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Nursing Theory

Paper Outline

Historical background of the resiliency theory of nursing

Reasons for choosing resiliency theory

Other people who have made use of the aspect of resilience

Nursing theories are critical in the sense that they offer description, depiction and explanation of a phenomenon related to nursing. Therefore, they are regarded as forming the basis of the nursing practice. Since the nursing exploits cannot be measured in strict terms, theories serve in the analysis and explanation of what nurses do. Nursing theories serve to ensure that the nursing profession is differentiated from other medical professions (McGee, 2006). Therefore, there is no doubt that nursing theories are critical in defining the nursing profession. This paper will focus on the theory of resiliency in nursing.
Historical background of the resiliency theory of nursing
The concept of resilience has become critical in the modern world. Individuals are faced with traumatizing incidents that can affect them for quite some time if not a life time. The traumatic experiences can be very dangerous especially when they occur to children. It can be asserted that some individuals usually adapt to the traumatic experiences with ease than others. Those who are able to adapt can be argued to be resilient. This is because such individuals do not succumb to the trauma that comes with the horrific experiences.
The concept of resilience is very critical in the nursing profession. In most instances, nurses care for individuals who have had traumatic experiences, and they are expected to help them through the recovery process. Therefore, nurses must understand resilience and how it can be applied while carrying on with their duties. Understanding this concept will help the nurse to understand how they can assist individuals who have suffered traumatizing experiences.
Resilience is a concept that can be traced back to the attachment theory that was advanced by John Bowlby. Bowlby observed that the mother-child relationship is critical in enhancing a sense of security and self-confidence (Phaneuf, n.d). These aspects help the child in coping with separation and adversity in future life. Many other scholars came up with a more distinct theory of resilience in nursing. Notably, Polk is said to have made an initiative that saw the development of resiliency nursing model. Polk aspired to come up with a middle-range theory that incorporated the aspect of resilience. According to Polk (1997), resilience is “the ability to transform disaster into a growth experience and move forward” (p. 5).
In his analysis, Polk noted that the concept of resilience has characteristics that could be grouped into four categories. Each category is said to contribute enthusiastically in supporting the person concerned. The four categories include “dispositional patterns, relational patterns, situational patterns, and philosophical patterns” (McGee, 2006, p. 45). This theory was developed following the concept analysis that was carried out by the author. However, it can be noted that Polk drew a lot from other nursing theorists such as Martha Rogers and Margaret Newman (McGee, 2006).
The concept of resilience in nursing has been studied at length in various settings. This includes studies carried out on the elderly and pediatric populations. The concept of resilience has been identified as essential to the nursing profession. In deed, the concept of resilience can be applied on vulnerable groups, especially those who have had a traumatic experience. Also, this concept is critical to those patients who are mentally retarded and those recovering from psychiatric conditions. Apart from promoting the nursing profession, resilience can also be critical in promoting the nurses at a personal level (McGee, 2006).
The aspect of resilience has been dominant in the nursing literature over the past few decades. The nursing professionals’ lives are often characterized by extreme diversity contexts and resilience has integrated in their lives. The concept of resilience enshrines the ability to rebound and carry on, being pro-social, and the need to have a sense of self and determination. This theory has been instrumental in my growth as a nurse. Resilience has been critical in my development as a nurse. I have been working as a community nurse is a shelter for the homeless. This is an institution that provides shelter and a home for the homeless and vulnerable groups. The decision to work as a community nurse in this shelter was not out of consideration and research. The decision to work as a community nurse serving the vulnerable population was informed by personal and professional factors (McGee, 2006).
When I submitted my application for the job, I was not sure that I truly wanted to continue with the profession. I was overwhelmed by the nursing burnout that came from working as a nurse within an ICU unit in a private hospital. When this opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to make a decision. Lucky enough, I had good friends who were a source of encouragement. One of my friends informed me about the chance that was open at the emergence shelter clinic. They badly needed a nurse manager. In deed, I needed a change of environment from working at the ICU unit. My friends encouraged me to give the nursing profession the last chance with this opportunity. Therefore, they convinced me to apply for the job.
I hailed from a family that had a problem with addiction. In this respect, resilience was vital in shaping my focus in life. I never appreciated this aspect until I was employed in the shelter. The opportunity to work at the shelter opened my eyes, and I realized that it all about getting a job, but also the beginning of a healing process. Also, it became clear that resilience was a critical aspect that would be vital in sustaining me during the first tough months at the shelter. While working at the shelter, I discovered that this opportunity helped me to become both healed and a healer.
Reasons for choosing resiliency theory
The nursing theory of resiliency is critical in the nursing profession. It can be acknowledged that many nurses regard their careers as rewarding. However, it can be agreed that nurses work in a profession that is physically and emotionally challenging. Therefore, the nursing profession is not as nurturing as many would expect. In this respect, the concept of resilience becomes critical to the nurses, as well as the students of nursing. This is because it prepares them in readiness to face the challenges within the nursing profession.
There is no doubt that the healing process is characterized with a lot of challenges. The nursing profession is often taxing and drains a lot of energy from the nurses. In this regard, the nurses must adopt ways in which they can ensure that they care for themselves, their colleagues, as well as their clients. This calls for resilience as it can be vital in ensuring that the nurses are able to execute their duties and responsibilities in an effective manner. Therefore, it is important for strategies that increasing resilience accessibility to nurses to be adopted for effective development of the nursing career. The adoption of these strategies will be critical in preparing the nurses for the challenges associated with the nursing profession, it will also be essential in changing the nursing culture.
The notion of resilience and the way to cultivate it has been identified as being critical to the nursing profession. This is a concept that is greater than courage and unique from endurance. A resilient individual is the one who has survived an adversity and learnt from the experience. This aspect is critical in the nursing profession. This is because the nursing profession is characterized by numerous challenging. Some of the challenges include lack of the necessary equipment to carry out the nursing duties effectively; working with difficult people; overcrowding especially during emergency situations and the shift work that is a common trend in nursing.
There are many other challenges associated with this profession such as under- staffing among others. All these challenges are known to bring stress to the nurses. Therefore, they need the element of resilience to enable them cope with the challenges. There are various strategies that have been established to enhance the aspect of resilience in the nursing profession. The importance of having good mentors is critical in ensuring that nurses develop the important aspect of resilience. Also, humor can be critical in helping the nurses cope with the stressing environment. Apart from these strategies, exercise and self-reflecting are other strategies that can be adopted in helping the nurses cope with the stressful work environment. There are many other strategies that can be employed to enhance the aspect of resilience in nursing.
Other people who have made use of the aspect of resilience
The concept of resilience has been used by various individuals in different fields. In this respect, the concept of resilience has been incorporated in the nursing profession. Boris Cyrulnick used the concept of resiliency in their works. According to Cyrulnick, resiliency was described using his own experiences. His parents were murdered by the Germans during the holocaust. Cyrulnick was lucky as he escaped the extermination from the Nazi after he was given refuge by one of his teachers. Cyrulnick was able to survive and grew to become one of the well-known doctors with a reliable perspective on resiliency. He described resilience as the capacity to survive a traumatizing event. He noted that there are some children with an aptitude for resilience who have experienced a traumatizing. However, he dismissed the thought of the presence of a certain profile that can be related to children with resilience. In essence, for resilience to work effectively, an individual must have self belief. The individual should have developed the ability for resilience early in life (Phaneuf, n.d.).
In another study, Denise de Assis de CorrêaSória, Ailse Rodrigues Bittencourt, Maria de FátimaBatalha de Menezes, éliaAntunesCrisóstomo de Sousa and Sônia Regina de Souza also engaged in a study on resilience and oncology in nursing. This study aimed at synthesizing and making scientific works on resilience and oncology nursing an international aspect. Although numerous studies had been done on the aspect of resilience, very few focused on oncology nursing. These authors identified a gap in the literature that existed about resilience and oncology nursing, especially in the international publications (Sória, et al, 2009). Melissa Zander, Alison Hutton, and Lindy King also investigated the concept of resilience in pediatric oncology nursing. In their study, the aspect of resilience was investigated. The focus was on how resilience can be integrated in pediatric oncology nursing to help in the management of stress among nurses. This was after realizing that little literature on the topic existed. The authors acknowledged that there was some literature on the existence of resilience among pediatric oncology nurses. However, they pointed out that a gap in literature existed on the relationship between resilience and the capacity to cope with the stressing environment associated with pediatric oncology (Zander, Hutton and King, 2010).
There is no doubt that the theory of resiliency has gained widespread acceptance in the nursing profession. In deed, many scholars have ventured into studies to determine the extent to which this concept has been integrated into nursing. Most of the scholars agree that resilience is a critical aspect in nursing. This is because of the strenuous aspects that are related with nursing. This is a profession that is physically and emotionally demanding. Therefore, resiliency is critical in ensuring that the nurses cope with the demands of the job. In addition, scholars have noted that various gaps exist in integrating nursing and resilience. Therefore, there is a call to ensure that future studies are conducted to give significant information on the relationship between nursing and resilience.


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