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Imogene King’s Goal Attainment Theory Essay

1571 words - 6 pages

Nursing theory gives a point from which to define the what, who and when in nursing and further determine the goals and boundaries in the involved therapeutic activities. This would be developed to describe the nursing phenomenon, including the process, event or occurrence involved (Parker & Smith, 2010). Even though different theories relatively address specific and solid phenomena, their scope could vary. As such, grand and middle-range theories address specific nursing issues but cover varied scopes. This paper evaluates a middle-range theory of goal attainment put forth by a theorist, Imogene King. The Goal Attainment Theory is distinct and was used by King to describe interpersonal and dynamic relationship aimed at attaining patient’s life goals hence a critical one for advancement in nursing education and practice.
Chinn and Kramer (2011) defines Middle-range theory as the relative classification for theory that embodies concepts, relationships, and purposes that reflect limited aspects of broad phenomenon. It is known to address more concrete and focused phenomena than grand theory. According to Smith and Liehr (2014), the theories under this portfolio have predictions, explanations and descriptions responding to questions on nursing phenomena but do not cover the concerned discipline on full range. Derived in 1981, the Theory of Goal Attainment sought to answer the question of what the nature of nursing is. King gave the answer to this as “the way in which nurses, in their role, do with and for individuals that differentiates nursing from other professionals” (Parker & Smith, 2010, 148). This framework bases on the assumption of human beings as the focus of nursing. Nursing aims at promoting, maintaining and restoring health; caring for the injured or the sick; and caring for the dying. According to George (2002), this is an evolution from Von Bertalanffly’s General Systems Theory which had its components as goal, structure, resources, functions and decision making. King went further to argue on the involvement of human beings, communities and families in the nursing domain as a framework within which nurses transact in multiple environments with their goal focused on health. Stress, roles, time and space are factors which King observed could affect the attainment of these goals. This model encompasses three interacting systems; personal system made up of growth and development, perception, body image, time and space; interpersonal system involving communication, interaction, transaction, stress and roles; and the social system including organization, power, authority, decision-making and status.
Therefore, the take home points from King’s theory encompass the fact that the goal of nursing is human care. Transaction would only occur under a condition of perceptual interaction accuracy in nurse-client interactions. An interaction between the nurse and client results in attainment of nursing goals. A conflict in this relationship results...

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