Where do you see yourself and your understanding of truth on the continuum of realism and idealism? How would you define person? Look at the following attributes given to a person: (1) the ability to think and conceptualize, (2) the capacity to interact with others, (3) the need for boundaries, and (4) the use of language (Doheny, Cook, & Stopper, 1997). Would you agree? What about Maslow’s description of humanness in terms of a hierarchy of needs with self-actualization at the top? Another possibility is that persons are the major focus of nursing. Do you see humans as good or evil? Where do you see yourself and your understanding of truth on the continuum of realism and idealism? What are your beliefs about the major concepts in nursing—person, environment, health, nursing? Do you believe there is more than one right answer to situations? How do you value the whole individual? What barriers prevent us from responding to the contextual needs of our patients? Do I believe in health care for everyone? Does health care for everyone have value to me as a person? Does it have value to me as a nurse? What value does universal health care have to my patients? How does my personal philosophy fit with the context of nursing? Does it fit? What areas, if any, need assessing?

On the continuum of realism and idealism, my understanding of truth leans towards realism. Realism posits that reality exists independent of our perception or beliefs and that there are objective truths that can be discovered through reason and empirical observation. I believe in the existence of an external reality that exists beyond our subjective experiences.

When it comes to defining a person, I agree with the attributes given by Doheny, Cook, and Stopper (1997). The ability to think and conceptualize is a fundamental characteristic of being human. It allows us to reason, problem-solve, and create. The capacity to interact with others is also an essential aspect of personhood. Humans are social beings who thrive in relationships and depend on social interactions for personal growth and development. The need for boundaries is another crucial attribute, as it helps individuals define their identity, establish personal space, and set limits in their interactions with others. Lastly, the use of language is a fundamental skill that distinguishes humans from other animals. Language enables us to communicate and express our thoughts, emotions, and desires.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with self-actualization at the top, offers an insightful perspective on humanness. Maslow argues that individuals have a set of basic needs that must be satisfied before they can strive for self-actualization. These needs include physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. I agree with Maslow’s description of humanness in terms of this hierarchy, as it recognizes the importance of meeting basic physiological and safety needs before individuals can reach their highest potential.

In the context of nursing, persons are indeed a major focus. Nursing is a profession that places great emphasis on caring for individuals and promoting their overall well-being. Nurses provide holistic care to patients, taking into account their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Understanding the person as a unique individual with a distinct set of values, beliefs, and experiences is essential in delivering quality nursing care.

Regarding the question of whether humans are inherently good or evil, it is my belief that humans have the capacity for both good and evil. Human nature is complex and multifaceted, and individuals are capable of both altruistic and selfish behaviors. It is important to recognize the potential for both positive and negative actions in order to truly understand and respond to the needs of patients.

In terms of truth, my understanding aligns with realism. I believe that there are objective truths that can be discovered through rational inquiry and empirical observation. This perspective guides my approach to nursing, as I value evidence-based practice and the integration of scientific knowledge into patient care.

The major concepts in nursing, namely person, environment, health, and nursing, are all interconnected and shape the nursing profession. Person refers to the individual receiving care, and understanding their unique needs, preferences, and experiences is essential in delivering effective nursing care. Environment encompasses the physical, social, cultural, and economic factors that influence health and well-being. Health encompasses not just the absence of disease, but also the promotion of optimal physical, mental, and social well-being. Nursing is the art and science of caring for individuals, families, and communities to promote health and prevent illness.

I believe that there can be multiple right answers to situations in nursing. Each patient is unique, and the best approach to care may vary depending on their individual circumstances, preferences, and values. It is important to be flexible and adaptable in order to provide patient-centered care that is tailored to the specific needs of each individual.

I value the whole individual in nursing. This means recognizing that individuals are complex beings with physical, psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions. Providing holistic care involves addressing all these aspects and considering their interplay in promoting overall well-being.

There are several barriers that can prevent nurses from responding to the contextual needs of patients. These may include limited resources, time constraints, organizational policies, and personal biases or prejudices. Overcoming these barriers requires awareness, reflection, and a commitment to providing patient-centered care that considers the unique needs and circumstances of each individual.

As a nurse, I believe in health care for everyone. Access to quality health care is a fundamental human right, and ensuring equitable access to health services is essential in promoting social justice and improving population health outcomes. Providing health care for everyone is not only a moral imperative but also has practical benefits for society as a whole.

Universal health care has value to me as a person because it aligns with my core values of justice, compassion, and equality. It ensures that everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status or personal circumstances, has access to the care they need to maintain and improve their health.

In terms of my personal philosophy fitting with the context of nursing, I believe that it aligns well. My belief in holistic care, evidence-based practice, and social justice aligns with the principles and values of the nursing profession. However, it is important to continuously assess and reflect on our personal philosophies to ensure they remain relevant and adaptable to the evolving needs of patients and society.