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Formal essay Essay

The therapeutic relationship is an important component of nursing. Nurses use their own awareness of self as a valuable tool to build rapport with patients and develop the therapeutic relationship. This essay will demonstrate the importance of self awareness by discussing how it can be developed, the advantages of self awareness, and the consequences of not practising self awareness in nursing contexts.

There are a number of ways that a nurse can develop self awareness. Smith and Jones (2012) suggested that self awareness can be developed by … Johns and Harrison (2009) agreed, but also suggested that … would be useful. However, there was some disagreement with these findings. A research study conducted by Marks and Spencer (2010) found that …

Although some of these authors disagreed on the methods of developing self awareness, what they did agree on was the advantages for patients if nurses are self aware.

When nurses are self aware, benefits for the patient include … The benefit to communication was stated emphatically by Lewis and Carroll (2008) who found that … Similarly, other authors have noted that … (Brown, & Green, 2009; Butcher, & Baker, 2011). There are also benefits for the nurse who is self
aware. For example, … Similarly, healthcare organisations can benefit when their staff are more self aware because …

The benefits of self awareness have been clearly demonstrated, but consideration must also be given to what might happen to a therapeutic relationship if nurses are not self aware.

If a nurse is not self aware, the ramifications for the therapeutic relationship can be severe. Smith and Jones (2012) reported on an instance where a lack of self awareness on the part of a nurse resulted in … They suggested that greater self awareness on the part of the nurse would have … Other possible results of a lack of self awareness on the part of a nurse include … (Brown, & Green, 2009).

It is therefore clear that poor self awareness on the part of a nurse can severely influence the development of a therapeutic relationship which can adversely affect the outcomes for the patient.

In conclusion, this essay has demonstrated the importance of nurses having good self awareness if they are to develop effective therapeutic relationships with their patients. The main methods for developing self awareness were reviewed, including … When nurses have developed good self awareness, there are benefits for patients, nurses and health organisations, including … However, if nurses do not have good self awareness, possible adverse influences on the therapeutic relationship and on patient outcomes can include … Thus, it is undeniable that self awareness is a significant skill that nurses need to acquire.

Reflection (200 words)
There has been an enormous change in my perception of the role and function of nurses since I started university. I initially regarded registered nurses as mainly providers of medication who comfort patients in pain. Moreover, I always thought that patients would be cordial to nurses.

The idea that nurses could face violent patients was totally new to me. However, I now comprehend that nurses need to employ effective communication strategies to coordinate the care of patients and also deal with the possible threat of aggressive patients. As a result of this learning, I have realised that I do not know how to deal with aggressive patients, so I will attend a workshop to start developing skills in this area. I was always under the impression that nurses went into hospital wards and directly commenced treatment. On the contrary, from readings that I have done, I understand that it is important to obtain patient permission before commencing treatment.

Some patients make decisions about treatments themselves, while others might consult with family members. This could be for cultural reasons, but I have realised that I lack knowledge about other cultures. Therefore, I will try to learn more about the different cultures of the people with whom I work and study.

Andre, K., & Heartfield, M. (2011). Nursing and Midwifery Portfolios: Evidence of Continuing Competence. Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier.
Bulman, C., & Schutz, S. (2013). Reflective Practice in Nursing. Chichester, UK: WileyBlackwell. Dempsey, J., & Wilson, V. (2009). Thoughtful Practice: Self-awareness and reflection. In J. Dempsey, J. French, S. Hillege, & V. Wilson (Eds.) Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery. Broadway, NSW: Wolters Kluwer.

Johns, C. (2009). Becoming a Reflective Practitioner. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Timmins, F. (2008). Making Sense of Portfolios: A Guide for Nursing Students,Nursing Students. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.

Usher, K., & Holmes, C. (2010). Reflective practice: what, why and how. In J. Daly, S. Speedy, & D. Jackson (Eds.) Contexts of Nursing. Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier

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