Nursing Life in a Pandemic- Theory Perspective
By Ann Fronczek
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on society. King (1981) defines health "as dynamic life experiences of a human being, which implies continuous adjustment to stressors in the internal and external environment through optimum use of one's resources to achieve maximum daily living" (p.5). Think about this definition and what nurses in all sectors of care have faced in the past few months, particularly a lack of resources to support personal safety in providing care. Think about the nurse as a person and as health professional trying to balance both personal and professional life with those minimum resources. As nurses always do, we rise to the challenge and often put self before others.
I've been thinking about how King's Theory of Goal Attainment and its related concepts apply to nursing situations in the pandemic. Process of interactions with clients are anything but "normal" right now. Nurses are in full PPE gear, minimizing contact with clients, but trying to maintain connections and mutual presence at the same time. We are trying to least trying to create a perception of being with the client and connection to help our clients and their families achieve a state of health outcome and balance. Nurses have been surrogates or "step-ins" for family members trying to keep patient-family connections alive using innovative solutions, such as video conferencing at the bedside. The client is physically and socially isolated, with empathic nurses at the bedside. Goals are still being attained, but in radically different ways.
To the nurses reading this blog, please continue to use your leadership skills taught in school and life. Continue to use your nursing power, authority, status, and decision-making skills to effect positive change for clients and systems in the pandemic. Reach out to peers and family for love and support. We will grow as profession as we always do and will emerge as a force to be reckoned with both now and in the future. May the force be with us all.