Nurses are the caregivers in hospitals that tend to stand out in comparison with other healthcare professionals. They are constantly on the front lines of the battle to maintain an optimal environment for the wellbeing of their patients. For instance, more than a year ago, I was visiting a friend and her young daughter, who had a heart transplant before the age of two, at the Stollery Children’s hospital. I clearly saw how a nurse and her nurturing characteristics, she had shown with her young patient, distinguished her from the other health care professionals. The nurse’s exemplifying and loving interactions with her client show clear links between emotional intelligent, the child’s environment and personal knowing, one of Carper’s four patterns of knowing in nursing.
During a patient’s stay in the hospital the way they interact with their environment is an important factor in their health. Burger and Goddard (2009) acknowledged that a good environment for patients meets their physical needs, and keeps them emotionally comfortable and safe (p.249). Furthermore factors such as noise, distractions and lack of privacy or space cause confusion, tension and discomfort (p.249). Although, identifying that health is influenced by environment strays away from the medical model of health which conceptualized “the body… being disconnected from the mind, soul, and social and environmental contexts or settings” (Young, & Wharf-Higgins, 2009, p. 51). Health involves more than just the body, but also the mind. It has been proven there is “a relationship between the experience of chronic stress and increased susceptibility to the common cold (Williams, & Iruita, 2004, p.807). These finding strengthen the fact that the mind and body are connected. Generally speaking, it is significant for healthcare professional, especially nurses to monitor the environment and be aware of issues that many affect the patient physically, emotionally and mentally.
In particularly with my friend’s child who had the heart transplant providing the most favorable environment is important because along with the heart transplant the child is now immune depressant. Regardless of the child being immune depressant the link between her body and her mind is noteworthy. Williams, and Iruita (2005) noted the body is influenced by psychosocial influences and that the body can produce certain type of hormone that is cause elicited by emotional status (p. 807). Moreover they wrote that stress has been related to some autoimmune disorders, and positive emotions have been discovered to boost average immunoglobulin levels (p. 807). Hence, these discoveries support there is a connection between the mind and body exists but more importantly the interpersonal interactions experienced, may actually have an effect on the physical function of the body (p.807). As a result with this child and other patients, all interactions should be taken in account by healthcare professionals on how they will affect the client….