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Nutrition and hydration in nursing
The field of nursing is coupled with various challenges when attending to patients. The common problems include preventing bed-fall, maintaining a clean and serene environment for the patient, hydrating tasks and nutrition administration. Administering nutrients and water forms one of the key challenges that nurses have to handle to save lives among patients. The two practices are equated as equal to administering prescription such as pharmaceutical drug. However, administration of nutrients is underscored by most non-practitioners in that they view the method of artificial administration as being contrary to cultural and religious beliefs.
Problem Statement, Purpose and Research Question
Research problem. The research problem is the lack of information in clinical dilemma to bring out the true meaning in the survival of patients. Understanding the importance of the method also increases public awareness why the method is preferred over other approaches. Artificial methods should thus be understood to improve health care. The research question of this study is reason artificial methods of administration are undermined.
Research goal. Further, understanding the artificial method leads to its appreciation as a cost effective method and low-risk alternative. The goal of the study is to demonstrate that most of the time artificial methods become convenient as other approaches such as theatre operations would be impossible, due to the enormous number of patients. The study attempts to answer the question why administration of nutrients is underscored by most non-practitioners in that they view the method is contrary to cultural and religious beliefs. The purpose is thus to find out why the method is rejected by religious and cultural groups.
Research objectives. Objectives of this research are the following.
1. To enlighten the public why artificial methods are preferred against other methods.
2. To use the studyto demonstrate the safety level of artificial administration as compared to theatre operations or injections.
3. To reveal that artificial administration of nutrients and fuids is similar to using drugs to cure.
The author primarily uses qualitative and quantitative collection method to answer the research question because he argues that patients deprived of appetite due to various ailments requiring administration of food and water through artificial methods. The action to administer nutrients and foods through artificial methods demonstrates the crucial role they play towards the recovery process of a patient. The research utilizes case study strategy. In this case, the writer explores the fact that nutrients and fluids contribute a significant percentage similar to medication towards the healing of the patient. Arguably, the contribution of the two substances is fifteen percent implying they cannot be underscored in the healing process of a patient.
Over the last two decades, nurses have been utilizing a common guideline concerning artificial administration of nutrients and hydration. The practice is similar to drug prescription and administration from the perspective of doctors, nurses and clinicians. However, various beliefs either cultural or religious have opposed the artificial administration of fluids and nutrients. The general guideline for administration of the substances is thus not universal in its application across the field of nursing due to effects of cultural and religious beliefs. The guideline is also recognized as not universal in the perspectives of ethicists, courts and clinicians. Specifically, a supreme court in a case known as Nancy Cruzan admitted that unconscious administration of nutrients and fluids through artificial methods amounts to personal liberty.
The case challenging artificial methodsaroused concern among healthcare practitioners because administration of fluids and nutrients is fundamental in nursing practice. Despite that the court ruled in favor of the complainant, afterwards the decision was said to lack the spirit as well as the substance of the law. The ruling thus lacked legitimacy among nursing practitioners because adhering to the ruling would pose the lives of many patients at risk (weakness of the material presented or used by the author). The case was afterwards challenged in other two cases involving Terri Schiavo and Robert Wendland. In the case, the ruling attested that administration of fluids and nutrients falls in the same category as ordinary prescriptions in pharmaceutical substances (logic development of the argument by the author). The prescriptions serve the same role as nutrients and fluids in that they save lives of patients.
The literature review was adequate to support the argument because drugs and nutrients are administered to cure diseases. The artificial method of nutrients administration was blamed alone leaving out drugs. To this end, any question should be directed to both, but not in isolation. Apparently, there had been condemnation of artificial methods in that they were culturally and religiously unaccepted. However, the artificial methods fall under the same category as medication implying they should be withdrawn as the critics demanded in the activists’ procession. The views of the activists were countered by the argument that withdrawal of artificial nutrients, fluids and medication amounted to the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments.
Conceptual / Theoretical Framework
The aim of all practices in nursing is to save the life of patients. All methods whether culturally or religiously unaccepted should be utilized to save the life of a patient (specific perspective from which the study was developed). Therefore, all condemnations directed towards nurses due to use of artificial methods occur due to lack of knowledge among patients concerning the benefits of artificial nutrients and fluids. Apparently, the method has a low risk compared to surgical administration or direct administration depending on the health condition of the patient. The patient also incurs reasonable finances if artificial methods are used. The method also has few regulations as compared to other methods of administering food. For example, surgical process takes lengthy complex procedures.
The artificial methods seem favorable to most family members as their usages are not complex as compared to theatre operations. They thus fall under the preferences of many families and patients due to low risk. Overall, a comprehensive guideline should be crafted to guide the use of artificial methods of fluid, nutrients and drug administration. The presence of strong guidelines will phase out the many critics arising from families about the unacceptability of artificial administration as a form of treatment aid (framework developed from the study findings).