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Dorothea Orem, Term Paper Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1570

Term Paper

Introduction

Dorothea Orem is a well-known nurse theorist of the 20th Century who was the creator of the Theory of Self-Care. Ms. Orem was born in 1914 in Baltimore, Maryland, earning her Bachelors and Master’s degrees from the Catholic University of America (Current Nursing, 2013). Ms. Orem was employed as a staff nurse, a nurse educator, a nurse in private duty, and a nurse consultant throughout her career, using these experiences to gain valuable knowledge and obtain resources to facilitate her professional growth and development within different areas of the nursing profession (Current Nursing, 2013). From this perspective, Ms. Orem became well-respected within the field and receive an honorary doctorate in 1976 for her work in the field, and established her Theory of Self-Care in 1971, with additional derivations in subsequent years (Current Nursing, 2013).

Early on in her career, Dorothea Orem recognized that quality of nursing care was a serious problem in many organizations, particularly as nurses did not have the resources that were necessary to make a difference in the field and could not provide exemplary care to all patients on a continuous basis; therefore, she sought to better understand the dynamics of nursing care and the profession in an effort to produce effective patient care quality as best as possible (Petiprin, 2015). Dorothea Orem’s focus on improving the quality of care that patients receive so that their ability to recover from illness was evident and realistic. Therefore, Orem was an early innovator in many ways and sought to better understand how patient care quality could improve in order to be effective in advancing her desire to improve nursing care and treatment for a variety of patients in need. This was an important step towards the discovery of new approaches to nursing that could have a significant impact on outcomes and influence patient recovery and overall strength.

Body

Orem’s Theory of Self-Care supports the following assumptions: 1) All persons should possess a high degree of self-reliance and be able to care for themselves and for family members; 2) All persons possess unique characteristics; 3) Nursing involves activities that take place between two individuals; 4) Self-care opportunities must be achieved in order to effectively manage the needs of patients in promoting improved health and prevention strategies; 5) Health knowledge is essential to improve self-care; and 6) Social integration is a critical factor in advancing self-care behaviors (Current Nursing, 2013). These perspectives are important because they provide a basis for the recognition of self-care as a critical factor in advancing nursing practice to improve quality of care, while also considering the impact of self-care on human health and wellbeing (Current Nursing, 2013). The nursing profession is complex and multifaceted; therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the conditions under which nurses are able to support self-care objectives and demonstrate the value of this phenomenon as part of patient education and teaching (Current Nursing, 2013).

Orem’s Theory of Self-Care also addresses the following key principles: “Nursing is required when an adult is incapable or limited in the provision of continuous, effective self-care. The theory identifies five methods of helping: acting for and doing for others; guiding others; supporting another; providing an environment promoting personal development in relation to future demands; and teaching another (Petpirin, 2015). This approach is important to the nursing profession because patients require support and assistance from nurses in order to thrive, and this is best achieved through teaching and education to improve self-care and enable patients to perform self-care techniques to the best of their ability under a set of specific conditions (Petpirin, 2015).

Nurses who educate patients regarding self-care must be prepared to identify areas where self-care is limited and where nurse-led patient education is of critical importance (Petiprin, 2015). In addition, nurses must be prepared to overcome challenges that are associated with the profession so that patients are able to administer self-care in an effective manner (Petipirin, 2015). Orem’s perspective is far-reaching and demonstrates the importance of shaping a nursing practice environment that will provide significant value for patients and support their recovery and wellbeing (Taylor, 2011). Nursing theory has grown and thrived under Orem’s watch and has been instrumental in shaping the dynamics associated with nursing, medicine, and patient care in a significant way (Taylor, 2011). The application of this theory to nursing practice may be difficult for some nurses, due to the complexities of some theoretical perspectives; however, it represents a means of understanding the needs of patients whose self-care capabilities are limited and require nurse-led support and guidance to achieve the whole human experience (Pereira et.al, 2011).

Health

From the perspective of meeting healthcare needs, Orem’s theory identifies the importance of recognizing the physical and physiological needs of patients in order to optimize health and to facilitate a successful response to patient needs through the identification of deficits and the administration of care by nurses and self-care as appropriate (Current Nursing, 2012). Health also values the interaction with other human beings and the development of different perspectives to improve quality of life and a greater balance of these perspectives (Current Nursing, 2012).

Environment

The surrounding environment plays a critical role in shaping the dynamics of nursing care, enabling patients to respond to their surroundings with the aim to optimize their health in different ways (Current Nursing, 2012). Environmental conditions play a critical role in shaping nursing practice and how nurses administer care and treatment, while also addressing the challenges of achieving a balance that will meet the requirements of patient care, including self-care (Current Nursing, 2012). Orem’s theory embraces the surrounding environment and supports a greater understanding of the needs of the patient population, while also considering environmental conditions as part of the self-care framework (Current Nursing, 2012).

Person

The person, or patient, possesses health-related challenges that must be addressed and which reflect the importance of nursing as a provider of care and treatment in this regard (Current Nursing, 2012). Persons with health concerns are unable to provide self-care in the desired manner and may possess different types of limitations that impact their ability to perform self-care (Current Nursing, 2012). Therefore, nurses must intervene when self-care requisites are of a greater need than self-care capabilities for these patients (Current Nursing, 2012).

Nursing

The process of nursing must identify the need for care and the plan of care that may be provided for patients, using prior knowledge and expertise in order to accomplish these objectives (Current Nursing, 2012). Furthermore, the therapeutics of nursing practice must demonstrate a systemic strategy, a deliberate approach, and a level of action that is purposeful in nature (Current Nursing, 2012).

Value to Education, Practice, and Research

Orem’s theory offers value to the nursing practice environment because it identifies deficits that limit self-care for patients and encourages the development of new approaches to care and treatment that will minimize these deficits as best as possible. This involves nurses, patients, the environment, and the basic needs required to achieve optimal health within the context of patient care. This theory supports nursing practice, education and research with a continuum of care that will promote positive patient outcomes and wellbeing.

Application of Theory to Professional Practice

Orem’s Theory of Self-Care provides a basis for understanding how patient care needs evolve and require nurse-led interventions in order to protect health from further risk or harm. Nurses must demonstrate expert knowledge and apply it to each individual case in order to engage and support patients as their needs change, thereby creating an environment where patient health is restored to an optimal state. However, this requires a number of factors working in concert in order to be effective in meeting the needs of patients, while also advancing nursing practice to the next level. Orem’s theory is unique from other theories in many ways because it aims to protect patients from the decline that is associated with debilitating health conditions and enables nurses to restore the balance to a patient’s health that supports the ability to administer self-care in the desired manner.

From a nursing-based perspective, self-care theory supports the need for greater cohesiveness and professionalism in nursing practice so that patients receive high quality care and treatment on a continuous basis with the expertise and guidance of nurses. Restoring self-care is the ultimate objective, but other factors must also be taken into consideration, thereby creating a dynamic where patient care and treatment are optimized with the intent to restore full independence. This must serve as a critical factor of nursing practice and engage nurses in meeting the needs and expectations of their patients in a diverse manner that supports the restoration of their health to optimal levels. This process also requires nurses to be mindful of areas of improvement so that they are able to apply this theory to different situations with the intent to achieve the desired outcomes. Nurses must utilize Orem’s theory effectively and with the appropriate resources in place in order to improve upon existing methods and improve quality of care.

References

Current Nursing (2012). Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Theory. Retrieved from http://currentnursing.com/nursing_theory/self_care_deficit_theory.html

Fawcett, J. (2001). The nurse theorists: 21st-century updates – Dorothea E. Orem. Nursing Science Quarterly, 14(1), 34-38.

Pereira, M. M. M., Xavier, S. S. D. M., Araújo, M. G. P. D., Valença, C. N., Menezes, R. M. P. D., & Germano, R. M. (2011). The self-care Theory of Orem and its applicability as a theoretical framework: analysis of a survey. Journal of Nursing UFPE on line [JNUOL/DOI: 10.5205/01012007]5(4), 896-900.

Petiprin, A. (2015). Self care deficit theory. Retrieved from http://www.nursing-theory.org/theories-and-models/orem-self-care-deficit-theory.php

Taylor, S.G. (2011). Dorothea Orem’s Legacy. Nursing Science Quarterly, 24(1), 5-6

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