Professional Presence and Influence
March 1, 2015
Western Governors University
In our practice, professional presence is the foundation on which we establish what it means to be human and to care for our fellow man. To be a nurse and choose the many sacrifices it takes to spend one’s life caring for others requires knowledge of one’s own personal beliefs and values. Our own past experiences with life and how they have shaped us also influence how we relate and treat our patients. These things work together to create our mindful presence. Throughout our years of practice, our experience with patients, coworkers and physicians as well as a growing knowledge base help us develop a road map which we follow in our everyday
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In Era II, physicians realized that “ disease has a psychosomatic aspect – that emotions and feelings can influence the body’s functions. Psychological stress, for example, can contribute to high blood pressure, headaches, and ulcers” (Koerner, 2011). Countless studies on heart disease, cancers, stroke, etc. with the studies concluding that these stressors contribute dramatically to the health and healing of individuals were also conducted during this era. Many nursing theories arose defining health and healing models during these eras. Virginia Henderson formulated one of the most well-known. One of her fundamental beliefs was that the mind and body are inseparable. Throughout her nursing career, Ms. Henderson “advocated human and holistic care for patients, raised important issues in health care, authored one of the most accurate definitions of nursing, promoted nursing research as the basis for nursing knowledge, and above all, represented nursing with dignity, honor, and grace” (ANA 1996 Hall of Fame Inductees). Who you are as an individual, and how you were raised influences your definition of what it means to be human. Whether your beliefs are guided by Era one and you focus more on the physical or like Ms. Henderson you believe the mind and body are inseparable and you practice healing your patient with that aspect in mind, your ability to promote healing is influenced by your own beliefs as well as the environment in which you practice.