Ways of Knowing Assignment Paper

Ways of Knowing Assignment Paper

This is an individual writing assignment. For this assignment, consider Carper’s Ways of Knowing: empirical, personal, ethical, and aesthetic. For each way of knowing, describe a clinical situation including a nursing intervention you implemented while caring for a patient, family, group, or community. In your description, explain how the particular way of knowing informed the decision to implement the intervention. Use one scholarly reference for each of your four explanations in order to provide support for your reasons that a particular intervention is an example of the selected way of knowing. Use a different reference for each of the four descriptions. Use references other than those provided in assigned course readings. APA formatting must be applied and errors in spelling and grammar must be absent; these are standard requirements for presenting scholarly, professional products. This assignment directly relates to course objective ” Explore the development of nursing knowledge in the context of nursing science.” Ways of Knowing Assignment Paper


According to Carper (1978), there are four ways of knowing in nursing practice which are integral for the learning and teaching of nursing. These ways involve critically analyzing what it means to know and the knowledge type that is most valuable in the wider nursing context. The four ways of knowing include: ethics, empirics, esthetics and personal knowledge.

Empirics basically refer to being descriptive and factual to purposely develop explanations that are theoretical and abstract. Therefore this knowledge can be learned by applying scientific evidence and theory learned through the classroom setting and textbooks (Zander, 2007). From a global perspective, empiric knowledge not only enhances but also refines the nursing curricula structural basis. For instance, in our clinical setting, there is a time when nurses were required to routinely administer influenza vaccine to all elderly patients (60 years and older) to reduce their risk of acquiring pneumonia during the flu season. This decision was influenced by knowledge obtained through evidence-based research in books and scientific nursing journals after it was realized that pneumonia led to poor health outcomes in this patient population especially during the flu season. Ways of Knowing Assignment Paper

Personal knowledge is associated with actualizing and encountering an individual self which is concerned with self-awareness and personal reflection in patient care (Carper, 1978).  This is the most difficult way of knowing as it needs individual ability to analyze an event from anther’s perspective through reflection. Personal knowledge can be applied through personal reflection to reveal to patients that a nurse clearly comprehends what a patient is undergoing and can assist in the understanding of a situation that is very difficult.  For instance,

The ethical way of knowing emphasizes on issues of moral obligation which goes past knowing the ethical codes of discipline or norms. Instead, it comprises of deliberate voluntary actions which are based on the judgment of wrong or right (Lee & Fawcett, 2013). Ethical knowledge provides guidance on how nurses approach and resolve conflicts. Thus, it needs one to apply ethical reasoning.  Professionally, ethical knowledge encompasses moral obligations, using the ethical code of nursing and applying social justice in patient care. I was once obligated to make an ethical decision of administering a blood transfusion to a Jehovah Witness patient who was involved in a grisly road accident, was profusely bleeding and urgently needed surgery. Although this was against the patient’s religious values, the decision was guided by what was right and could benefit the patient.

The aesthetic way of knowing involves applying perception, empathy and acknowledging the value of a person’s daily experiences (Fawcett & Desanto-Madeya, 2005).This knowledge is obtained through experience and involves the use of intuitions. It is also worth mentioning that aesthetic knowledge largely bases on the skills that a nurse receives in a particular station and becomes known in the relationship that exists between a nurse and a patient. Therefore, without a positive relationship, a nurse might face several barriers while caring for patients. In my clinical nursing experience, the use of aesthetic knowledge influenced my understanding on how vital a positive nurse-client relationship is.

I had a newly diagnosed patient with type 2 DM who didn’t adhere to his medications and diet. I took time to closely interact and interview the patient with an aim of establishing the cause of non-adherence. I later learnt that the patient didn’t understand the meaning of a diabetic diet thus only avoided eating candy. I had a session with the patient and compiled a food log of what she had eaten for the last three days which were: bacon and white toast, cheese, macaroni and fried chicken. I made it clear to the patient that managing the blood glucose levels was not only a matter of avoiding sugar but also striking to maintain a balance in the daily intake of carbohydrates and proteins. I provided her with a booklet of the most recommended diets and encouraged that she kept a log of her meals. Thereafter, she was grateful on how effective her management was with well controlled glycemic levels. In this case, I was able to use my personal intuition that this patient’s non-adherence was unintentional but probably due to a deficit n knowledge in the management of the diseases she was diagnosed with. Ways of Knowing Assignment Paper


Carper, B. A. (1978). Fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing. Advances in Nursing Science, 1(1), 13-23.

Fawcett, J., & Desanto-Madeya, S. (2005). The structure of contemporary nursing knowledge. Contemporary nursing knowledge: Analysis and evaluation of nursing models and theories, 1-48.

Lee, R. C., & Fawcett, J. (2013). The influence of the metaparadigm of nursing on professional identity development among RN-BSN students. Nursing Science Quarterly, 26(1), 96-98.

Zander, P. E. (2007). Ways of knowing in nursing: The historical evolution of a concept. Journal of Theory Construction & Testing, 11(1), 7.



Ways of Knowing Assignment Paper


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