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The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Nursing$
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Betty R. Ferrell and Nessa Coyle

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333121

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333121.001.0001

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What is the Nature of Suffering and What are the Goals of Nursing

What is the Nature of Suffering and What are the Goals of Nursing

Chapter:
(p.100) (p.101) Chapter 5 What is the Nature of Suffering and What are the Goals of Nursing
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The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Nursing
Author(s):

Betty R. Ferrell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333121.003.0005

This chapter begins with a discussion of the deficiencies in current models to describe suffering from a nursing perspective. It ends with a synthesis of clinical experiences and narratives from nurses and patients to offer a perspective on suffering that more closely captures the essence of nursing. It concludes with recommendations for nursing as people continue to care for those who suffer in a system that is chaotic and troubled. Helping patients to regain control in the face of illness and to cope with the vulnerability and uncertainty of life is part of nursing care. As witnesses, nurses support patients who seek meaning from their distressing circumstances. Through the intimacy of caring, nurses also experience personal suffering and respond by seeking a balance of life and work and through deep personal reflection. This is the challenging and rewarding work of nursing.

Keywords:   suffering, caring, nursing, illness

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