Table of Contents
- Aesthetics, Art, and Aesthetic Validity Concepts
- Conceptual Dimensions of “the Art of Nursing” in Relation to Various Definitions and Perspectives
- The Processes of Envisioning and Rehearsing Using Narrative
- The Processes of Envisioning and Rehearsing Using Movement
- Narrative and Story for Artistic Quality
- Role of Connoisseur-Critic in Developing Aesthetic Knowledge
- Essential Elements of Aesthetic Criticism
- Related Free Nursing Essays
Aesthetics, Art, and Aesthetic Validity Concepts
Aesthetics is an art of nursing that is based on experience and feelings (Mantzorou & Mastrogiannis, 2011). Aesthetic knowledge refers to the nurses’ perception of the patient and his or her needs. Therefore, nurses emphasize the uniqueness of each relationship and interaction with a patient. Nursing experience may be subjective only to some extent, as it can be explained in language and practices. Nurses should know their patients in a unique way. Therefore, they value their patients’ human presence and respect their patients’ different opinions. Nurses also try to connect with patients. Aesthetics can be expressed, though it is not easy to share it.
A nurse should be fully engaged in the moment of the care experience. He or she should also manage to interpret the situation of the patient at once. Nurses are required to look beyond the situation and envision so that they can act according to what they have envisioned. Nurses are required to take care of their clients (Callara, 2008). Caring requires a nurse to nurture people’s lives as they ought to demonstrate their humanness. Therefore, nursing is caring, and caring is a human experience that obliges a nurse to have aesthetic qualities (Mantzorou & Mastrogiannis, 2011).
Aesthetics in nursing helps nurses develop a deeper understanding of the human condition of patients for whom they care. It also enhances knowledge in the meaning of life in health and illness circumstances. Aesthetics is a method of assessment and intervention that allows nurses and patients to discover their personal perceptions and self-awareness. It should be noted that the educative process initiates the use of aesthetics in nursing practice. It cultivates concern, empathy, and practice flexibility. Aesthetics helps nurses use their subconscious. It also facilitates the expression of an individual’s feelings. It is imperative to note that patients are real people. Therefore, they have fears, needs, and concerns, just like any other human beings. Nurses should connect with their patients through caring and genuine interactions (Siena Heights University, 2016).
Art in nursing refers to the act that the nurse and the patient experience. It involves the direct comprehension of a situation. It is the knowing that arises from engagement in the practice of nursing. The concept of art in nursing has been explicated since the time of Florence Nightingale (Finfgeld-Connett, 2008). Art in nursing emanates from the immediate grasp of a situation and the execution of the right action using the correct apparatus. Nursing is an art. Therefore, the concept of art in nursing is justified because nurses are required to devote themselves exclusively. Nursing deals with the mastery found in the experience of nursing actions (Basford & Slevin, 2003).
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The main difference between nursing and other arts is that nursing deals with the living body, while other arts deal with non-living objects. Nursing involves the professional use of empirical and metaphysical knowledge and values (Finfgeld-Connett, 2008). Nurses offer sensitive care to meet individual needs of patients. At the same time, nurses use their creativity during periods of uncertainty. Nurses have a sixth sense called intuition that enables them to incorporate an awareness of things that are not always clearly seen, felt or heard (Danford, 2015). Nurturing and compassion form the basis of nursing as art.
Aesthetic Validity in nursing involves descriptive nursing concepts and activities in the context of applicable reality (Carper, 2016). Through the philosophy of aesthetics, nurses engage in various actions that are meant to demonstrate and enhance their understanding of the patients’ situation. Aesthetic Validity is a measure of how applicable nursing practices are in solving real problems in the clinical problems (Mannix, Wilkes, & Daly, 2015). In nursing, a nurse should be able to depict what the patient has expressed. For instance, if a patient expresses genuine shame or grief and nurses manage to depict this expression, then the aesthetics criteria that the nurse uses is aesthetically valid.
A nurse should be able to place various elements into pattern to form a situation that symbolizes meaning, which exceeds the elements themselves. Aesthetic Validity evokes a response, feeling, insight or sense of connection with the experience that has been portrayed in the art, capable of leaving an unforgettable impression (Chinn & Kramer, 2015). Therefore, Aesthetic Validity is closely related to aspects of truth. It provides a possibility for discerning the truth to establish whether something is what it is claimed to be. In the context of nursing, Aesthetic Validity enables a person to discern whether what a nurse has clearly seen, felt or heard about the patient’s condition is real.
Conceptual Dimensions of “the Art of Nursing” in Relation to Various Definitions and Perspectives
There are various conceptual dimensions of the art of nursing. According to Henderson, nursing is an art that involves empathetic understanding (Masters, 2016). Therefore, a nurse should place him or herself in the condition of each patient to know what they need. The importance of nursing emanates from the nurses’ engagement in combining their thoughts, feelings, and skills to take care of their patients. Nursing is an art that involves the care of patients to ensure that they breathe normally, eliminate body wastes, eat and drink satisfactorily, and maintain their body temperatures within the normal range (Masters, 2016). Therefore, such dimension of the art of nursing hypothesizes that the nurses are obliged to apply their empathy, feelings, and skills to care for patients. This dimension explains nursing as a fine art because it entails the capacity of a human being to receive another person’s expression of feelings, and to experience such feelings for self (Blondeau, 2002). The art of nursing is self-centered and self-regarding. The reason for this claim is that nursing is never performed by people, but its results depend on the effect of the interactions between people.
Some nursing scholars regard nursing as a practical art because it involves nursing art and nursing ethics. Therefore, it is a practical art as it demands a unique kind of knowledge. In addition, there is a relationship between ethical and artistic knowledge (Blondeau, 2002). It is the knowledge possessed by nurses that direct their human activities. It should be noted that practical knowledge is based on action. It seeks to establish how things can be done and how correct the relationship between means and outcomes can be done. Nurses seek to do something that will make a difference in the patient’s condition (Blondeau, 2002). Therefore, the “doing” that nurses are involved in is the practical knowledge that is manifested in action. Nurses engage in practical reasoning to take action that will change the patient’s condition. As a practical art, nursing is action-oriented, and is concerned with the good outcome for every individual. Therefore, nursing is a practical art because nurses apply their knowledge to make a patient’s condition better. Nurses always try to induce a positive change in the patient’s health through their collaboration with the patient and through consideration of her or his concern regarding health and individuality (Blondeau, 2002).
The Processes of Envisioning and Rehearsing Using Narrative
Nursing entails aesthetic knowing. It is required from nurses to know what aesthetic knowing is, as well as its significance. Therefore, as nurses seek to answer these critical questions, they engage in the creative processes of envisioning and rehearsing. Aesthetic knowledge is a form of knowledge and artistry of nursing that nurses can share with others (Chinn & Kramer, 2015). Given that nursing is an art, it represents what is already known and can be availed to other people, even those outside the discipline of nursing. Through aesthetic knowledge, formal expressions of such knowing can be used to cultivate more knowledge in nursing.
Initially, the process of envisioning and rehearsing using narrative was practiced by nurses unintentionally. It has never been taught deliberately. Nurses could engage in envisioning and rehearsing with the help of narrative when they were away from work. They did it in order to hide such activities. They regarded the process as insignificant and often used it as a form of coping with difficult nursing situations (Chinn & Kramer, 2015). Therefore, nurses could describe situations that required their art and shared such situational stories with their fellow nurses during phone conversations after work or during breaks. The listener was required to respond and explain how she or he would perceive and respond to a similar situation.
Envisioning is the imagination of a typical end point scenario or response that one hopes to elicit by the performance or display in the art form. Envisioned end points of a nurse involve health and well-being, comfort, and the ability to navigate a certain health-related situation. Envisioning and rehearsing using narrative method involves explanation of an account, as if it actually occurred. It does not involve accounting for what has occurred. The narrative teller forms meanings and significance for the story to provide possible responses that will enable nurses to unravel the meaning and significance. The narrative is supposed to be approached from the aesthetics rather than the empirics’ point of view (Chinn & Kramer, 2015). The story will be of great value in creating visions and possibilities for the future nursing encounters. It is recommended that the story should be told by a person who receives nursing care because it can inspire empathy and a deeper understanding of the experience in the story. If a nurse tells the story, it can reflect her personal meaning.
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The Processes of Envisioning and Rehearsing Using Movement
Envisioning involves the imagination of forms, actions, ways and outcomes in regard to a possible future situation. In case of nursing, it involves interactions with rehearsals to create aesthetic knowledge. In rehearsing, narrative body movements are created and recreated, using gestures and actions regarding an anticipated situation. It interacts with envisioning, leading to the creation of aesthetic knowledge (Basavanthappa, 2007). Therefore, envisioning and rehearsing using movement involves the creation of conversational or written storyline, which moves a situation towards a desired future. It provides a vision of what might occur in the future, in case the anticipated situation takes place. Nurses can rehearse the ways in which nursing care can be executed to guide movement in a new direction. Therefore, as the experience shows, the daily experiences shape what the person and his or her family envision. The movement has a different level of significance, as far as the art of nursing is concerned. Movement acts as a medium for the expression of meaning. Therefore, rehearsing and envisioning using movement involves the use of body language to convey messages and meanings.
Posturing and movement are important for synchrony in artful nursing. The way a nurse moves when addressing a nursing situation sets a rhythm, pace or style, and attitude that invites engagement from other nurses and patients (Chinn & Kramer, 2015). For instance, a nurse may move hurriedly in a room when addressing a nursing situation. Patients and other nurses may interpret the movement to mean impatience. Consequently, patients may feel sorry because they have bothered the nurse or feel anger towards the nurse for becoming inconvenienced. Consequently, it is important to address that situation without the attachment of personal feelings. Therefore, envisioning and rehearsing using movement requires a nurse to acquire ways of moving into a situation that does not convey a negative message to others. Alternatively, the movement of a nurse during a situation can be performed in a way that does not portray negative messages.
Narrative and Story for Artistic Quality
Narrative and story can be used for rehearsing and envisioning in nursing. Development of a narrative requires an individual to have skills, which will lead to the creation of a narrative that constitutes artistic validity. A narrative that has all artistic qualities should be valid in general. Therefore, the narrative should be ideal in terms of narrative perspective, voice tone, expression and its substance (Andrist, 2006). The intention of the narrative and story should be consistent with caring and healing. Narrative and story that have artistic qualities should entail the right relationship. It should also be reflected in synchrony.
The use of narrative and story in artistic nursing involves telling stories based on nurses’ experiences. The nurses also reflect their experiences to deepen their understanding of life to facilitate their learning and growth at the current moment. In addition, the reflection enhances expansion for future ways of encountering the nursing world (Schwind, Santa-Mina, Metersky, & Patterson, 2015). Therefore, narrative and story involve the collection of stories, which are deconstructed, reflected upon with identified narrative patterns and then reconstructed with a finely tuned judgment of the nursing phenomenon under study (Schwind, Santa-Mina, Metersky, & Patterson, 2015).
It is not only the nurses’ narratives and stories that are used for artistic quality in nursing. Sometimes, the patient’s narrative may be used, as well. In such cases, a visor that allows viewers to interact with the narrative in a hole-like space is used. Consequently, the process of participation in artwork creates an empathetic encounter with the self and triggers dialogue between the nurse and the ill person (Baldacchino, 2015). Narrative and story enhance artistic quality because nurses use narratives to process their experience. It enables them to explore their understanding of what they are doing and why they are doing it. Moreover, they also study the impact that their actions have on them and others through narrative and story. Nurses make various observations during their encounters with patients and communicate them through narrative. It should be noted that observations create a possibility for telling facts, while reflection enables people to find out the meaning of the facts (Columbia University: School of Nursing, 2015).
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A narrative or story that enhances artistic quality should lead to the creation of a balance between the intrusive world of healthcare and the caring practices of nurses (American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses, 2016). Narrative and story that enhance artistic quality should express, describe or explain the work of nurses effectively. Consequently, the society should be able to obtain a deepened understanding of the scope of practice so that the commitment to safe and ethical practices of nurses is identified (American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses, 2016). The teller of a narrative should also learn from the story told. Narrative telling is an opportunity to find out more about the patients so that nurses can offer them holistic care. An appropriate narrative or story should provide answers to questions of feeling and meaning (Hall & Powell, 2011). Nurses cannot deeply know their patients without knowing their particular stories. Through narratives, patients tell their past experiences.
Role of Connoisseur-Critic in Developing Aesthetic Knowledge
The connoisseur-critic led to the exploration of aesthetic judgment and critique significance. It should be noted that the critic is parallel to aesthetic theory. The connoisseur-critic has played various roles in creating aesthetic knowledge. For instance, it has led to the departure of aesthetics from a body of knowledge to a form of judgment. The connoisseur-critic has also enhanced awareness of what aesthetic knowledge expresses and how well it conveys the intended message. It enables nurses to engage in reflective capacities that refine artistic capabilities, implying the expansion of aesthetic knowledge (Andrist, 2006). Through the critic, a nurse artist notices the difference between good timing and rhythm and poor timing and rhythm.
The critic encourages a reflective approach to nursing art, making it possible for nurses to see more than what is seen from the first sight. It helps them notice aesthetic qualities and portray the intended artistic nursing expression. Aesthetic knowledge depends on creativity. Through the critic, creativity potential is created, while the critic encourages nurses to take risks in their practice. The critic enhances the interpretation of perceived motive, intention, and feeling (Andrist, 2006). Aesthetic knowledge develops through the connoisseur-critic as the critic presents invented situations and helps nurses imagine new situations and project new creative possibilities, leading to the expansion of aesthetic knowledge.
Artistic validity is interpreted through the connoisseur-critic. It gives the nurse an opportunity to see aesthetics from another perspective. Moreover, the connoisseur-critic helps nurses explain symbolic elements that may lead to a transforming experience. It also deals with what aesthetics inspires as possibilities of the future (Andrist, 2006). The connoisseur-critic states that one never finishes learning about something. Therefore, there is no complete knowledge on an event or object. There is always a unique nuance to be discovered. The critic advances knowledge in aesthetics due to the fact that artist nurses are encouraged to seek new information considering the fact that they are aware of the existence of new nursing information. As nurses search for new information, they advance aesthetic knowledge. Therefore, the connoisseur-critic leads to a complete understanding of aesthetic knowledge.
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Essential Elements of Aesthetic Criticism
Aesthetics has been criticized, based on various elements. Such elements include the issues that the concept of aesthetics is based on. For instance, aesthetics is considered an object, judgment, attitude, experience, and value. Based on such criteria, the first essential element of aesthetic criticism is artistic formalism. Aesthetics is considered to be a kind of object (Chinn & Kramer, 2015). Therefore, aesthetics should possess the qualities of an object that has been shaped by art. Aesthetics can be heard or seen and it has graspable properties. However, critics do not regard aesthetics as an artistic object because artworks may not be necessarily aesthetic objects. Aesthetics is intangible, and only the outcome of its application can be seen or heard, but not its application in motion. It is not graspable by sight or hearing.
Secondly, aesthetics is regarded as a kind of judgment, but critics query whether aesthetic judgments are perceptual judgments of reason and whether there are valid reasons that can support such judgments. Proponents of aesthetics infer that aesthetics deals with taste and beauty. They also claim that the beauty of aesthetics is determined by judgment, which entails the application of beauty principles.