The interconnections between environment, health, nursing, and person form the metaparadigm of the nursing discipline (Francis, 2017). As an operating room (OR) nurse, I find the concept of person to be the most relevant to my clinical practice. When patients undergo surgery, they are often under anesthesia and cannot observe what happens during the procedure. Therefore, they rely on OR nurses to advocate for their dignity and safety while they are in an altered state of consciousness. Patient-centered care is a fundamental aspect of my nursing career, and I believe that focusing on the person as the core of nursing care enables nurses to take a holistic approach instead of solely focusing on diagnoses, symptom management, or pharmacological interventions. For example, I sometimes encounter anesthesia providers who do not allow enough time for the nursing staff to properly clean patients after surgery. In these situations, I remind them that maintaining cleanliness and providing a clean surgical dressing and gown are essential for the patient’s hygiene and overall well-being. This exemplifies how keeping the person at the center of nursing care is crucial even in practical scenarios.
Virginia Henderson, a renowned author and nursing educator, co-created a patient-centered curriculum that is widely used by the National League of Nursing (McEwen & Ellis, 2014). Henderson developed the nursing need theory, which consists of 14 components that emphasize improving patient independence to promote recovery after hospitalization (Ahtisham & Jacoline, 2015). This theory provides a holistic nursing approach by considering the mental, physical, social, and spiritual aspects of patients. By focusing on these components, nurses can provide care that addresses the patient as a whole individual, rather than focusing solely on their medical diagnoses, symptoms, or treatments.
Another nursing theorist, Faye Abdellah, also emphasized a patient-focused approach that integrated nursing diagnoses into the nursing discipline. Abdellah and her colleagues created a list of 21 nursing problems, which were divided into patient problems and nursing skills. This was during a period when nursing diagnoses were not yet recognized as appropriate for nurses (McEwen & Ellis, 2014). Abdellah’s nursing problems are further categorized into emotional, physiological, and social needs of patients, as well as nurse-patient relationships and patient care. This approach highlights the importance of addressing the unique needs of each patient and fostering a collaborative relationship between the nurse and the patient.
In conclusion, the concept of person is highly relevant to my clinical practice as an OR nurse. Patients undergoing surgery rely on us, as nurses, to advocate for their dignity and safety while they are unable to observe what happens during the procedure. By keeping the person at the center of nursing care, we can provide patient-centered care that addresses the holistic needs of the individual. The nursing theories developed by Virginia Henderson and Faye Abdellah provide frameworks that emphasize the importance of considering the person as a whole and tailoring care to meet their unique needs. By incorporating these theories into practice, nurses can ensure that they are providing comprehensive and holistic care to their patients.