Examples of three different articles were compared and contrasted, all studying the concept of raring in nursing with different approaches to understand this concept more deeply, and find both similar and differing themes in their conclusions. The first of these three articles, “Descriptions of Caring Uncovered in Students’ Baccalaureate Program Admission Essays,” is by Judith J. Sadler in the International Journal for Human Caring.
This article is unique amongst the 3 that are being compared in that since they are statements written by those who are not yet nurses, they represent “conjecture” of what these would-be nurses think nurse caring looks like, rather than actual experiences that have occurred (Sadler, 2004). Its method was extracting themes from the 250-300 word essays that 302 applicants wrote for application into a BBS program.
This made its central question to ask what did the applicants who wish to become nurses perceive the qualities of a good nurse to be. The central theme of these admission essays emerged as identifying compassion as a characteristic of a “good” nurse; while breaking down the attributes of a nurse further into the five sub- categories of Multidimensional work, Creative process of using presence, Holistic injection, and Individually and socially defined.
The best part of this kind of study seemed to be that although these student’s definitions were ignorant of what it is like to actually be a nurse, their idealism about nurse caring without the knowledge of the balance of time constraints and the desire to be perceived as a good nurse was what shone through. The second article considered, “The ‘Little Extra’ That Alleviates Suffering” by Maria Raman and Earn Reinserted was published in Nursing Ethics. This study was also unique in that it examined verbal interactions between both racing nurses to their patients, and also between clinical nursing students and their patients.
Its method was a hermeneutic method, assuming the theoretical perspective of creative caring and ethics of understanding life. A central theme that was found in this study was that the caregivers offering the little extra’ were able to offer more caring than the ‘ideal nursing model’ perspective, in that the patients were being truly seen in this interaction as a fellow human being, deserving of caring and ultimately respect of their humanity (Raman & Reinserted, 2007).
It goes on to be able to recognize what this looks like in a clinical setting, identified by verbal or non- verbal willingness to ‘go beyond’ the bare minimum of Just fulfilling the necessary required tasks of the ‘Job’ of a nurse, which resulted in the patient feeling that the caregiver cared about them as a person. My general impression of these nurses in this study is the ones with the demonstrated desire to show their patients that they were willing to do more, were the ones the study authors identified as ‘caring nurses.
The third and final article examining caring in nursing, “Beyond empathy: expanding expressions of caring” by Janice Morse in the Journal of Advanced Nursing. Unlike the first two, this study only examined the actual working and licensed nurses who were already done being nursing students, and therefore had more actual ‘real world’ knowledge of what nurse caring is like after the nursing textbooks and idyllic nursing theories are but a past memory.
This study examines nurse caring by describing nurse responses to patients who are suffering, and the ruse’s level of engagement was largely classified by the author by whether the caregiver is focused on him or herself or the patient, and whether the caregiver responded reflexively or with a learned response.
The method for this study centered around examining the nurse’s response to their patient’s suffering in an alternative communication model, which sorts these responses into the four quadrants of “patient-focused”, “self-focused” (self being defined as the caregivers own self), first- level or “reflexive” or natural responses, and second-level “Learned responses. It was interesting to read this author’s take on the caregiver focusing on their own or their patient’s feelings largely determined their perceived level of caring; and that the least caring response was a learned professional response, but was considered to be seemingly almost ‘cold’ when the caregiver was self-focused on their own feelings on the patient’s suffering instead of the patient’s own feelings.
In each of these 3 articles, a common theme that runs between each of them is that the caring nurse is considered to be synonymous with a “good” nurse, which each of the participants whether aspiring-nursing student, actual nursing student, or an actual practicing nurse desired to be.
They are each different in the groups of caregivers studied, from idyllic nursing-student hopeful, to clinical nurse, and to practicing nurse. With each of the articles and caregiver populations, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that each of these levels of nurses had the end desire to be a caring nurse, as opposed to treating it as a decision that a nurse had to think over the merit of being a caring nurse or not.