge to develop their ability to provide proper health care. Caring in nursing is a channel of applying nursing knowledge during the provision of health care (Dahnke & Dreher, 2011). This illustrates that the two are complimentary and are geared towards the provision of quality health care.  Empirical knowledge can be used during the diagnosis of a patient, whereas aesthetic and ethical knowledge can be applied during the caring of the patient. Empirical knowledge will enable the nurse to restore the physical health of the patient through administering a cure. On the other hand, aesthetic and ethical knowledge will enable the nurse to facilitate the restoration of the mental and emotional health of the patient through caring

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