Are you looking for the perfect gift for a nurse on your holiday list? Or, are you looking for a book that is entirely consistent with the vision of the NurseManifest values and ideals? Are you still struggling to clearly answer the nagging question: what is nursing? Or do you just need inspiration? Look no further this book is the perfect choice – How to Nurse: Relational Inquiry with Individuals and Families in Shifting Contexts. I reviewed this book for this blog back in January, but I continue to be inspired and encouraged by this book and decided that now is a perfect time to once again bring this book to the attention of NurseManifestors! Right at the outset, the authors Gwenneth Hartwick Doane and Colleen Varcoe explain what they mean by the term “relational,” and in so doing reveal the close connection with NurseManifest values:
When we use the word “relational” and speak of a relational inquiry approach to nursing practice, many people think we are merely emphasizing the touchy-feely, emotional side of nursing and particularly “nurse–patient” relationships. However, relational inquiry is far more encompassing than that. Although relationships between people are certainly part of relational inquiry, in this book, the term “relational” refers to the complex interplay of human life, the world, and nursing practice. Specifically, relational inquiry involves highly reasoned, skilled action. Relational inquiry requires (a) a thorough and sound knowledge base; (b) sophisticated inquiry and observational and analytical skills; (c) strong clinical skills including clinical judgment, decision-making skills, and clinical competencies; and knowledge and skills. Rather, a relational consciousness highlights the interplay of a number of factors affecting the point-of-care . . . . This heightened awareness enables more informed decisions and more effective action.
Overall, a relational consciousness
• Sensitizes us to the relational complexities that affect what happens at the point-of-care
• Directs attention toward the “relational transactions” that are occurring within and among people and contexts
• Enables us to be very intentional and consciously choose how to act in response to these complexities and transactions
Specifically, relational consciousness is the action of being mindfully
aware of the relational complexities that are at play in a situation and
intentionally and skillfully working in response to those relational complexities.
(Doane, Gweneth Hartrick; Varcoe, Colleen (2013-12-30). How to Nurse (Page 3-5). LWW. Kindle Edition.)
I cannot recommend this book highly enough! In addition to this kind of explanation of the principles on which nursing is based, the book is loaded with examples and real-life activities that emphasize what this means in very practical terms.
Let’s start a lively discussion here about the insights that this book offers, and add more insights related to the connections between the perspectives this book offers and our own NurseManifest vision!