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Monday, March 17, 2008

Fundamental-ism lost to nursing

Nursing, health and social care are full of fundamentals:

- of care, aims, objectives, arguments, issues, targets, values ...
- and much more besides. Fundamentals fuel and provide the oxygen that sustains the research literature and media. Fundamentals are the constant heat for education, practice and policy. Amongst the definitions of -

fun·da·men·tal (fŭn'də-mĕn'tl) there is

Basic, base, foundation, central, core, essential, necessary, key, primary, significant ...

Language is amazing in how far a short detour can take us.

Fundamentalism
has always been associated with religion and of course no less today; when the literal reading and interpretation of religious texts means that fundamentalism is tainted by beliefs and actions that extend from intolerance, through to extremist tendencies and terrorism. Fundamentalism in this extremist religious guise is not the focus here.

Looking at nursing text book titles fundamental still sells. At times seeking out high standards of nursing care makes you wonder whether a fundamentalist reading of nursing (and human rights) is needed?: and as you get older the need gets ever more acute.

In our informationally overloaded world maybe the message of high quality (fundamental) basic nursing care is lost in the noise. The problem I believe lies in the other meanings of fundamental -

Physics.a) Of or relating to the component of lowest frequency of a periodic wave or quantity.
b) Of or relating to the lowest possible frequency of a vibrating element or system.

This means that even though those low frequency, infrasound messages can travel an awful long way and strike an occasional significant ethical chord: the population at large is hard of hearing.

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