Assignment: Holistic Philosophy

Assignment: Holistic Philosophy
Assignment: Holistic Philosophy
methods for relieving pain is key to improving
practice (Duignan & Dunn, 2008; Lui, So,
& Fong, 2008; Matthews & Malcolm, 2007;
Xue, Schulman-Green, Czaplinski, Harris,
& McCorkle, 2007).
Many strategies have been developed
to help bridge the gap between what nurses
know and what they actually do in practice
to help manage clients’ pain (Dihle,
Bjølseth, & Helseth, 2006). The problem
of under-treated pain persists and is likely
complicated by the lack of application of
theory to guide pain management practice.
When coupled with nurses’ uncertainty
about how to autonomously treat clients
in pain, pain relief outcomes are often
unsatisfactory. Theories, particularly
theories that have the potential to resonate
with clinicians and impact care of the whole
client, may be particularly powerful in
narrowing the theory-practice gap and
providing clues to more effective,
comprehensive pain management. The
application of a holistic philosophy of
care emphasizes the role of clinicians in
partnering with clients in the design and
implementation of mutually agreeable plans
for the relief of pain—plans that sufficiently
address the dimensions of the whole
person’s lived pain experience. Holistically,
the ultimate goals for the nurse are to better
understand the pain experience from the
client’s perspective, foster healing, and
deliver care that strives to provide the
greatest extent of pain relief possible.
Anchored in the Scope and Standards of
Holistic Nursing (2007), the five foundational
concepts of Dossey’s theory of integral
nursing articulate the qualities and way of
being that characterize the holistic, integral
nurse and prompt the nurse to attend to the
many dimensions of pain affecting the whole
client. In this way, the nurse invites the client
experiencing pain to participate in the
development of potentially transformative,
relationship-centered interactions and to
provide feedback on interventional success
or the need for further improvement.
The primary purpose of this paper is
to introduce the basic tenets of the theory
of integral nursing to aid clinicians in
designing caring interventions focused
on healing and grounded in the theory’s
holistic, relationship-centered approach.
Following the unfolding of the basic tenets
of this theory, examples of the application
of the theory to pain management are
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