Personal Philosophy of Nursing
Eastern Mennonite University
My decision to go back to school for my Bachelor’s degree in nursing at Eastern Mennonite University was made for many different reasons. The main motivation behind my decision to have a nursing career was a based on the medical attention that my step-stepfather, Steve (which I will address later in this paper), had received when he was diagnosed with cancer. Also, a friend of mine, Jeremy, passed away in his sleep from a complication with diabetes. Jeremy was very young at the time.
When I was growing up I was surrounded by EMS’s and EMT-B’s. My father was a firefighter and EMT-B for many years, and a I knew many of his friends and co-workers. Listening to him tell stories (and watching Rescue 911 on TV) made me want to save people’s lives in their time of need. So I decided to join at the Strasburg Volunteer Rescue Squad when I was 15 years old. The only thing I was really allowed to do was ride along and help carry equipment, but that gave me the experience of what the EMS does in the field. At the age of 17 I took my test for the Emergency Medical Technician Basic and passed. That gave me a little more hands-on ability, and I was able to take care of patients within my scope of practice.
In 2004 I began taking prerequisites classes at Lord Fairfax Community College to start working on my Nursing degree. While in school, I also obtain my certification to practice as a Certified Nurse Aide. Shortly after that I was hired at Winchester Medical Center to work on the pulmonary unit as a CNA. While working there, I decided I wanted to further my career. I took a Phlebotomy class and obtained another certification. I had always wanted to work in the Emergency Department so I applied and was hired on July 27, 2008, as an Emergency Room Technician. After working in the ER, and with EMS experience, I was trained in the “Communications Box” (a room that holds equipment to communicate with EMS when they are in route with a patient) to help when they needed additional coverage. I completed my Associates degree in Health Science, as well as my Associates in Arts and Science in the Spring of 2011 from LFCC. I began working as a Phlebotomist at Sunrise Medical Laborites and working towards my Licensed Practical Nursing degree. I graduated from James Rumsey Technical Institute with my LPN in June 2014. I began working for a family practice in Purcellville and then transferred to Valley Health Urgent Care where I was working while going to school to obtain my RN degree. I will continue my education until I obtain my bachelor’s degree in nursing.
My “calling” really began while taking care of my step-father Steve. He was a truck driver that smoked cigars while on the road. One winter evening, while at the shop where his truck and trailer were parked, he slipped on the ice and landed on his side. He didn’t feel injured, so he didn’t mention it to anyone. He did start to have a hard time breathing, so my mom wrapped him with an ace wrap and he went to work. Then he came home a couple days later after being on the road and said that he was not feeling well, and was having more trouble with his breathing. I listened to his lungs, and found he had diminished lung sounds. This can be from a punctured lung, and that was our concern since he had fallen recently. My mom took him to the Emergency Room where they drained 3 liters of fluid from one of his lungs, and told him they were sending the fluid to be biopsied. After a few days they received a call telling him that he had lung cancer, and needed to go see an Oncologist as soon as possible. He began chemo and radiation treatments, and we were told that he would only have 6 months to live. He actually held strong for almost a year before passing away. I had the honor and privilege of taking care of him through this rough time, and he is my inspiration for wanting to become a nurse.
What excites me, or fills my heart with passion to continue my career as an LPN/Phlebotomist/CNA/EMT-B? I love the feeling of not knowing what lies ahead in my job or throughout my career. I love the feeling of being called someone’s “ANGEL” in their time of need. I love knowing that I tried my hardest and did my best to help them deal with the illness and give them comfort and share my knowledge. I enjoy the feeling of helping others or making someone laugh when they are down. I feel my purpose is to help others emotionally and spiritually, as well as with medical interventions. “Purpose is the cognitive awareness in cause and effect linking for achieving a goal in a given system, whether human or machine.” (Purpose 2008). When I leave work I feel like I have done what I was supposed to do, and feel the satisfaction of a job well done. Even though there have been patients that I could not save, and have passed away, and many that I have worried about after they left my care, many that reach my heart and they feel like one of my own family members, I honestly don’t see myself working anywhere else but in the medical field.
My personal philosophy of nursing is knowing the satisfaction of helping people in their time of need. It’s about having the love and compassion for patients. “Values are those things that really matter to each of us, the ideas and beliefs we hold as special. Caring for others, for example, is a value; so is the freedom to express our opinions.”
(Orans, 1996) Being the best nurse you can be by using the knowledge we’ve been taught imparts that value on a person’s life. Willing to learn new things and teaching others the knowledge you know, are important values. Part of Nursing is taking a leadership role to help others in life and death situations. Being a patient advocate to your patients, family, and friends throughout their illness is a process that can last a long time, and as a nurse it is important to be strong, diligent, and kind. Being a good leader also means you should know your own limitations, and sometimes you need to say “I can’t do that”. This does not show weakness, but instead shows courage.
I have always had the desire to help others, and tried not to stand in the way of anyone that wants to better themselves. I love the feeling of helping in a time of need. “A goal or objective consists of a projected state of affairs which a person or a system plans or intends to achieve or bring about-a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development.”(Goals, 2008). I would have to say I would not have chosen the medical field if I didn’t want to help people. The most difficult part of this career is trying to help someone who does not want help. Another area that might be difficult for me personally, is facing death with another family member or friend, especially if I have been taking care of them during their illness. I need to learn how to put a barrier between my patients and my feelings. Some patients can be almost demanding with the amount of time they want from a nurse. They are lonely in pain, want attention and love and don’t have anyone else there to give it to them.
My family plays a big role in my life and means the world to me. They support me unconditionally with love and understanding. I have had to learn not to bring home the jobs stresses and confidentiality. “Ethical is pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct.”(Ethical, 2008) I tend to take family problems back to work with me, and sometimes this makes it difficult not to show my own feelings to my patients. Part of our job is to learn how to leave our personal life’s out of our professional jobs, so I need to work on that.
Nursing differs from a police officer as other “helping profession” in purpose, goals, and values. “To be accredited, law enforcement organizations must not only meet several hundred individual standards of competence, but also adopt a statement of mission or purpose and values, as an expression of their commitment to public service.”
(Kleinig, 1993) A police officer’s purpose is to serve the community as law enforcement and to make people obey the laws. The saying “to protect and serve” is in the oath that they say. Their goals are to promote the laws, protect citizens, and encourage peace and justice. Many of them volunteer their services to teach kids about Drug, Abuse, and the importance of education regarding bicycle safety, child safety with seatbelts and carseats. Their values consist of, but are not limited to, caring, honesty, helpfulness, giving to others, sacrificing their lives, and their well being.
As most recent researchers have found people approach their work in one of three ways: as a job, as a career, or as a calling. If they see it as a job they do it for the money: this is apparent in the nursing field as attitudes towards patients differ from a nurse that is in it for money, than a nurse that is in it for the calling. Sadly, the compassion for the patients is not shown, and is well needed in this career. For myself, I am seeing it as a calling. The patient connection, engagement with families and other medical staff, and the commitment I have to see this thru all play a part in my decision to continue to help others. I do want additional promotions within my career, and the “prestige” for me would be to reach my final goal of becoming a flight nurse. I hold onto the words mentioned in the book that “love and work are crucial for human happiness because, when done well, they draw us out of ourselves and into connection with people and projects beyond ourselves”. (Haidt 2006)
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Orans, L. (1996). What are Values? www.pinetreeweb.com/values.htm
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2008). Goals. Retrieved November 11, 2008,
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Haidt, Jonathan. (2006).The Happiness Hypothesis. New York
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