Nursing Theories Essay

1126 words - 5 pages

In 1970, Betty Neuman developed her own theory to provide nursing educators and students with a new concept of human experience and health (Parker, 2006, p. 281). “The Neuman Systems Model provides a comprehensive, flexible, holistic, and systems-based perspective for nursing” (Neuman as quoted in Parker, 2006, p. 282). This theory has many implications for clinical use, and it lends itself to use in many nursing situations. The Neuman Systems model describes an individual as “a system capable of intake of extrapersonal and interpersonal factors from the external environment. He [or she] interacts with this environment by adjusting himself [or herself] to it, or adjusting it to himself [or herself]” (Neuman, 1982, p. 14) This systemic model makes use of many other concepts, such as stressors, primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention, and lines of defense. These concepts create the structure for a person and that individual’s healthcare, and their relation to existing biological factors of humans provides Neuman’s model and ability to be both easily explained and readily accepted as part of American healthcare.
Neuman views a human being as a system in order to explain the interaction that an individual has with an environment as being an instance when a stressor crosses one of the individual’s lines of defense. Stressors are “various disruptive forces oprating within or upon [a client system]” (Parker, 2006, p. 282). In order to fend off these stressors, Neuman proposed the existence of lines of defense which inherently protect the client system. “Each individual client-client system has evolved a normal range of response to the environment that is referred to as a normal line of defense” (Parker, 2006, p. 283). She additionally posits that this line of defense is the way upon which to measure illness or health. For example, a widespread explanation for wound infection is that an infectious agent comes into contact with an open skin and due to the loss of skin integrity, infection can easily develop. Neuman would use the term stressor to describe the infectious agent, and the breech in the line of defense as the reason for the infection. In addition, Neuman also describes three methods of prevention: primary, secondary, and tertiary. These three preventions are ways of and opportunities for healthcare intervention. Primary prevention is the “identification and reduction […] of possible or actual risk factors associated with environmental stressors to prevent possible reaction” (Parker, 2006, p. 283). This aligns closely with prevention models available to today’s healthcare consumers, such as vaccinations. Secondary prevention occurs after a client-client system has had a reaction to a stressor, and healthcare works to prevent further stressors from affecting the client-client system (Parker, 2006, p. 283). Tertiary prevention tries to focus on allowing a client-client system to increase their level of health back to the normal line of...

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