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Theory of Interpersonal Relations, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1830

Essay

Introduction

Jean Orlando was one of the pioneers of nursing and one of the most respected theorists of the nursing community. Her expansion of Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations is based on the major belief that the job of a nurse consisted of more than the delivery of medical care. Nurses also had a great responsibility in being role-players while taking care of their respective patients. They could serve as teachers, counselors, and educators. It is actually through these roles that more tightly formed and trusted relationships are made with regard to medical care (Peplau, 1992).

Her theory also believes knowledge of health problems is crucial for ensuring the promotion of their own good health and it describes nursing as a form of interaction between two or more individuals. This article attempts to examine Orlando’s Interpersonal Relations Theory further and also use applications from the theory to expound upon an actual patient event and how these applications are helpful in the clinical setting.

Overview of Nursing Theory

According to Orlando, there are several focal points of the Theory of Interpersonal Relations. The key focal point, nursing, is described as a multitude of roles and actions. The actions performed by nurses are selected specifically to help the patients under their care get better or maintain the quality of their health. However, with that being said, medical care is not the most important aspect of this nursing relationship. The relationships between the nurse and patient are vastly important because it is often through these relationships that the nurse will discover the underlying source of a patient’s true problem when modern medicine has not proved able to do so (Orlando, 1990). Also, the goal of nursing is to ensure that the patient or his family has the ability of meeting the health care needs after that patient is no longer in the direct environment of other health care providers. They are responsible for controlling, stabilizing, or minimizing the effects of chronic poor health through a combination of medical care and/or patient education (Orlando, 1972).

The Theory in Further Detail

Orlando’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations includes ensuring first, and foremost, that the patient’s medical needs are adequately met. This is important for any health care professional. After this is under control, it is important that there is a relationship formed between the nurse and patient, especially if the patient will be in the hospital for a lengthy period of time or if the patient has suffered a traumatic experience and requires extra help with something in order to have the ability to be self-sufficient at some point in the near future. Once all of these concepts are put into place, it is then the job of the nurse to educate the patient in order for the patient to take control of his or her own health needs and be able to properly care for himself or herself and any dependents in the situation (Orlando, 1990).

This Interpersonal Relations Theory of nursing offers an example for expounding on the defined concept of nursing and its application to everyday practice. The art of nursing is creatively designed to give precedence to existing conditions that patients might have and assist them with understanding and becoming competent in self-care or in the care of their dependents by providing individualized services to encourage them to take control of their own health and thus increase the overall quality of their health or assist with the quality of health for their loved ones. This is most often achieved, when the Interpersonal Relations Theory is utilized, through the trusting relationship between the nurse and patient (Peplau, 1997).

Orlando (1972) explains that the tasks performed by nurses are parallel to the amount of knowledge they have acquired throughout their career and how they perceive the field of nursing. The various theories of nursingallows the nursing knowledge to migrate toward a more developed field of nursing and provides a more positive reputation for nursing care in general. Every nurse, in that regard, therefore holds a theoretical position about what he believes to be true concerning the nursing field. This basically serves as the communication between patients and nurses.

My Experience with Mrs. Lee

Mrs. Fiona Lee was rushed to the emergency room late on a Friday evening from problems resulting in a motor vehicle collision. She appeared to be suffering from multiple contusions as well as a possible concussion. Upon immediate examination, however, it was obvious that Mrs. Lee was well into her third trimester of pregnancy. She, thankfully, was coherent and told us that she had been receiving prenatal care from an area obstetrician. We alerted the obstetrician and performed an ultrasound as well as other tests. She was admitted to the hospital for observation due to possible concussion, but unfortunately she went into an early labor even though the ultrasound deemed her gestation was only in the 38th week. The baby was delivered via caesarean section and immediately transported to the neonatal intensive care unit. Mrs. Lee was admitted to the recovery unit to begin her post-operative recovery process.

As part of this process, it was my responsibility to ensure that Mrs. Lee attended to her caesarean section wound three times per day to prevent infection. I was responsible for initially performing this procedure and, later, educating her on how to do this herself in order to properly heal. Also, I was responsible for ensuring that Mrs. Lee did not lift or bend due to her post-surgical status. Education in this area was also necessary. Likewise, it was also necessary to properly educate her on the care of her newborn because of his premature status. There was a bilirubin blanket required due to his liver not being fully developed. She was required to learn how to properly wrap him in this blanket to help with the breakdown of bilirubin during the first week of his life. Education was also needed as far as feeding was concerned. Due to his premature status, the sucking reflex was not quite developed and thus bottle feeding was recommended. Mrs. Lee required instruction as to the amount and length of time in which feedings were necessary. It was also necessary to educate her on the proper cleaning of her son’s circumcision.With proper education, Mrs. Lee was deemed competent in her parental responsibilities upon discharge.

Application of Theory

Orlando’s theory is applicable in this situation because the first phase of this theory deals with the care of the patient by a health care provider, specifically, the nurse. In the case of Mrs. Lee, I was responsible for cleaning the post-surgical wounds, the circumcision site of the newborn, properly using the equipment on the newborn, and properly feeding the newborn. Her inability to bend or lift due to her surgery classified her as partially incapacitated, but only temporarily, and this put a great amount of responsibility on the nurse taking care of Mrs. Lee.

Because Orlando’s theory is focused on the forming of interpersonal relationships so that the patient will eventually achieve self-care, it is important to remember that once a patient has the ability to care for himself or herself, that patient should then begin to be educated in the proper methods of taking control of his or her health. Such is the case in Mrs. Lee’s situation. Once her initial phase passed and she had the ability to move about, it was important to educate her on the proper care for her wound. Due to the fact she only suffered contusions from the motor vehicle collision, these were not the focus of her education. However, the caesarean section wound required care to heal properly and education was required for Mrs. Lee to clean this in order to prevent a nosocomial infection. Once I educated her on the proper cleaning of this wound, she became competent in this method and had the ability to do so on her own after this instance. It was checked at discharge and appeared to be healing well.

In the case of her newborn, Mrs. Lee understood the concepts of a full-term newborn; however, she was not prepared for a preterm infant. It was important that I educate her on the proper way to feed and care for this infant so that he could achieve the goal weight as soon as possible after delivery. Orlando’ theory contains a strong roleplaying component. In this case, the nurse (me) would play the role as educator so that the parent could learn the role as care giver for the newborn. After the first two times the bilirubin blanket procedure was shown to Mrs. Lee, she understood the concept and was able to perform this alone. Likewise, after the first time the circumcision cleaning procedure was performed by me and explained to her, Mrs. Lee was competent in this area as well. In the case of feeding her newborn, I thoroughly explained the importance of ensuring the infant be fed the proper amount of formula at the correct intervals to ensure adequate nutrition and allow for the body to further break down the bilirubin in his body due to his underdeveloped liver. She became competent with this rather quickly and was patient while her infant son took time to develop his sucking reflex, one of the last reflexes an infant will develop before birth.

Conclusion

The use of Orlando’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations in this exemplar situation proved helpful with my patient and provided me the ability to incorporate my knowledge and skills towards educating Mrs. Lee with her newborn so that she would, in a short time, have a vibrant and healthy baby. It is important for patients to have patient and capable nurses willing to take the extra time and form relationships that will help them with health issues in order for them to have the ability to care for themselves and their loved ones in the correct manner and ensure adequate recovery from medical procedures or various illnesses.

There are many theories in the nursing community, but Orlando’s theory resonates with this author because it allows for the nursing professional to provide a personal touch for an individual or group of individuals and also educate this individual or group of individuals in the proper manner so they can begin taking responsibility for their own care and positive quality of life. It is important that the focus remain on the patient, although the nurse is a vital part of this equation. Without the nurse, there would be no care given; however, without the cooperation of the patient in regards to education, Orlando’s theory could not be carried out correctly and positive relationships or successful medical interventions would not be attained as they should.

References

Orlando, I. (1972). The discipline and teaching of nursing process: An evaluative study. NY: GB Putnam’s Sons.

Orlando, I. (1990). The dynamic nurse-patient relation: Function, process, and principle. NY: National League for Nursing.

Peplau, H. (1992). Interpersonal relations: A theoretical framework for application in nursing practice. Nursing Science Quarterly, 5(1), 13-18.

Peplau, H. (1997). Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations. Nursing Science Quarterly, 10(4), 162-167.

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