The caring component of nursing encompasses much more than a combination of scientific and the technical. It encompasses the mandates a balance of “the head, the heart, and the hands” or “the science, the skill, and the spirit.”
Nursing has its roots in the humanities, which address the wholeness of the persons for whom we care. Nursing has been sanctioned by society; nursing care satisfies a real human need. Nursing mandates the interaction with people at the most intimate level during the most crucial and critical times in their lives. And yet, the liberal arts in our educational programs continue to diminish to accommodate the scientific knowledge necessary to practice nursing.
Nurse midwives provide comprehensive prenatal care including delivery for patients who are at low risk for complications. For the most part, they manage normal prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care. Provided that there are no complications, normal newborns are also cared for by a nurse midwife. Nurse midwives often provide primary care for women’s issues from puberty post menopause.
As a profession that seemingly demonstrates many of the same behaviors as obstetrics and gynecologist, we need to not only demonstrate but also document how midwifery differs from obstetrics and gynecology. Although the behaviors that a midwife, a physician a nurse- practitioner, or a physician’s assistant demonstrate when providing women’s health care may be similar, the origin, attitudes, and perception of the care may be radically different. If midwives truly provide women- oriented care with a focus on excellence in the process of providing care and attentiveness to outcomes, this should clearly be reflected in each client’s medical record.
Nurses long have been concerned with the psycho-social responses of clients to health and health alterations. The interrelationship of physiological and psychological heath requires careful attention to both dimensions within the client’s family, cultural, and environmental context, and with consideration of the client’s developmental level. (Tharpe, 2006, p, 1)
Psycho-social functioning has two components: intrapersonal and interpersonal. Intrapersonal functioning refers to that which goes on within the individual, whereas interpersonal functioning involves a person’s interactions or relationships with others.
During the intrapersonal and interpersonal assessment the nurse’s attention should focus on the client’s current psychosocial status, with enough history to yield an appreciation of the individual’s present “self.” For a comprehensive approach, the intrapersonal and interpersonal components of the nursing assessment should not be isolated from other parts of the assessment. For example, while assessing a client’s physiological status, the client’s interaction with and responses to the nurse provide information about cognitive style, affect, and language. (Styles, Patricia 1996, 7)
The current motto of the American College of Nurse-Midwives- “With women, for lifetime”- summarizes concisely the vast area of midwifery health care. While the name “midwife” conjures images of pregnancy care and attendance at birth, the fact is that for century’s midwives have been called upon to assist women in health care matters that have extended beyond childbearing. Historically, midwives have helped women with issues regarding menarche, menstruation, and menopause. And this historical role has not only extended throughout the twentieth century but has expanded further. (Vaeney, 2004, p, 380)
Bellack, P, Janis. Barbara, J, Edlund. (1992). Nursing Assessment and Diagnosis, London: Jones & Barlett Publishers, 337
Cody, K, Willam. Kenny W, Janet. (2006). Philosophical and Theoretical Perspectives for Advanced Nursing Practice, London: Jones & Barlett Publishers
Styles, Madden, Margretta. Patricia, Moccia. (1996) On Nursing: A Literary Celebration: an Anthology, London: Jones & Barlett Publishers, 7
Tharpe, L, Nell. (2006) Clinical Practice Guidelines for Midwifery & Women’s Health, London: Jones & Barlett Publishers, 1
Vaeney, Helen. Kriebs, M, Jan. Margretta, L, Carolyn. (2004). Verney’s Midwifery: fourth edition, London: Jones & Barlett Publishers, 380