Title: Selecting a Nursing Theorist in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted healthcare systems worldwide, challenging nurses to provide care in complex and uncertain situations. The theories of nursing presented in Chapter 29, Barrett’s Theory of Power as Knowing Participation in Change, Chapter 30, Marlaine Smith’s Theory of Unitary Caring, and Chapter 31, Kristen Swanson’s Theory of Caring, offer different perspectives on providing care and adapting to change. In this discussion, we will reflect upon the events of the Covid-19 pandemic and select a nursing theorist whose theory aligns with the current healthcare challenges.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the nursing theorist whose framework resonates most effectively is Kristen Swanson. Swanson’s Theory of Caring focuses on the processes and dimensions of caring, providing a comprehensive approach to support patients and nurses in times of uncertainty and crisis.
One key aspect of Swanson’s theory is the understanding that caring is a transpersonal process that involves the nurse truly connecting with the patient, emotionally and spiritually. In the midst of a pandemic, patients are often isolated from their loved ones due to quarantine measures, making the presence and connection of the nurse crucial for their emotional well-being. Swanson’s theory emphasizes that nurses should provide emotional support, empathy, and presence to patients, actively engaging in understanding and meeting their needs.
Furthermore, Swanson’s Theory of Caring incorporates the concept of “Knowing the Patient.” This concept entails developing a deep understanding of the patient’s values, beliefs, and preferences in order to provide individualized care and support decision-making. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, patients are faced with difficult decisions related to their healthcare, such as end-of-life care or participation in clinical trials. The nurse, through their knowledge and connection to the patient, can support them in making informed decisions that align with their values and wishes.
Moreover, Swanson’s Theory of Caring acknowledges that caring and professional practices are influenced by the wider socio-cultural context. In the context of the pandemic, healthcare systems are facing various challenges, including resource scarcity, ethical dilemmas, and increased workload. Swanson’s theory advocates for creating supportive environments and enhancing interpersonal relationships within healthcare teams to maintain unity and resilience. By developing a caring culture that recognizes the pressures on nurses during the pandemic, institutions can foster teamwork, mutual support, and shared decision-making.
Swanson’s theory also highlights the importance of self-care and reflection for nurses. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented levels of stress and burnout among healthcare professionals. Swanson suggests that self-care practices, such as mindfulness, journaling, and engaging in activities that promote well-being, can help nurses navigate challenging situations while maintaining their own physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
In selecting a nursing theorist for the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to consider recent scholarly sources that expand upon the theories and discuss their application in current healthcare scenarios. Two references that appropriately meet this criterion are cited below.
1. Bevis, E. O., & Watson, J. (2019). Toward a caring curriculum: A new pedagogy for nursing. Springer Publishing Company.
2. Monteiro, S. (2018). The power of caring in the nursing profession: A literature review. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 11(2), 1080-1086.
Given the complex challenges faced by nurses in the Covid-19 pandemic, the theory of Kristen Swanson offers valuable insights and guidance. Swanson’s Theory of Caring emphasizes the importance of genuine connection with patients, individualized care, supportive environments, and self-care for nurses. By integrating the principles of Swanson’s theory into nursing practice, nurses can provide holistic and compassionate care, address patients’ needs, and maintain their own well-being during this global crisis.