In the nursing field, the establishment of a nurse-client relationship is a crucial aspect of patient care. According to Newman, these relationships often begin during periods of disruption, uncertainty, and unpredictability in the patient’s lives (Smith & Parker, 2015). To understand what she implies by this statement, it is essential to explore Newman’s theory of health as expanding consciousness.
Newman’s theory emphasizes the idea that health is not merely the absence of disease or illness, but rather the ability of an individual to expand their consciousness and attain higher levels of well-being (Smith & Parker, 2015). This theory acknowledges that a person’s health can be influenced by various factors such as their physical, psychological, spiritual, and social well-being. In the context of nurse-client relationships, Newman believes that these relationships often commence during times when patients experience disruption, uncertainty, and unpredictability in their lives.
During such periods, patients may face significant challenges, transitions, or crises that impact their overall well-being. These disruptions can manifest in various ways, such as a medical diagnosis, a traumatic event, undergoing surgery, experiencing personal loss, or even dealing with chronic illnesses. Patients may feel overwhelmed, anxious, or uncertain about these changes, which can have a profound effect on their mental and emotional state.
Newman suggests that it is during these challenging times that nurses have the opportunity to establish a strong nurse-client relationship. By providing compassionate and empathetic care, nurses can help patients navigate through these disruptions and uncertainties. They can offer support, guidance, and encouragement, helping patients to expand their consciousness and move towards a higher level of well-being. This process involves assisting the patient in gaining new insights, developing new coping mechanisms, and finding meaning and purpose in their experiences.
To illustrate this theory, I would like to reflect on a patient I cared for who experienced disruption, uncertainty, and unpredictability in their life. Mrs. Johnson, a 65-year-old woman, was admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of metastatic cancer. This diagnosis came as a shock to Mrs. Johnson and her family, as she had always been in good health and had no prior history of cancer.
During my interactions with Mrs. Johnson, I observed her experiencing a range of emotions, including fear, sadness, and confusion. She struggled to come to terms with her diagnosis and was uncertain about the future. As her nurse, I recognized the importance of establishing a therapeutic relationship with her to help her through this difficult time.
I approached Mrs. Johnson with empathy and understanding, providing her with the space to express her emotions and concerns. I actively listened to her fears and validated her feelings, acknowledging the disruption that the diagnosis had caused in her life. By doing so, I aimed to create a safe environment where Mrs. Johnson could feel supported and understood.
Throughout her hospitalization, I consistently reassured Mrs. Johnson that she was not alone in her journey. I provided her with information about her diagnosis and treatment options, involving her in decision-making and empowering her to take an active role in her care. I also facilitated opportunities for her to connect with a support group of other cancer patients, where she could share her experiences and gain insights from others who had gone through similar challenges.
As the nurse-client relationship developed, I witnessed positive outcomes in Mrs. Johnson’s well-being. She began to gain a sense of control over her situation and developed a deeper understanding of her own strengths and resilience. Through our interactions, she expanded her consciousness about her illness, finding meaning and purpose in her experiences.
In conclusion, Newman’s theory of health as expanding consciousness highlights the significance of nurse-client relationships during periods of disruption, uncertainty, and unpredictability in patients’ lives. By providing compassionate care and support, nurses can help patients navigate through these challenging times and facilitate their growth and well-being. Reflecting on my experience with Mrs. Johnson, I witnessed firsthand the positive impact of establishing a therapeutic relationship based on Newman’s theory. Through our interactions, Mrs. Johnson was able to expand her consciousness and find a sense of meaning in her cancer journey.