NR 500 Week 2 Discussion: Knowing Self

NR 500 Week 2 Discussion: Knowing Self

NR 500 Week 2 Discussion: Knowing Self

Reflect the concepts addressed in this week’s lesson plan and required reading. Recall a challenging experience in either your personal or professional life. In the initial response, start with an introduction that includes a brief description of two core values that influence your nursing practice and interaction with others. Provide a concise description of the challenging experience. What core values were challenged in this experience? What lessons were learned from this experience? How did the experience inform future professional behaviors, decisions, and actions? Provide a specific example on how lessons learned from the challenging experience were applied in your professional practice. Use at least one outside scholarly reference to support your position. 

Education plays a major role in identifying bias in health care. Health care providers as well as patients may have unknown fears and biases related to their expected care delivery; and refuse care from individuals of opposite gender, race, religion, or cultural background. Patrick, I think it is important to respect a patient’s right to having a male nurse verses a female nurse if it infringe on their religious or cultural beliefs.

However, if a patient is just refusing care from male nurse base on perceived biases; education and confidence on your ability to deliver state of the art care in a respectful, confidential, and professional manner should be discuss allowing for a caring moment of trust to be establish and the patient’s right to be reevaluated and upheld. Establishing trust and confidence in our patients gives them an opportunity to make educated decisions on health care choices. It is no doubt that I believe patients have the right to chose who delivery care to them, because I know as I have gotten older I prefer a female advance practice nurse or a women physician as my primary health care provider.NR 500 Week 2 Discussion: Knowing Self

However, at the bedside I just want a nurse who would deliver the best caring and compassionate care; advocating for the care choices ordered for me. It is known that Self-awareness is one of the important components in nurse to patient relationship, nurses spend the most time with patients then any other health care professionals; therefore, Self- awareness is an important tool to develop a therapeutic relationship with a patient (Rasheed, 2015). Knowing how comfortable you are delivering care to patients of the opposite or from a diverse background will make you more aware on approaches to making a patient fell confidence in your nursing ability. In Georgia, throughout the Wellstar Health Care System, a female health care provider is mandated to accompany a male nurse or provider when giving care such as Foley insertion/care or assessment of certain areas of the body. 


Rasheed, S. (2015). Self-Awareness as a Therapeutic Tool for Nurse/Client Relationship. International Journal of Caring Sciences, January-April 2015 (8), 1 p.211-216. 

 I completely agree with your post and Patrick’s post. I have seen many patients refuse a male nurse or prefer certain procedures to be done by a male or female nurse. I think it’s the patients right. They have the right to dictate who delivers there care but to what extent. 

One day, while at work, a patient refused care from a resident. The patient accused the resident of not being a real doctor. I work in an ED of a teaching hospital. I asked the attending to speak with the patient. The attending stood his ground and defended the resident. He defended his skills and knowledge as a physician. The attending proceeded to tell the patient, you can’t pick and choose your doctor. You came to our ED for treatment and we are here to help you.

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After this occurred, I remember being feeling surprised by the outcome. I was happy the attending took a stand for the resident but not happy with the fact he didn’t take the patients feelings into consideration. I can’t help but think the physician was bias just like the patient. Patients refuse nurses all the time so why can’t they refuse a physician? Clearly the attending was offended by the patient.  

I have mix feelings about the course of action taken by the physician. Yes, in some aspects I believe the patients rights in requesting a new physician was overlooked but did the patient have a rational reason for not wanting the resident to take care of him. Biases create an environment for care to be submarginal. We as health care providers must educate the public and the patients on health care practices and the standard of care delivery. Many times after proper education and reassure of the care that will be delivered; patients will usually gain trust in the health care staff.  

     There has never been a more important time to practice cultural competence and humility in nursing practice than the current moment. The patients and staff we interact on a daily basis with come from an endless variety of race, culture, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic class that often differs from the caregiver. Two core values that not only define but influence my nursing practice and interaction with those I come in contact with are professional integrity and compassionate service.

Professionalism coupled with strong integrity, displays certain attributes like trust, accountability, ethical commitment, reliability, and respect (Rosa & Lubansky, 2016). By displaying a professional commitment to the practice of nursing, I am able to treat every patient, no matter their background, with a nonjudgmental, holistic approach to their care. Compassionate service, my second core value,  requires self-reflection on my part. Understanding the commitment and challenges faced in healthcare that require compassion no matter the circumstance, is of upmost importance in nursing practice (Rosa & Lubansky, 2016).

As a nurse, it is expected of me to show compassion in my care to patients and families, despite the situation. Providing compassion comes from within, before it can be displayed outward, and can be done so by reflecting upon myself, my own world-views, and personal philosophies. Nurses are unlike any other healthcare discipline with our positive contributions to health. Providing compassionate and professional care to all persons of the human race should be held to a high standard. 

            In 41 years of life and 20 years of nursing, I have been witness to many challenging experiences. One situation that comes to mind was during my years as a NICU RN. My assignment on a particular day was caring for a premature infant who was born into a non-traditional family with 2 mothers. The baby was conceived via artificial insemination and the birth mother and same sex partner would be parenting this baby. During the time spent in the NICU, it is not uncommon for preemies to spend weeks and sometime months as they mature enough to breathe and feed without medical assistance.

During the NICU stay, the birth mother was pumping her breast milk so as to provide optimal nutrition for her baby. Shortly after admission, the 2 mothers shared their desire with the neonatologist and NICU staff that they both, along with the maternal grandmother, and a close friend all planned to provide breastmilk to this baby. The women who did not deliver the baby were taking medication to induce lactation. Their desire was to ultimately all share in the breastfeeding/bonding experience with this baby.  From a medical standpoint, there is obvious concerns for providing bodily fluids to an infant in hospital care that does not belong to the birth mother.

Risk Management was consulted and the ultimate decision was made that only the birth mother could supply her breastmilk, which was in ample supply, to this baby during the NICU stay. As the bedside nurse, I found this situation challenging because my primary goal was to provide safe and excellent care to this baby. However, family centered care is also of upmost importance and respecting the mother’s wishes, even when they may or may not align with my own or the institution I worked for, was important also. This is where compassion came in. Treating this family unit with respect and a non-judgmental approach was a key component of my care. Education of premature infants and their fragile intestines was given to this family.

My core value of professionalism was challenged as I continued to provide the same care to this baby and family as I would any other in my NICU care. I learned to expect the unexpected in nursing and be prepared to handle each situation with respect and compassion. Cultural awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity are key skills for nurses today. Hanna, Salminen, Papadopoulos, & Leino-Kilpi (2017) suggest that education on cultural competence in nursing is essential to providing effective and responsive healthcare to our diverse populations. I believe this to be a lifelong learning process and maintaining awareness of our diversities as human beings will assist in providing excellent care to our patients and families. 


Repo, H., Vahlberg, T., Salminen, L., Papadopoulos, I., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2017). The  

     cultural competence of graduating nursing students. Journal of Transcultural  

     Nursing. 28(1), 98-107. doi: 10.1177/1043659616632046 

Rosa, W., & Lubansky, S. (2016). The advanced practice holistic nurse: A leader in the  

     implementation of core values. Advanced Practice Holistic Nursing. 36(3), 10-13.  

     Retrieved from 

How was your professionalism challenged here? Also, what did you learn from this experience and what changes have you made to impact future practice? Please share with us. 

 Anytime a situation arises in nursing practice that is considered out of the ordinary or different from standard practice, professionalism can be challenged. In my described scenario, my professionalism was challenged because the request for multiple people besides the birth mom to breast feed was not ordinary practice. How I responded, in a professional and courteous manner, that was non-judgmental was most important in establishing a rapport with this family unit. Professionalism also comes with knowing when to seek support of leadership which was necessary in this situation.

One thing I learned from this experience, at a very young age in my career, was to expect the unexpected. The situations that arise in a mere 12-hour shift can go from calm to chaos and back to calm in a matter of minutes. Being prepared to handle and address concerns with the patient and/or family individually and respectfully is something I took from this experience. Maintaining cultural competence is a developmental process amongst nurses that can strengthen over one’s career (Hanna, Vahlberg, Salminen, Papadopoulos, Leino-Kilpi, 2017).

 I like to view each and every patient I care for as another learning experience that I can tuck away to memory and draw from in preparation for the next time I am required to assess and intervene on behalf of those I care for. The scenario described occurred years ago and I feel that it did have an impact on my current and future practice as it served as a way to prepare me to calmly and confidently care for all I come in contact with. 


Repo, H., Vahlberg, T., Salminen, L., Papadopoulos, I., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2017). The cultural competence of graduating nursing students. Journal of Transcultural Nursing,28(1), 98-107. doi: 10.1177/1043659616632046 

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