Theory Practice Gap - Essay Example

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Theory Practice Gap March 9th 2013 Nursing refers to the use of clinical judgment in relation to the provision of care with an aim of restoring or maintaining heath to a patient. This is facilitated by understanding the concept of nursing, which is guided by purpose, intervention and commitment to the course…
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Theory Practice Gap March 9th Nursing refers to the use of clinical judgment in relation to the provision of care with an aim of restoring or maintaining heath to a patient. This is facilitated by understanding the concept of nursing, which is guided by purpose, intervention and commitment to the course. Although nursing is regarded as a vocation calling, the findings have served to quell the critics and encourage professionalism in nursing in a rapidly evolving healthcare environment. However, there is still need to provide more information to the nursing community in order to facilitate a smooth dispensation of services. This paper seeks to highlight the theory practice theory while illustrating proposed strategies to bridge the existing gap between nursing and practice theories. The nursing theory illustrates a systematic articulation of the knowledge used to support the nursing practice including the duties and responsibilities. Duty of care describes duties and responsibilities that one bears to ensure their own safety and that of their colleagues at the workplace as well as those who might be injured by the work. The general duty of care ensures patients receive safe and competent care, since it is based on contractual and institutional duties, which to be met have to involve a well geared mechanism of theory and practice. It is for these reasons that nurses value quality nursing care for all, and do not accept unethical behaviour or treatment as their action could result in a patient’s death. Duty of care seeks to stress the need for selflessness among healthcare personnel, especially those involved in providing direct basic care to patients. Consequently, nurses are placed at a patient’s personal service through expression of kindness, moral worth and dignity of the self and others. This is irrespective of one’s cultural similarities and differences, thus placing more value on accessibility of health care services to all. In addition, duty of care adds value towards an informed decision making, which examines the meaning and implication of information provided to them. The above illustrates the importance of an efficient healthcare system based on a bridged gap between nursing theory and practice. The theory-practice gap is believed to have been created by individuals with the ability to influence policies, but fail to do so due to misplaced perspective of key aspects of nursing. As such, a conflict emerges when distinctions are wedged between theory and practice, preys on the efficiency of profession. Plainly, this gap demonstrates how theory should reside in classrooms while practice in clinical settings (Sellman, 2010). It is for this reasons that strategies are required to resolve the existing conflicts and bridge the gap between theory and practice in nursing. A key strategy that would prove in valuable in closing the theory-practice gap is learning. Re-education on various misguided concepts and aspects of nursing is necessary in order to give clear clarifications on the roles of each in this profession. This can be attained through teaching approaches that are up-to-date and techniques that highlight the importance of all aspects of nursing. It has been established that the learning process is best enhanced through practice. The constructivism approach facilitates transformative learning, which encourages active participation by each learner. This has been a key proposal, in which an informal theory is brought forth from practical situations by reflecting on actual clinical situations, and practice is modified by the reflexive application of that theory. In this regard, practical learning techniques should be complemented by the freedom to decision-making by learners. This way, learners can experience the application of the taught theory, which would assist them in appreciating both aspects of nursing. In addition, this would enhance their decision-making process with regard to duty of care where diagnosis would be based clinical presentation as described in theory (Levin, 2010). In essence, learners gain first-hand experiences, allowing them make sense of the actual clinical situations. In this case, if the theory-practice gap is to be closed, then theory must relinquish its hierarchical position and develop from practice, sensitive to the needs of individual practitioners in unique situations (Rolfe, 1993). Similarly, in order to close the gap between theory and practice in nursing, it is critical to establish harmony among the aspects involved. Harmonisation in nursing can be achieved through policies that strive to establish cohesion in the profession by promoting equality. The incorporation of teaching strategies that bear practical approaches should be affirmed through policies to encourage implementation. Theoretical frameworks should be integrated with the application in clinical settings for the benefit of learners as well as patients served. References Rolfe, G. (1993). Closing the Theory-practice Gap: A Model of Nursing Praxis. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 2, 173-177. Sellman, D. (2010). Mind the Gap: Philosophy, Theory, and Practice. Nursing Philosophy, 11, 85-87. Levin, R. (2010). Integrating evidence-based practice with educational theory in clinical practice for nurse practitioners: bridging the theory practice gap. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 24(4), 213-216. Read More
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