Relational nursing involves a process of inquiry. We have already seen how the nurse inquires about Joe’s and his family’s experience. Other areas of inquiry that Suzette will consider are empirical knowledge – what are the current best practices for management of diabetes? What does she need to know in order to competently manage Joe’s physical health needs? She thinks about ethics – what is the right or moral thing to do when there is pressure to discharge Joe before everything is ready for follow-up in the community? She also examines her own experiences, beliefs, values and ideology – for instance, has she allowed her ideas about “compliance” to affect the way she has responded to Joe? Self-observation is key to being able to consciously choose the best actions in a particular situation.
So what has this meant for Joe and his family? Joe’s physical health needs have been competently cared for, and they have felt respected and listened to. They trust Suzette and are willing to hear the recommendations she has for them. Safety has been maintained, and Joe’s concerns have been attended to. Joe feels empowered to manage his health better, and his family feels ready to support him.