Case Study Review – Personal nursing situation in relation to Carper's Ways of Knowing

Please review the Case Study on pages 19-20  in the class text (McEwen & Wills, 2014) and review the Johns (1995) article.

Please share a personal nursing situation that illustrates an example of Carper’s Ways of Knowing (1978) (as cited in McEwen & Wills, 2014). (about 250 words).

Follow the case study as an example, however, for the purposes of this discussion, it does not have to be as long and in depth. Give a brief description of your nursing situation, then one example of Carper’s Ways of knowing.  It can be empirical knowledge, aesthetic knowledge, personal knowledge or ethical knowledge.

Required readings:

Johns, C. (1995).Value of reflective practice for nursing. J Clin Nurs. 4(1) :23-30 . doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.1995.tb00006.x

 McEwen, M. & Wills, E.M.. (2014) Theoretical basis for nursing (4th ed.). New York: Lippincott.


In April 2014, I took care of care of a patient Mr. X who was a retired Georgia State Patrol officer. He came in with back pain and had an L5-7 laminectomy. He developed a post-surgical wound infection and the culture tested positive for MRSA. He continued to deteriorate from an ambulatory patient to a morbidly ill patient who could not even turn in bed. He kept having fevers at night and his labs were abnormal. He will clench his jaws sometimes and become stiff when you turned him to the side. He coded one night and thankfully, our team was able to revive him and send him to the ICU.

From Carper’s way of knowing;Empirical Knowledge was used during his care following the SCIP protocol of antibiotic therapy pre and post-surgically within the 24hr window. Dressing changes were done sterily and vital signs monitored q4hr. He was ambulated on the fist post-op day and pain medicine was routinely administered with a PCA. Blood sample was cultured with fever over 101.5 and antibiotic therapy was initiated before wound cultures were resulted.

Ethical Knowledge; I was sure his care was not being coordinated as orders were conflicting from differing specialists. In order to maintain the safety and integrity of the patient, the nursing staff requested a meeting between the patients wife and all members of the health care team. The patient’s chart was reviewed and it was noted that nurses had reported the stiffness to the surgeon more than twice whose only response was to increase the dosage of pain medication. A spinal tap was done and revealed an infection of the spinal fluid. the patient was treated, recovered and discharged to rehab. The wife was very appreciative of the knowledge of the nurses and the guidance we provided and for our advocacy.

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