General Information: The caring practice of nursing is founded upon multiple perspectives and ways of knowing. Each nurse brings to the profession a “story” combining his or her autobiography and the biography of the “Other” for whom he or she cares.
General Directions: Taking your thoughts about this book, write about the many ways you have come to “know” Henrietta and her story, using the framework of nursing ways of knowing offered by Carper (1978) and Chinn & Kramer (2008). Provided below are brief descriptors of the nursing ways of knowing and suggested content for inclusion.
Ways of Knowing:
a. Personal Knowing- Personal knowing deals with the therapeutic offering of the Self through a reflection of your stories and a centering upon patients. Through the process of reflecting upon the book, we “see” multiple ways of being with patients and their families/communities. Patient centeredness is a way of personal knowing through authentic offering of the Self. The Institute of Medicine identifies patient centeredness as a core component of quality health care. Patient centeredness is defined as:
Health care that establishes a partnership among practitioners, patients, and their families (when appropriate) to ensure that decisions respect patients’ wants, needs, and preferences and that patients have the education and support they need to make decisions and participate in their own care.
We form partnerships as we begin to recognize the universality of our cultural stories and human dilemmas. How does your story intersect or relate to Henrietta’s story? In what ways were you changed through engagement with this book? Note a passage in the book that called out to you. While reading the book, were you particularly moved by certain descriptions or pages? When we become “unsettled” there are many Self understandings to be revealed. This passage may have a voice of an ethical narrative, a personal reflective moment, or jog a memory of your autobiography. Remember you cannot separate yourself from this story as common threads flow through universal human narratives. This passage may be included in any of the areas of the book provided above. Think about and reflect upon this passage. For example, perhaps you have had a personal experience dealing with death or illness, a story about a childhood memory in the country, or a family issue that caused a crisis. What is it about the passage you choose from Henrietta’s story that speaks to the larger stories of who we are as human beings? Are the stories universal? What can we learn from each other’s stories?
b. Aesthetic Knowing- Aesthetic knowing describes looking at something in a transformative manner, determining how both you and the “Other” make meaning from a situation. The mere task of reading this book is a transformative act. Draw a picture or find a photo or image of a piece of art that reflects your transformation after reading this book. Write reflectively around this image. In what ways have you been transformed by the story of Henrietta Lacks?
For this writing and to critically reflect upon our cultural stories and the stories of others, we will focus on aesthetic knowing and personal knowing ONLY. Construct a 4-5 page paper, inclusive of your reference list in which you describe your responses. References may include on line resources, textbooks and other professional literature and should be cited in APA format. Minimal References: 1, not including the book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
1. Discussion Board Question on Emancipatory Knowing: Consideration given to critical thinking and insightfulness of responses.
2. Nursing Ways of Knowing: Writing Paper:
a. Inclusion of Aesthetic Knowing Visual & Supportive Discussion/Application: 40%
b.Inclusion of Personal Ways of Knowing Discussion/Application: 40%
c. Conclusions and Implications for Nursing Practice: 10%
d. One or More References cited with correct APA format: 10%
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