Blending The Art And The Science Of Nursing

Blending The Art And The Science Of Nursing

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62 l Nursing2019 l Volume 49, Number 9

Student Voices

A S NURSING becomes more complex, nurses are expected to have the most up-to-date knowledge

and clinical skills for providing the best patient-centered care possible. Patients also expect nurses to be compassionate and to communicate effectively. In today’s healthcare environment, due to heavy work- loads and the continual integra- tion of technology into the nursing profession, the art of nursing seems to be slowly diminishing because nurses have less time to practice it.1 This article is intended to help nursing students understand why nursing is both an art and a science and discusses how to best balance the two.

Care, compassion, and communication The art of nursing refers to the highly valued qualities of care, compassion, and communication— three core principles guiding nursing practice.2 These principles encompass all aspects of patient care, including biopsychosocial needs, cultural preferences, and spiritual needs.

Blending The Art And The Science Of Nursing

One case study examined how patients in an inpatient hospital setting perceived compassion in nursing care.3 The authors con- firmed nursing care should focus on treating the patient with dignity, humanity, and respect. This includes demonstrating a caring attitude and treating patients as individuals. Nurses should practice effective communication (verbal and nonverbal) by actively listening to their patients’ needs, wants, and

concerns and responding to them directly. Nurses should be empathic and ask themselves, “How would I feel in my patient’s shoes?” Practic- ing the three C’s (care, compassion, and communication) promotes trust and increases overall patient satisfaction.3

Although all healthcare employees should be incorporating these quali- ties in the care of patients, it is espe- cially important for nurses because they are involved in direct patient care 24 hours a day. A patient’s hospi- tal experience depends primarily on the nurses he or she encounters. Patients are out of their element, in an unfamiliar environment, and do not know what to expect. As nurses, our responsibility is to provide emotional support as well as physical care.

The qualities of care, compas- sion, and communication can be challenging to teach, and their effectiveness is sometimes dif- ficult to measure. However, these qualities are often learned early in life through observation, life experience, demonstration, and role modeling, and they drive many people to pursue a nursing career. In addition, many nursing programs offer communication courses that incorporate the basic concepts of the art of nursing into the curriculum, and therapeutic communication is a test subject on the NCLEX-RN.4 In practice, utiliz- ing the core nursing principles of