Metaparadigm of Nursing
A metaparadigm is commonly described as a set of concepts and propositions that set forth a general statement of a discipline. The central focus of the profession of nursing is developed around the idea of providing different dimensions of care to individuals in need by use of science and the promotion of health. As follows, nurses must always take a holistic approach towards the care of their clients and in order to maintain the same approach among all clients; the metaparadigm of nursing was developed. The metaparadigm of nursing was first developed by Florence Nightingale and has since been adopted by all nursing professionals.
This is a general concept that has developed over time to define the discipline of nursing. The structure for the knowledge of nursing was developed from the four concepts of this metaparadigm. These four basic concepts are as follows; the Person, Environment, Health and Nursing. In this paper each concept will be further considered on how these influence the discipline of nursing and nursing practice.
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The first paradigm may refer to a person, families or a social group who are involved in the nursing. Individuals cannot be thought of exclusively without the consideration of their families and communities that surround them.
The person comes to define him/herself by the way one views oneself in interaction with their social group. A nurse’s care must extend beyond the patient and must involve the patients entire support network. The nurse must be mindful of the person’s subjective experiences about wellness, beliefs, values and personal preferences and should involve the person in decisions affecting his/her treatment and recovery. Therefore the person has a more proactive role and is in control of their own wellbeing and their choices are considered and respected by the nurse.
This greatly influences the way nurses approach people throughout their giving of care. Without proper communication, taking into consideration the wishes of the family and of the client, and not involving the client or family in any decisions results in the nurse taking complete control of the situation and leaving the client feeling passive or as an individual who has no ownership over his or her life. When these factors are not considered by nurses this results in going against everything that defines the person and is an example of a nurse who does not adhere to the framework of the metaparadigm of nursing.
The environment can be thought of in two ways; the internal and external environment. The internal environment is the individual’s own, emotional, cultural and social conditions which are associated with the persons health. The external environment is comprised of the physical, national, political and economic conditions that’s surround the person and has a direct influence on the individual’s health. Therefore the environment the individual exists in can impact the outcome of their health.
As such, the nursing care provided must take in to consideration the specific circumstances the individual lives in and must be modified in such a way that will promote optimal health and healing for that specific individual. The nurses understanding of the environment can significantly affect the health status and enhance the recovery of an individual. Without proper guide in treatment of recovery such as religious practices and the physical condition and environment of living situation this can greatly affect the level of care the client receives and can be very conducive to the client’s wellbeing and recovery.
The metaparadigm of health is a general term, which refers to the individuals’ specific view of wellbeing and their understanding of death as a natural process of living. Every individual’s perspective of wellbeing varies according to how they define the term health. For a person living with a terminal disease their definition of health may be completely different than a person who is living without any illnesses. Therefore the term health is contextual and exits on a continuum and does not have an absolute definition.
The World Health Organization describes health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Taking this into consideration when individualizing care with each client allows the nurse to take into a full understanding of how the client views health and wholeness. The nursing portion of the metaparadigm refers to the care provided by the nurse. It is not a specific set of tasks but is the action taken by the nurse in combination with the individual to promote optimal health.
This can be achieved by providing medical practices such as assessing, diagnosing, implementing and evaluating. However, the overreaching goal of nursing is to provide the person with the support they need and to build on the strengths and natural abilities of the individuals while involving their families and communities in their path to healing. Fawcett makes a valid statement about the power of the metaparadigm within nursing: “The metaparadigm concepts identify the global areas of knowledge needed for nursing at the bedside and in administration, education and research.
Individuals who might dismiss the idea of a metaparadigm of nursing as dated should consider their position carefully. ” If one does not consider this aspect of the metaparadigm carefully within their practice their care might not be best practice. Overall, having taken a closer look in to the metaparadigm of nursing it is clear that it a multidimensional concept that aims to address and enhance the practice of nursing. The outcome of the combination of the above four concepts; person, environment, health, nursing allows us to better understand the art and science of nursing as it applies to every specific individual.
As a nurse you must increase your integral awareness, comprehension and professional capacity to fully understand the mysteries of healing that is specific to every person. My own beliefs of the profession of nursing have changed immensely having studied these concepts in depth. I believed that medical professionals were solely responsible for the wellbeing of individuals but having looked at these concepts I was able to see how involving the individual, analyzing their surrounding, understanding their view of their health will give me as the nurse a better understanding of the kind of care that is best suitable for that individual.