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The Philosophical and Conceptual Basis of Nursing and the Nurse’s Role in Aotearoa – New Zealand Today


The combination of philosophy and nursing is like trying to create a very big tapestry from an inexhaustible source of threads. Incorporating the philosophical facts into the fabric of nursing can be very complex to understand; knowledge in the form of Objective evidence is generated from studies of important sciences in this field like epidemiology, biology, and social; sciences. These sources give facts concerning a rational strategy and foundation for undertaking certain

The Philosophical and Conceptual Basis of Nursing

interventions intended for prevention of disease, injuries, disability or event dearth from such activities. These also reflect the community and social norms. Conceptual issues as also critical at this point and they include definition of health, diseases, and casual factors. There are knowledge concerns, logic expression, and scientific discovery that include epistemological worry like lack of thorough proof and the nature of the causal deductions. Ethical concerns are also critical under this subject not only in Aotearoa, New Zealand but also worldwide. How these will address medical interventions and how they reveal the beneficence and how they tackle issues of environmental a social justice is very important. Of major consideration is also the degree to which personal autonomy is restrained when medical interventions are executed.

Philosophical and Conceptual Basis

A quantitative research using a non-experimental investigation approach is very important in carrying out such studies because they allow numerical descriptions of the aspects of the incorporated care projects to be gains for the reason of finding out the nurse’s role. Last year the integrated care project formed the unit of integration during the research and several members (80 people) were used as a sample population. Collection forth information from the participants was by use of telephone and a structured questionnaire created by the investigator (Dyson 1997).

The statistics are very critical fro New Zealand; the analyses of post positivism were the main subject of research. The outcomes indicated that nurses’ practices was primarily focused on individuals – centered population- focused practice implying that there was need to for a strategy or structure to be developed to help nurses in transitioning their roles to include more activities in the society and system levels. It’s been perceived that nurses in New Zealand will remain restricted in terms of their capacity to attain health benefits. Primary healthcare intervention model was created. Advocacy was recommended for accepting the model by financier of healthcare, professionals, professional nursing bodies, nurses, the people, and the society and educational is institutions (Dyson 1997).

Conceptual basis on the other hand addresses issues like causative agents, prevention and so on. The whole world is experiencing advancements in terms of technology; for these reasons,

The Philosophical and Conceptual Basis of Nursing

the medical field, for the nurses has greatly evolved with time, there’s also need to address the uncertainty that looms in the industry and the connection between theory and evidence influence on the discovery process, and may also affirm a set of directing theories of discovery. They may also proclaim a set of ethical principles that are appropriate when putting into practice the preventive intervention in certain cases (Dyson 1997). Concepts of medication and nurse’ role and philosophy have to be intertwined regardless of where the inquiries begin. It’s really an issue of concern as pertaining how a cause is defined and the way we judge it to be in existence when a decision to apply intervention to prevent disease is made. Its really ands issue of alarm as well that an intervention intended to manage a disease condition or premature deaths may end up in damage to some people with exposure to it; this is a serious concern with ethics of nursing practice particularly the screening problem. It’s an important concern that the general public depends on the social fabric of the society and this includes powerful political, legal, and medical influences to do a lot of the work (Scharff 1998).

The practice of nursing especially when it comes to the public health services is important that the ethical aspects be taken seriously. The core concept like disease prevention, disease diagnosis, community and methodology and general health have very strong connections to humanity. By use of the philosophy basis and the conceptualization understanding bring about long-lasting human logical concerns that associate objectives and activities of communities, that, and most significantly, impinge on the wellbeing of the human beings (Dyson 1997).

Ethical caring is being promoted in New Zealand and a major concept of nursing. Basically the power of the nurses is not affected by such concepts in terms of ethical decision making in the medical area. Issues that need immediate response include the inappropriate expression of the notion to inform and direct health practice and to tenderly laden language used by some scholars. It’s been agreed upon that ethics of care indicate guarantee to progress nursing knowledge and profession and necessitates augmented research and channel of communication to illuminate the concepts (Scharff 1998).

Professional Issues Governing Nursing Practice

Professionalism, legal and ethical issues are very significant in the delivery of care and are

The Philosophical and Conceptual Basis of Nursing

mostly intertwined in every aspect of it (Scharff 1998). The value of healthcare professionals especially the nursing profession is very important in the New Zealand population. This is because these professionals can suggest a variety of strategies that can be used to improve care delivery. The advantageous approaches included have respect for personality and even the different religious beliefs that people hold, creating awareness of the patient’s preconceptions, recognizing family and medical history. In most cases, the professionals do not advocate for their clients but with effective systems targeting the patients and not just the system, the restructured approach empowers the patients ensuring their cultural safety as its sensitive, safer decolonized (Scharff 1998). The New Zealand government has devised the idea to offer a way for the minority groups and Maori to control nurse’s practice, it’s been used basically in the care of the latter and more research has been proposed on its applicability to migrants’ cultural safety as well (Hiroux 2000).

The nursing profession is very hard to work under ands requires very dedicated people. To offer professionalism, the nurses work under plethora of ethical and professional responsibilities which are very numerous in numbers (Scharff 1998). Legally, professionally and ethically, there are three basic responsibilities that must be take into account; they are patients confidentiality, respect for autonomy and realize the responsibility owed to the care of the patients. These responsibilities calls for legal reinforcement if they are breached (Weed 1999)


Patients have a right to have their personal information in the health facility to be handled with great confidentiality (secrecy). Without the assurance of high level of confidence and secrecy, most patients may withhold very important information from the medical practitioners. In common law, doctors and nurses are under restriction not to reveal their patients information voluntarily without the patient consenting to it, which the practitioner obtained in professional capacity. Only exceptions are when it’s needed for the interest and safety of the public. But this usually happens occasionally and very few cases have been recorded where the public interests were justified for obtaining the information for instance when failure to reveal that particular information, exposes the patients or other people to risk of serious injury of even death(Weed 1999).

The Philosophical and Conceptual Basis of Nursing

There was a certain case in New Zealand where an employee leaked information about doctors having AIDS yet still practiced medicine. The case was serious one until the names of the doctors were about to be published in the papers when the judge came out strongly declaring that such a case was very sensitive and that the breach of confidence was to cause anxiety to the patients as many of them would fear to come up to the doctors and explain their conditions causing their conditions to worsens (Weed 1999). By keeping the information secret however the risk of spreading the dieses would be alleviated (Michale & Tingle 2000).

There are many obstacles that come in the way of dealing with matters regarding the issues of confidentially especially when the heading ‘public interests’ springs up. Then law offers very little guidance and this has over the past affected performance of medical care in New Zealand. The ethical quandaries that come up are who should be protected by the nurse? The public interests or the patient’s confidentiality? Does the information in some cases override the patients’ right to confidentiality? (Michale & Tingle 2000)

More pressure usually builds against individual nurse in revealing the information since most of the laws are very strict with the private information of the patients. The Caldicott Guardian can be used by nurses to help protect the patient’s rights to privacy (Hiroux 2000).

Medical practitioners (doctors and nurse) owe high duty to their clients who are in this case the patients than to the public in general. By virtue of patient-nurse relationship, the practitioners owe their clients duty of care which include keeping their information private, attending them and offering the necessary and relevant type of service the patients wants. Breach of these could result is the crime of negligence which is law enforceable. The use of professional knowledge and skills in the medical profession is a test of whether there has been incidence of negligence or not. This is because the ordinary people cannot perform such responsibilities. If a nurse fails to prescribe properly or a doctor dos not measure up to the required standards, this calls for adjudge for negligence. The hospitals have well documented proper guidelines of practice and these are usually used as evidence against cases of negligence (Dimond 2005).

The Philosophical and Conceptual Basis of Nursing

Ethical concerns addressed autonomy as a very important issue in most of the liberal countries like New Zealand and other western nations. Every individual has a right to decide what happens to his/her body; everybody has a right to autonomy. Affirmation to the autonomous right is supreme in the medical field and imposing a certain medication or medical process can only find justification against the will of the patient when it’s intended to protect the public from harm (Dimond 2005).


It’s pertinent to note that the nursing profession is very vulnerable to risky situation both to the patient and the public. The contribution laws have limits and issues like confidentiality, consent, philosophy and conceptual bases require a full understanding of the medical profession responsibilities and the guiding regulations. Every patient will pose a different issue in legal, concept, ethical, and professional view.

The Philosophical and Conceptual Basis of Nursing

The Philosophical and Conceptual Basis of Nursing


Dimond B ,(2005). Legal Aspects of Nursing. 4th Ed. Longman Press

Dyson L. (1997). An Ethic of Caring – – Conceptual and Practical Issues. Nursing Inquiry. Vol 4 Issue 3 Pp 197 – 200

Hiroux J. (2000).Basic Principles- -Individual Freedom and Their Justification in Ethics– Theory & Practice.

Michale J. & Tingle. J. (2000). Law and Nursing 2nd Ed. Butterworth – Heinemann

Scharff J.E. (1998). The Distinctive Nature and Scope of Rural Nursing Practice – – Philosophical Bases. Lee H.J (Ed). Springer Publishers Co.

Weed D.L. (1999). Towards A Philosophy of Public Health. Journal of Epidemiology and

Community Health

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