Nursing sientists....

  1. Am I the only nursing student going nuts over all the nursing sientists, like Florence Nighitngale, Virginia Henderson, Kari Martinsen, Katie Eriksson etc etc. I once counted it, and I think we have read about 15-20 different nursing sientists, and they all say the same thing "Be nice to the patient"

    Or is it only in Denmark and the nordic countries we have so much of that stuff. All the RN's say they hated it too and say they dont understand why we have so much of that stuff. The only ones I ever hear say something nice about it is the teachers, but they have to, I guess.

    Do you have a lot of that stuff too, and are you going as crazy over it as I am?
    :angryfire

    It might be because I guy, I'm not that much into that stuff
    •  
  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   SFCardiacRN
    We had very little time for nursing history in my class. There was way too much practical to absorb. However, teaching us empathy through historic example might not be a bad idea. Might be a nice break from writing care plans and memorizing drug interactions!
  4. by   Daytonite
    ok, i'll take a stab at this for you. ever since the teaching of nursing moved into the colleges and universities, the theories of nursing started appearing. nightingale was given the position as the first. she was, primarily, an administrator and was writing reports about the conditions that she observed. one of the things that is notable about her work and writings is that she used what could be termed scientific methods. she made note of things that were done around hospitals and the impact they had on the improvement of the situations of patients and hospitals at the time. look at what she accomplished. she was able to show, with convincing evidence, that ideas she wrote about were valid and really worked. many of her ideas have become so commonplace that we often say they are just common sense things. in her day, however, they were not that commonplace which is why her work is significant. we study her and others out of respect for what they accomplished. she was the first to memorialize her findings by writing them down so they were preserved.

    to call these nursing theorists scientists is to say they used scientific methods to prove the ideas they are promoting. the scientific method is the accepted way of proving an idea in today's world. it is most often used by students within the college and university systems who are seeking advanced degrees, such as a master's degree, doctorate, or a phd. no one gets any of these degrees without having to do some kind of research and writing a thesis about it. the higher the degree, the more involved the research is. in order for these people with phds in nursing to stay in their university positions, they are often required to continue to carry out research activities. that is the life of a tenured professor.

    as you get to the more contemporary (modern day) nursing theorists, you will see that most of them are doing this nursing research for their phds. many are professors of nursing, or were, at the time their thesis or dissertation on their ideas was written. they developed a way to measure the results of the ideas they were promoting and then apply statistical measurements to determine whether or not they were successful. this is the way that the academic world views the validity of any theory--it has to be shown through scientific methods that it is valid.

    when i was in the university getting my bsn in nursing, we had to take a research class. this kind of class is often required in all bachelor curriculums, and is definitely required for those studying for a masters' degree, doctorate or a phd. in this class, we learned all about the scientific research method as it is practiced today. we had to develop an idea for a piece of nursing research ourselves and start the first part of the process of attempting to prove this idea we came up with. i found it very difficult. part of the problem i found with it was that all research is built upon previous research that has already been done. so, to do something as simple as proving that patients experience fewer side effects after surgery when they are turned, coughed and deep breathed is not as easy as you would think!

    now, granted, some of the stuff these nursing theorists come up with is very puzzling, but occasionally one of them comes up with a good idea that nurses can put into practical practice. the idea of a university or collegiate education today is to not only to teach you how to be a nurse, but to also expose you to collegiate and university ways of doing things. therefore, you are going to learn about nursing theorists in order to develop some kind of appreciation for how the way we practice nursing today came into being. i guess what makes it seem so silly at times is that so much of nursing care is just plain common sense, isn't it? that's just not good enough for colleges. something may be common sense, but can you prove it through scientific methods? that is what the colleges and universities are all about.

    i am sure that nursing is not the only profession scratching it's head about such common sense stuff that has been made into complicated research theory. i can imagine that architects who build skyscrapers have theorists who studied the importance of digging holes and the proper method of doing it. holes have been dug for years, but moving the theory of it into the college and university system gives it a whole new meaning!

    so, as you are being exposed to these nursing theories keep in mind that although the last line of their research was "be nice to the patient", what distinguishes each from the other is how they came to that conclusion (the actual research about it that they did). studying about these nursing scientists is done to help us develop a respect for their work to advance our profession to a much higher level than that of a simple laborer for wages. one of the goals of a university education is to teach us to think, something that many people really don't know how to do. so, having us study the research of others is also a way of having us engage our own brains in some thinking. this is really one of the things a college is supposed to be teaching us, not so much as how to give a patient a bedpan. so, keep that in mind as you go to classes day in and day out.

    this is why we have to study nursing theory. no new ideas coming into nursing today make it into the nursing textbooks unless it has been researched by using scientific methods. if you take a look at the end of each chapter of your nursing textbooks (or perhaps it will be in the appendix) you will find lists of references to support the information given to you in the chapter. pretty much every one of those references come from the work of those nursing theorists in one way or another. don't believe me? check a few of them out!
  5. by   gdelrosa
    I had to take a nursing theory class last semester and it drove me crazy as well. Nightingale, Peplau, Roy, ugh... It was awful.

    My problem with the theorist is that the "theory" seemed to be made up by these theorists. It didn't feel like they did any research until after the fact. In traditional scientific method, an idea moves through a logical sequence. Hypothesis, then after years of research that backs it up, it becomes a theory. How did Peplau's theory become a theory? Because she said it was???

    Anyway, I do think they had good ideas but they do seem to always say the same thing. How many ways can we describe how people respond to their environment? Check out a nursing theory book.

    Sorry this sounds like a nursing theory bash. I'm in an accelerated BSN program and feel like we barely spent any time learning how to administer meds. At this point in my education, it feels like nursing theory is a waste of time. Couldn't this come at the end when we know some nursing concepts???
  6. by   Great Dane
    If you imagine a nurse and look at all the stuff he/she has do be abel to do every day, both practical and theoretical. Empathy and caring is a big part of nursing, but if you look at how much time we spend on nursing theories compared to the things nurses do every day
    They all say "nursing isn't just the pracital stuff but it is also...." I say "Nursing isn't just empathy and caring, it is also...."
    People have killed patient because they have not been good enough to administer medicin, reconise sympthoms of life threathning diseases, put out fires and all that - we usually get a second chance if accidents happen, but the patient doesnt. So all that giving the basic nursing skills "Learning by doing" it is a horrible way to educate nurses - no wonder people always want nurses with at least 2 years experience.
    Besides some of the old nurses haven't been keeping their skills up to date for 20 years, so they do a lot of things wrong. The result is that a lot of the newest clinical procedures etc will not be used by the new nurses, because they learned something that was "new" back in the 70's and a lot has happened since then
    Nursing theory shows you how you "puts the frosting on top of the cake" (dont know if you have that expression in english) - meaning it goes from being a craft, to being an art - but if all you have is frosting, then it is pretty disgusting and nobody wants that.
    Not that I don't care what some of the very experienced nurses has to say about caring for the patient, but I would rather tune it down a little and spend more time on learning about anathomy, diseases, lab results, first aid, medicine and other sientific stuff.
    Because what defines a good nurse is that he/she know the craft of nursing, and if you can do it while being caring, empathetic and respectfull to the patient, so he feels comofrtable, then you go from a good nurse to an eccelent nurse - if you cant be caring while doing it, then you whould propably never have applied for nursing school in the first place

    Just my "Thoughts on nursing" :O))
  7. by   Tweety
    We had to learn all that stuff in my RN to BSN program. Even had to write a few papers.

    I understand the value in it. It's not all there is to nursing, just a component and something we have to suffer through.

    Good luck.
  8. by   ZASHAGALKA
    It's garbage that you can safely chunk to the curb after you are done "learning" it for class.

    The problem w/ the theory garbage is that it delves too much in the spiritual. We all bring our own spiritual beliefs into nursing. As such, to the extent that caring/spiritual theory validates ANYTHING, it is because we, as individuals, and at rare places, find common connections to theory that we first found on our own elsewhere.

    I don't need a new religion to be a nurse, especially a hoaky 60's drug culture based one. I need a firm foundation in science. I can bring my own spiritualism to my job.

    Nursing theory should be replaced w/ firm science based on critical thinking. Theory might have a minor place, but certainly not the vaunted position it now holds

    I don't know what they are smoking in the ivory tower, but their new age hoaky religion is what keeps us from being professionals in a science driven field. We can't interface w/ our allied peers because we've been taught that nursing doesn't speak the same language.

    I think the ivory tower should shut up and let the things we do everyday speak for themselves. If they want to opine about how to improve those real, everyday critical thinking skills, so much the better! But leave my religious/spiritual contributions to my profession to me. I'm much better at it then them, anyway.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Dec 25, '05
  9. by   Great Dane
    A friend of mine on the nursingschool says, that nursingschool is 3½ years of brainwash (it only takes 3½ years in Denmark) and if he wants to be a mean, unempathetic racist, then it's his own business. Just as long as it doesn't affect the care you give to a patient. - BTW he isn't, he is a very warm and caring person

    You WILL meet patients we don't like, but professionalism is not to show it or let it affect how your treat the patient.

    The point is that nursingschool should teach us how to pratice nursing, it should not be a place where they try to change you as a person.

    I really like nursing, but I will not accept attempts to change me as a person and how I see the world - because then it IS brainwashing.

    Nursing theory is about how someone sees the patient and how he/she think about nursing. But I refuse to let it be a guide as to how I should think as a person
    I will read whatever they make me, write all the essays and present the views at my examen - but I will never ever let it change how I am as a person or let it be a guideline for me. But in fact that is what it is ment to be.
    All in all, the time would be better spend, learning about sientific or pracital stuff. You would get better and more happy nurses AND more importantly it will create more respect for nurses and their skills and knowledge, there is plenty they could teach us instead.
    I do however think it is important to know the history of nursing. I just don't know why I have to do an essay on when women were allowed to vote and about the unequality between men and women, to do what I do. That is not why I am here.

    Nursing is a job not a religion
  10. by   Daytonite
    Dudes! The idea of going to school to get an education is to open your minds!
    Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.
    Teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
    Give a student a fact, you prepare him/her for one test question.
    Teach a student how to think, you prepare him/her for a lifetime of learning.

    Then, again, it is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.
    (Alec Bourne)
  11. by   alakaea
    It is scientists not sientists.
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    It's garbage that you can safely chunk to the curb after you are done "learning" it for class.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.

    Was wondering when we were going to hear from you.............
  13. by   prmenrs
    I agree w/Daytonite--it's about learning how to think, esp. in the abstract, hypothetical sense. As a nurse, you are presented w/lots of data all the time. Also, lots of research. Do you embrace every new treatment methodology you see in a journal? No. You look @ the study. Was it done correctly? How are the statistics used? Do they cite supporting research? Is their work cited by others?

    Learning how to think analytically is what you're doing by exersizing that stuff between your ears--tuning up the dendrites!

    Does studying nursing theory make you a better nurse? Maybe. Because it helps expand your brain, which may help solving some pt's problem.

    All college-prepared professions have theories. Psych, Physics, Education, Astronomy, Math--they all have theorists. Nursing has them because, as a profession, we need to differentiate our profession from Medicine.

    And, lastly, I highly recommend saving that nursing theory book. Keep it under your bed. Whenever you suffer a little insomnia, grab that baby, and w/in 10 minutes, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! :zzzzz
  14. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Daytonite
    Dudes! The idea of going to school to get an education is to open your minds!
    Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.
    Teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
    Give a student a fact, you prepare him/her for one test question.
    Teach a student how to think, you prepare him/her for a lifetime of learning.

    Then, again, it is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.
    (Alec Bourne)
    I already know how to think spiritually and not only did I NOT need that from nursing school, I completely disagree with their hoaky religion. So I spent countless hours reciting back what I knew to be drivel. How is playing a game with the teachers to convince them you buy into their nonsense learning?

    What needs to be taught in nursing school is indeed how to think: how to think critically. That requires science. If I wanted to learn religion from a college, I'd take a theology course. . .

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Dec 26, '05

close