Personal Narrative Reflection Sample Paper
The Christian Worldview
The creation of human beings in God’s image implies that humans should live with each other through a mutual relationship of care and love. Imago Dei or the image of God forms the basis of human dignity in Christianity. For people in the medical profession, the term moral status implies the provision of care to patients with special regard to the person. This practice stems from the fact that humans are beings with a soul that is spiritual by nature. In prime reality, religions that believe in the existence of God or a supernatural being believe that God is an omniscient and omnipotent being whose abilities are beyond man’s comprehension. Such religions also hold the view that God is the source of morality. Hence, in connection with well-being, health, and diseases, some cultures believe that illnesses are some form of suffering sent by God to test or strengthen their faith (Rasmussen, & Leon, 2019). Physicians and nurses need to understand how faith impacts the health outcomes of their patients. In this paper, I will explore the tenets of Christian worldview perspectives and how I can apply them in ethical decision-making, my personal values and beliefs notwithstanding.
An Event or Experience that caused me to examine the Values, Norms, and Rules
A few years ago as a freshman studying nursing, my friends and I were unkind to an African-American whom we used to share human anatomy class. We were not classmates and we did not bother to know him deeper as we would only meet occasionally during our common lessons. One day during a discussion, my friends and I made some derogatory and stereotypical remarks about his race. At the time we thought we were scoring points and did not see how our behavior affected our victim. Fast forward we graduated with a bachelor’s of nursing. Three of us were attached at St. Luke’s hospital as interns for a year before being hired formally.
On our first day at St. Luke’s, the receptionist told us that the person in charge of us would be with us shortly. After 15 minutes of waiting, an African-American male wearing a doctor’s gown, a stethoscope, and a mask came to us and told us his name and that he was responsible for us. What shocked me is that the doctor remembered us immediately, but we didn’t recognize it. He told us who he was and how we had met earlier in the human anatomy class years back. Turns out he was a final-year medical student and we were just joining. When we realized who he was, I froze because there was the person we treated so badly and now he was going to be our supervisor for a year. Worse still, being hired by the hospital depending on his evaluation report at the end of the internship.
This experience caused me to change my behavior and adopt values such as humility, respect, and treating people of all walks with dignity at all times. I have chosen to practice values such as fairness, love, friendship, civility, consideration, welcoming, empathy, and compassion. I learned that everyone has the potential to become great and that everyone deserves respect and dignity. Here was a person I had treated so badly who worked had to become a doctor while I was just a nurse.
The Impact of differing Cultures, traditions, and Personal Experiences on my Worldview.
Differing cultures and traditions have enabled me to know how to deal with people from different backgrounds. Today, I know better than to rely on stereotypes when dealing with people from different races. Besides, culture has also enabled people to learn the written and the unwritten norms or rules of engaging and interacting with other people around them (Gilabert, 2018). Thus, despite differences such as race, religion, or culture, I am well-versed with dealing with people without resorting to baseless prejudices and stereotypes. My worldview is shaped by the interactions with people I come across. I have learned to shun negative cultures while embracing positive ones from my environment. The interaction I have with people in my society enables me to embrace values such as dignity and human value as is expected of Christians. Based on Christian teachings, I treat other people with dignity and respect while observing the aspect of human value which asserts that all human beings are equal.
Distinguish between moral conflict and ethical dilemmas
Ethics leans more towards the decisions that a person makes based on their character. It is a term used to differentiate right from wrong. Morals focus on the communally shared norms and values about right and wrong. A moral dilemma, therefore, concerns itself with rules and procedures rather than a person’s conscience (Rasmussen, & Leon, 2019). Concerning the moral conflict, a person is faced with a situation in which he is faced with two moral obligations that he/she cannot meet at ago. Regarding moral dilemma, there is never a full or satisfactory resolution to a dilemma which means moral dilemma is irresolvable.
For moral dilemmas, the decision-maker has two moral duties or values but can only honor only one. This point means that whatever the decision-maker does, he has to violate one of the values/duties (Hughes, 2017). Regarding ethics, humans evaluate their surroundings to make sense of it. For example, based on what humans observe from their environment, they take nature to consist of trees, water bodies, plants and animals, and other natural ‘things that they found in the universe (De Houwer et al., 2019). In terms of morality, the perception of nature is shaped by the cultural beliefs of his/her people. About education, the most common approach adopted is a rational explanation of the universe based on science. Younger people are likely to adopt an explanation about the nature of the earth as described by a scientific approach.
Value of Integrity, Accountability, and Ethical Behavior in Health Care
One of the core values that I believe nurses should have is Accountability. Studies such as that of Simkulet (2019) reveal that patient-nurse relationships built on trust help patients to recover faster. This point means that nurses must cultivate the trust of their patients to aid their recovery. Another critical value that nurses should have is compassion. As a nurse, I believe that it is imperative to care and promote the dignity of patients at all times. Patients must be cared for with empathy and the dignity they deserve including acknowledging that patients have a say in their health matters.
Regarding beliefs, nurses must not let their cultures affect their duties. Since we live in multicultural societies, nurses and patients may have different cultures and personal beliefs that may affect their views of health. As a nurse, I have learned that culture plays an integral role in the treatment of patients. A nurse must take into consideration the personal beliefs and cultures of a patient (Clack, B., & Clack, 2019). Culture affects medical treatment because it defines the perception of patients regarding critical matters such as causes of disease, death, pain, and grief, where to seek help, the kind of treatment, and the level of trust they have in the chosen treatment. Just like patients, nurses have their values and cultures that shape their perception of health.
Arguably, the integration of faith and work, particularly in the contemporary world of diverse religious and cultural beliefs, is imperative for the achievement of holistic care delivery. Specifically, it is important to treat people with respect, both colleagues and patients, showing value for the human dignity. By interacting with different members of the society, some from different cultural background and religious beliefs from your own, one gets to understand the dynamics of society living. Individual responsibility to the sick and needy should not be affected by cultural backgrounds, but must be guided integrity, accountability, and ethics.
- Clack, B., & Clack, B. R. (2019). The philosophy of religion: A critical introduction. John Wiley & Sons.
- De Houwer, J., Richetin, J., Hughes, S. J., & Perugini, M. (2019). On the assumptions that we make about the world around us: A conceptual framework for feature transformation effects. COLLABRA-PSYCHOLOGY, 5(1), 43. https://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.229
- Gilabert, P. (2018). Understanding human dignity in human rights. Human Dignity and Human Rights, 113-140. doi:10.1093/oso/9780198827221.003.0005
- Hughes, J. S. (2017). In a moral dilemma, choose the one you love: Impartial actors are seen as less moral than partial ones. British Journal of Social Psychology, 56(3), 561-577. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1111/bjso.12199
- Simkulet, W. (2019). Ectogenesis: Moral compromise. Journal of Medical Ethics, 46(2), 93-98. doi:10.1136/medethics-2019-105676
- Rasmussen, J., & Leon, F. (2019). Is God the Best Explanation of Things? Springer International Publishing.