Nursing and the Human Culture

humanities1The studies of human culture presents in the nursing field through Humanities courses. Subjects that do not have much relation to nursing have been reconsidered as important and incorporated into nursing as a means to train better nurses. Looking into the branches of Humanities, moreover, you will see that it has subjects that would make nurses knowledgeable on certain issues that aren’t in their nursing curriculum.

One of the branches of humanities is languages. If you know at least one additional language as a medical practitioner, you will have a lot more opportunity as a nurse. Talking to your patient is one thing, but communicating with them in their own language is a higher level of nursing entirely.

Art is a branch in humanities that can be of use when it comes to the nursing profession. Sometimes it takes art to be able to treat a patient, especially when the latter needs special attention. It helps that you can be creative when dealing with your patient. Art can help to open the doors of trust between the nurse and patient. Artistic creativity is a way of thinking that transcends traditional nursing.

Literature is also a study in humanities that is useful in nursing. There are some patients who just can’t stop talking and sharing a their stories. As a nurse, you should be able to handle this type of patient. Sharing an intimate story with them is at times more effective than giving them technical reports about their illnesses. Be prepared and take time to share a line or two.

Philosophy and religion are also main tenets of humanities. This branch in humanities is perfect for those older patients, because these are topics that they usually talk about. If you can join in on the discussion, then you have given them something worthwhile with which to relate to you and their care – something more meaningful to them than administering medicines.

Humanities goes a long way with nursing courses. It makes for a more complete and knowledgeable nurse in return.

Humanities And The Nursing Profession

dls2The study of Humanities may not come as an integral subject to a nursing student. At the outset, it doesn’t cater at all to what nursing is all about. It is only one of those minor subjects that a nursing student has to go through before graduation.

But delving deeper into it, a nursing student may soon find out that the inclusion of Humanities in the curriculum has its own function.

Humanities is the study of human culture. It covers a whole range of topics from history, communication, law, and even anthropology. It has found its way into the nursing field so that nurses will be able to understand why certain people react to certain situations.

That is that inherent use of Humanities in a nursing course. When a nurse could surmise how his patient viewed his illness or how he accepted his own diagnosis, that nurse has his study of human culture functioning within the confines of nursing. It might be just a prerequisite to a nursing degree, but because of its all-encompassing nature, the subject will enable aspiring nurses to get by the conventions of nursing, especially when faced with important decisions.

As in the case of a patient’s history, which include his medical condition in the past. If a nurse could see some patterns in the past in relation to his present illness, then that nurse has done his job quite well. So, the study of Humanities has its own reason for being in the nursing curriculum. It has found its calling in there by helping neophyte nurses, especially when they are faced with medical issues, and laying the predicate for a much more comprehensive diagnosis. Humanities are no longer an ornament in a particular course, it is also helping nurses to become well-rounded medical specialists.

Studying the Humanities    

DLSWhy is studying the Humanities important? Many have asked that question because to be honest many have also argued that studying the liberal arts or the humanities in general is a complete waste of time. Others would even argue that the Humanities are the unwise path for college students to take because non-technical degrees tend to have unemployment rates compared to those who are studying to be engineers, accountants, or business people.

Dr. Elwood Watson, in his article at diverseeducation.com, has discussed why studying the humanities always will be important. Dr. Watson said, “To minimize the value of the humanities, or any other area of academic inquiry for that matter, to one’s ability to earn an ample salary is to misunderstand the purpose of what such an education is about.”

The humanities provide students with the ability and vital ingredients necessary to think critically and holistically about an overabundance of issues, including business, science and technology for that matter. And, in an article by Scott Samuelson of the Wall Street Journal, businesses and employers were aggressively seeking to employ graduates who possessed “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems.” Therefore, discrediting the argument of some about the irrelevance of the humanities and how students who study it will not earn as much as those who study other hard sciences.

In addition, Clayton State University, on its departmental website, listed the top 10 reason for people to study the humanities:

  • To practice the analytical thinking skills you need to be a successful student and employee.
  • To improve your skill at oral and written communication.
  • To see the interconnectedness of all areas of knowledge ― how it all fits together.
  • To develop a global perspective by studying cultures throughout the world.
  • To deepen your understanding and appreciation of other’s cultures and other’s points of view.
  • To support and strengthen your local arts community by learning to appreciate the importance of creativity.
  • To clarify your values by comparing and contrasting them to what others have thought.
  • To deepen your sources of wisdom by learning how others have dealt with failures, success, adversities, and triumphs.
  • To appreciate what is enduring and to be able to tell the difference between the meaningless and the meaningful.
  • To be inspired by some of the greatest minds and thoughts of the ages.

The humanities are the cornerstone of any and complete well-rounded education because it provides a good, solid foundation in critical thinking skills. The importance of the humanities should not be dismissed.

The Significance of Humanities in Nursing

Humanities is the study of human culture. The humanities include human language (ancient or modern), history, literature, law, religion, philosophy and music.  Scholars in humanities are commonly called humanists. A lot of schools and universities offer humanities classes consisting of English literature, arts, and global studies. Nursing education can be counted as one. Thus, nursing students ask how important is humanities to their chosen profession.

HospitalNursing is often defined as both an art and science, but humanities have been hesitatingly been studied in the nursing curricula. However, outbreaks of interest in what is called the “nursing humanities” have become obvious. For instance, literary works are rich sources of not only of information, but illumination as well. The study of art, included in the humanities, can make an important contribution to a nurses’ various ways of knowing what is factual. There are also other complementary ways of knowing like ethical and aesthetical, both included in humanities.

Arts and literature give a meaningful learning experience for nursing students. With their nature, students are encouraged to make discussions made up of different interpretations. This kind of interaction allows participants to learn in ways that call forth new ways of thinking.

There are numerous works of literature and arts that provide rich food for the spirit. Also, it gives insight into the nurse-patient relationship and into an individual’s condition.  Good literature enhances language concepts, words, and vision of human existence. To have a pool of vocabulary is needed to support a patient care. Today, we are suffering from a scarcity in vocabulary which cannot support appropriate discussions of the moral problems and crises that confront humans.

This confronts the relevance of the humanities to nursing. The concepts included in the said study can reflect upon nursing practitioners and education.

Humanities and Medicine

Medical humanities is an interdisciplinary field of medicine consisting of the humanities, social sciences and the arts. When we say humanities, it involves different studies like the literature, religion, ethics, philosophy, and history. Social sciences, on the other hand, involve cultural studies, psychology, anthropology, sociology, health, and geography. While the arts include theater, literature, film as well as visual arts. These subjects are used to determine the application and relation of specific factors in health and medicine.

humanitiesMedical humanities is also understood to be an interdisciplinary, and increasingly international undertaking that pulls on the innovative and intellectual skills of diverse disciplines, including literature, art, creative writing, drama, film, music, philosophy, ethical making decisions, anthropology, and history, in pursuit of medical educational goals. This approach to medicine is a wider and generalized view on how individuals are affected by many elements surrounding us.

The health care system recognizes the value of the humanities in preparing health care professionals to tackle the learning and practice of medicine. The interdisciplinary humanities educate students to check out the historical, linguistic, cultural and aesthetic contexts in which we live. It also allows students to discover and attend more fully to the lasting question of what it is to be human and think deeply and critically and react successfully to the complex situations by which we find ourselves.

The intellectual practices of the humanities, along with the expertise in creating a capstone research and studies that deals with the intersection of the humanities and medicine, have the potential to affect students in many ways that will increase their future performance as physicians managing and reaching patients drawn from across different life circumstances and contexts.

The Importance of Humanities in Nursing

When we talk about humanities, we think about it as a branch of science that deals with human nature, but does it have something to do with nursing? This subject is a part of the curriculum of a nursing course as a minor subject or as an elective. It aims to expose the students to a different part of human beings. It gives an idea how people think, react and take action in certain situations they are involved.

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The geniuses of ancient Greece first used the liberal arts to educate their people. They used poetry, paintings, debates etc to make people enhance their understanding, gain new insights and do critical thinking. Through the study of the humanities, we are able to think creatively, think before acting and apprehend situations.

As a nurse, it is important to gain some knowledge about people. They must be able to have a concrete understanding on how the patients feel about themselves and their condition. The more a nurse understands his or her patient, the more he or she can improve the services, use the proper treatment and approach.

Using the human experience, it will provide us with the knowledge about human nature. The works of the humanities scholars in the past have given us understanding of different cultures, how people develop fear, happiness or loneliness, and the proper approaches. Nursing students must learn this to use humanities in their daily shift. The more a nurse understands the patient, the more efficient they become.

By studying popular literature, nurses are able to know and appreciate life experiences. It will help them in attaining awareness and sensitivity towards the many physical and psychological aspects of an individual’s responses to health, illness and hospitalization. Humanities advertise affection from the hurt and discomfort of the disease. It is recognized as a highly effective teaching tool in a comprehensive program for college students of nursing.