In research from Thorne (2020), Barbara Carper defined personal knowing as a fundamental way of knowing in our nursing discipline. Through reflection, perceptions, and connecting with knowledge, the discovery of self-and-other is attained. Personal knowing sets the context for the nurse to become open to and engaged with processes of practice. Our text from Chinn and Kramer (2017, pp. 117-123) describes personal knowing as the base for expressing an authentic and genuine self. It requires the nurse to be in touch with who they are and understand that fact affects behaviors, attitudes, and values.
Personal knowing affects personal and professional development in every capacity, as personal knowing is Self. How a person reacts to and interprets situations, what a person sees as valuable, the conscious and unconscious perceptions of experiences; these all encompass Self and, therefore, personal knowing (Chinn & Kramer, 2017, p. 123).
Strengths and Weaknesses
As I try to discover my personal knowing, empathy and patience are strengths that I see in myself. I know that I am a compassionate person and feel empathetic towards the patients in my care. I have always been told patience is a virtue, and that sentiment is especially true in the nursing profession. When reflecting on weaknesses in my career, the very same strengths can be considered weaknesses. Too much empathy leads to emotional attachments, which can be devastating over time. Another weakness is not considering myself confident in my skills, which leads to self-doubting in high-pressure situations.
Application of Theory
To further develop my strengths in my current role as a nurse at a medical spa, the Comfort Theory comes into play. As clients come in for procedures and treatments, addressing their needs, designing interventions to address those needs, and assessing the interventions’ efficiency would fully display empathy and patience to have the clients feel understood (Kolcaba, 2019). Jean Watson’s Human Caring Science theory is beneficial for myself as well as patients in my practice. The theory encourages nurses to cultivate sensitivity to Self and others and to use problem-solving for decision-making. This attribute would allow my self-doubt to decrease as I recall my teachings and use them in a systematic approach. Creating healing environments at all levels, within Self included, is prominent teaching of the theory that would enable me to have empathy without attachment (Chinn & Kramer, 2017, p. 179).
Chinn, P., & Kramer, M. (2017). Knowledge Development in Nursing: Theory and Process (10th ed.). Mosby.
Kolcaba, K. (2019). Comfort Line | Comfort Targets and Interventions. Comfort Line. https://www.thecomfortline.com/comfort-targets-and-interventions
Thorne, S. (2020). Rethinking Carper’s personal knowing for 21st century nursing. Nursing Philosophy, 21(4), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1111/nup.12307