Sample Critical Thinking Paper on Caring For Patients as People


The healthcare sector has undergone tremendous improvements in their services delivery. Healthcare centers are still faced with the challenge of ensuring that patients are placed in environments that promote their faster recovery. However, the health system has some traits that should given priority and one of them is how to treat patients. Nurses should ensure that the make the environment around their patients more suitable for their recovery. The purpose of writing this paper is to give my self-reflection after listening to a story of care told by Jim (Alligood, 2013).It would look into my previous experiences and how the story has challenged my own views on how to treat patients.


In her work, Florence Nightingale states that the environment, the nurse and the client are in balance (Selanders, 2010). Nurses are supposed to manipulate the surroundings of the patients to encourage positive response from the clients. As a nurse, my previous experience and belief is in line with Nightingale’s theory. Nurses should help clients to remain in balance even when the disease seems to take toll on them. Nurse should use appropriate intervention to ensure that anything that might make patients to respond negatively in their new environment is removed. This nursing foundation supports the purpose of this paper which is to challenge nurses to treat patients as humans and not as the disease they suffer from.

Jim talks about the drastic changes in his life after he was diagnosed with blood cancer. He stopped being a teacher and decided to be a full-time father at home. Listening to this story, Jim talks about how the healthcare staff handled him like a specimen, discussing his medical condition and totally ignoring him. He talks of a single nurse who handled him more as person and not as an object.

Nurses should realize that having compassion towards patients is important. When a nurse shows that they understand the pain that a patient is going through, it makes the pain more bearable (Maben, Cornwell, & Sweeney, 2010). A nurse should be a professional who does not only see her patients as pathology but as an individual with children and a wife who are concerned and worried about him (Alligood, 2013). The nurse could hold a patient’s arm and even find time to talk to them about his family. This is compassion and it made him feel good for being treated in such a way

The spirituality of patients is very important. Irrespective of the place and time, spiritual needs of individuals would always be there. When a nurse listens to why a patient is worried and depressed, it provides a way of knowing (Zander, 2007). They learn on the best ways to address the needs of their patients. It is   believed that when a patient’s spiritual needs are taken care of by a nurse, it accelerates their treatment. When patients are admitted into any healthcare facility, they enter into an unfamiliar environment. These patients are involved in therapeutic activities which makes them think about the purpose of life and the experience of being sick.

The patients go through spiritual changes and it would be my role as a nurse to ensure that they are guided accordingly and afforded the necessary support they may need (Barnum, 2006). Every individual wants to find meaning of life even when they are in their worst moments. When they are worried about their families, a nurse should remind them that their families are alright and are praying for him. The patient could need a person to give them courage and to give them a reason to want to remain alive but are afraid to approach the stone-faced nurses who are there to attend to them and not to care for them.

While listening to Jim’s story, a discovery moment happened when Jim admits that having a nurse who cares about him as a person makes him feel relaxed. If requested to take care of Jim, my aim would be to ensure that his environment is favorable and promotes his recovery. Finding time to talk to him and find out how he feels about his surrounding and asking him what changes he could wish to be made.


It is the responsibility of a nurse to ensure that a patient remains in a balanced state with everything that is important for their recovery. Being a patient does not stop an individual from being a father, mother or a child. They still have things to worry about, needs to be taken care of and they need company just like all other human beings. A nurse should view patients as whole human beings that are connected to other things that influence their being. Nursing has well established theories taught during training and are supposed to guide them in practice. This research calls upon all stakeholders to ensure that all nursing philosophies are put in action at times.


Alligood, M. R. (2013). Nursing theory: Utilization & application. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Barnum, B. S. (2006). Spirituality in nursing: From traditional to new age. Springer Publishing Company.

Maben, J., Cornwell, J., & Sweeney, K. (2010). In praise of compassion. Journal of Research in Nursing, 37(1), 9.

Selanders, L. C. (2010). The Power of Environmental Adaptation Florence Nightingale’s Original Theory for Nursing Practice. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 28(1), 81-88.

Zander, P. E. (2007). Ways of knowing in nursing: The historical evolution of a concept. Journal of theory construction & testing, 11(1), 7.