A major in Catholic Studies enhances my nursing major and professional career in so many ways. The Catholic Studies major provides me with the well-rounded education necessary in today’s healthcare system. As a society we have become more global, and this has trickled down into healthcare. Nurses today must not only learn how to care for patients of their own culture, but they must also know how to care for patients from different cultures. While people may be anatomically similar, the body is not the only thing nurses should be treating. A specialty in the field of nursing is the practice of holistic care, which is the treatment of a patient as a whole person. Nursing care is built on the goals of health promotion and illness prevention; successful treatment is characterized by the fulfillment of these goals. However, simply advocating for a healthy lifestyle and the absence of illness is not enough; patients deserve much more and that is where holistic nursing comes into play. Holistic nursing treats the patient as a whole person, comprised of the interconnectedness between mind, body and spirit. While traditional nursing care is effective in treating a patient’s physiological needs, holistic care addresses a patient’s psychological and spiritual needs as well. Just as holistic care complements traditional nursing care, a Catholic Studies major enhances, enriches and broadens my nursing major.
The integration of faith and reason in Catholic Studies is applicable in every aspect of life. As a nurse, it would enable me to become a better practitioner of holistic care. Nurses are leaders at the top of their field; they have an extensive background in the sciences and are experts in the clinical setting. However, with the emphasis on prerequisite coursework in the sciences and the clinical application of nursing practice, I felt it was important to also leave enough room in my studies for the valuable education Catholic Studies provides. Nurses have to bear in mind that despite their strong educational background, they are still working with people. They must eliminate medical jargon when speaking to a patient, especially one of a different culture or educational background in order to ensure patient understanding and provide the best possible care. A background in Catholic Studies complements the nursing major by enabling nurses to better interact with others. It provides an opportunity to study how Catholics have interacted with the world and how they have shaped culture and society. Nurses can become culturally competent and learn to better communicate with patients, improve relationships with co-workers, and expand their understanding of the worldview with those having differing experiences.