Nursing theory is best described as a conceptualization of some aspect of nursing communicated for the purpose of describing, explaining, predicting, and/or prescribing nursing care (Potter & Perry, 2009). One of the most world renown-nursing theorists, Dorothea Orem, believed in the self-care theory, which directs it’s attention on the aspect the self-care needs of the client (2009). As a registered nurse, along with many other accomplishments, she began brewing her theory that guided many nursing schools/institutions in their program of studies. As a nurse, she felt it was necessary to do the things for patients they could not do on their own (Tiaki, 2008). Tiaki feels Orem’s theory is efficient because this theory will help patients to learn the tasks they are unable to do from the nurses, teaching them how to care for themselves (2008). The purpose of this paper is to describe Orem’s historical background, describe her self-care theory, and describe how her theory can be applied into nursing today.
The infamous nursing pioneer, Dorothea Elizabeth Orem, set the bar for nurses worldwide. She was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where she graduated from high school in 1931. While in college, she pursued her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing Education and she also earned her Masters of Science in Nursing Education. When she first began practicing, she worked at Providence Hospital in Washington D.C. She then continued her early career at St. John’s with the position of administration. Once she achieved her advanced degrees, she became director of the Providence Hospital School of Nursing in from 1945-1948 in Detroit, Michigan. While directing at this particular school of nursing, Orem also taught biological sciences and nursing. She then perused the positions of Assistant and Associate Professor, and Dean at the Catholic University of America from the years of 1959 through 1966. She continued her career working in various schools and universities throughout the country, and she also aided several organizations in their curriculum choices. In her work Nursing: Concepts of Practice, Orem first describes her Self-care Deficit Theory of Nursing. Orem received great honors such as awards from Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society and the National League for Nursing, and the American Academy of Nursing chose her as an inductee (CITE, YEAR). Dorothea Orem passed away in 2007 and led a brilliant life. Yet little did she know, her theory would forever impact the world of nursing forever.
Relevance of the Self-Care Deficit Theory
Dorothea Orem’s self-care deficit theory is defined as one that revolves around the self-care needs of the client. “Orem defines self-care as a learned, goal-oriented activity directed toward the self in the interest of maintaining life, health, development, and well-being. The goal of Orem’s theory is to help the client perform self-care” (Potter & Perry, 2009). She wanted to focus the core of her main...