Confucius Teachings: Pillars in the Nursing Care Sandra Joy T. Dela Vega Wagner College Abstract “Thus, nurses serve beyond theories… that beyond the dosage of medicine they give, an ounce of humanistic touch must be extended to their patients. ” Nurses serve the patient beyond theories. There must be a combination of heart and brain among the health care practitioners, particularly nurses. Caring people is human welfare and human welfare is no joke. It is a profession that requires heart for the lives.
To be a nurse is to live in a virtuous life filled with goodness and kindness (Munoz and Luckmann’s 2005). Thus, nurses serve beyond theories. One should have internalized the worth of individuals and the value of life in exercising his/her profession, that beyond the dosage of medicine they give, an ounce of humanistic touch must be extended to their patients. Confucius Teachings: Pillars in the Nursing Care Like Plato and Aristotle, Confucius is also remarkable, for he has played an important role in formation of character, behavior and way of living (Eliot 2001; Guo 1995).
With his contributions not only in the social and political governance but also in the field of health care made him the man of wisdom whose focal point is REN, humanity, the world claims Confucius as the China’s Gift to the World ‘(The Ottawa Citizen August 16, 2008). Born of a poor family in the state of Lu (now Shantung province) but had acquired education through patience and determination. Though got orphaned at early age, his contributions are really remarkable. He had emphasized harmony, equilibrium and virtues.
He provides the world with many theories on moral, ethical and simple human values but never dictates about matters of daily living. Of Confucian Teachings The nursing value system is still the sources of nurse’s care to their patients. For care has been described by Chao as feeling of dedication to another to the extent that it motivates and energizes action to influence life constructively and positively by intimacy (Tomey A. , & Alligood M. , 2002 ). Thus intimacy is a drive that is rooted from loyalty.
One’s intimate feeling can’t be extended from an individual who is loyal to his/her recipient. A trait that a nurse must carry in his profession. These are stipulated Confucius values. Confucius concepts on values play a vital role in the nursing profession. He emphasized in Confucianism the teachings on Ren, humanity; the JEN, which focuses on benevolence; the humaneness towards others; Xin, honesty and trustworthiness; and Yi, righteousness (Yu- Mei Chao, 1995). Of Humanity
Reality speaks that some nurses pushed to earn the degree, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and worked hard to be Registered Nurses, just to box themselves in their respective countries ( especially from Asian countries ) but to work in first countries for greener pastures. With this, they must be equipped not only with know-how, skills but with nursing values (the most). Nurses must internalize themselves as caring individuals who treat patients as the same rather different from one another, regardless of the nature of disease, age, and color or race.
In the way Confucius stressed humanity, which is “to love the people and to love the masses extensively,” one should need to extend his/her care unconditionally for s/he is bound to serve and to care (Lun yu, Confucius, 1997) When the word “masses” is mentioned, it is general, and is not restricted to any class. Thus, ‘masses’ means loving all the people including the poor or the rich, even enemies in service. Confucius has equipped the nurses with his ‘ Confucian ideas on humanity which remain vital at all times for these serve as guiding principles in their everyday lives especially when they are facing transcultural challenges.
Of Benevolence When Oxford Dictionary defines “humane” as idea which is marked by sympathy with and consideration for the needs and distress of others; feeling and showing compassion and tenderness towards human beings, while, benevolence as one’s desire to do good to other, shall we say, the good will, we may say that benevolence is relative to humanity. When one asks on how shall s/he approach benevolence, remember what Confucius has stressed on his teachings, that the best way, is to put the self in the position of the other, then treat the other accordingly, the way you want the other treats ou. Two sayings of Confucius best express this idea: “Do not do to others what you would not like yourself”; and “Do unto others what you wish to do unto yourself. ” Lun yu, Confucius (1997). Since, benevolence is conceptualized as something people cultivate within themselves before it can affect their relations with other; it is somehow, the virtue the nurses carry in their area of caring the patients. When one in the nursing care profession internalizes and practices those two sayings nothing can be asked for.
No one in the field will die unhappy, discontented, even unsatisfied, s/he will end a happy life and continue it until the next life for s/he will face the Mighty Creator and will be congratulated for a job done well. Of Honesty and Trustworthiness “What one does not wish for oneself, one ought not to do to anyone else; what one recognizes as desirable for oneself, one ought to be willing to grant to others. ” (Confucius and Confucianism, Rainey L. D. , 2010). This is what Confucius means by “mutuality. This summarizes the concepts of honesty and trustworthy. One should not demand for some one’s honesty if s/he isn’t; same with trustworthy if s/he isn’t. The realization of Confucius ideas of Xin and Yi are reflected still on his benevolence and humanity. Nurses in the hospital are trains to be honest and trustworthy for what they are taking care are not only programs like of the IT experts, not buildings and bridges of the engineers, not even the criminal cases of the lawyers, but the nurses’ are more than that.
It is life that they are taking care of in the emergency and operating rooms. The fact that the patient, so with his whole family, entrusts his/her life to you, because you are reliable to be entrusted. Indeed one must prove, in the field of nursing care that s/he is worth of trust. Discussion I fervently agreed with Confucian Teachings, “Thus, nurses serve beyond theories…that beyond the dosage of medicine they give, an ounce of humanistic touch must be extended to their patients.
After acquiring all those specialized body of knowledge and undertaking those rigorous training that pertains to nursing profession, one should realize that caring for patients is not solely on know–how skills but rather also having the virtues that will enhance the patients welfare. A part of Confucius influence in nursing value that should be in the hearts and minds of nurses of today is the value of benevolence. Benevolence refers to the morally valuable character trait or virtue of being disposed to act for the benefit of others (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
Beneficence which coincides with benevolence is one of the primary parts of the Nursing Code of Ethics. As we know, beneficence can be defined as the Nursing Ethical principle based on the beliefs that a nurse should do no harm, prevent harm, remove existing harm, and promote the good and well-being of the client. An application of this virtue can be evident when a nurse chooses to perform a pain assessment and request and order for medication from a Doctor as one of the first interventions. Nursing is among the professions that require the greatest degree of beneficence to be successful.
Through this, I firmly believe that Confucian teachings are the most appropriate in the implementation of effective nursing care. Another Confucian teaching that is a component of nursing value is honesty. Veracity is another term for honesty and yet another nursing virtue that can be derived from Confucius. Veracity is the ethical principle that obligates you to tell the truth. Nurses are always presented to information because of the personal nature of medical field. They are exposed to patient vulnerability and life and death issues on a daily basis.
Nurses are responsible to communicate to the patient the information she needs as clear as possible because the patient has a right to know everything with regards to her health. Nurses should be the patient’s advocate and should not keep things from the patient. In order to attain autonomy of the patient to make a decision, the patient must be supplied by the nurse the correct and honest information regarding her condition. In this way, patient’s right is not violated and the nurse’s moral obligation is accomplished.
Confucius teachings which emphasized on humanity that focuses on benevolence, honesty, trustworthiness, and righteousness tremendously assisted nurses in advocating wellness by providing a more conducive environment for the betterment of the patients. Nurses should exude dedication which conveys Confucian teachings in her daily practice and certainly one can never go wrong. These equipped nurses will learn how to cope and interact with the diversity of their clients regardless of their diseases, status, creed, nationality, color, and race.
As the two famous Confucian sayings best expressed the idea: “Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. ” Or “Do unto others what you wish to do unto yourself. ” No patient will likely be unsatisfied, unhappy and discontented if this is done. Even nurses would be convinced that she had exhausted all her efforts to make the patient’s life as comfortable as possible. With the complexity of our world and the current technological advancement this should not led to the dehumanization of nurses.
They should however be able to recognize the significance of having a productive interpersonal relationship with patients so as to promote health. Conclusion One should embrace a virtuous life, especially if his or his focuses on extending breath and saving life. We have to thank Confucius for his teachings, teachings which never go out of styles, outdated nor out of fashion. Confucian values will always be the nurses’ pillars of their nursing values. These are what the past growing technology cannot accomplish to realize among students, among professionals and even among people from all walks of life, to make them all virtuous. If they are, then, the God – given mission is well accomplished.
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