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Nursing Theory Essay

1975 words - 8 pages

The life span of nursing cannot be summed up into one general facet of time, but rather, into periods that revolutionized and evolved continuously from the first evidence of medicine to present modern day medicine. The entire medical field, including nursing practice, does not pause when new technologies are brought forth; there is never a moment where work towards the future is not being put into action. Virginia Henderson stated, “Nursing theories mirror different realities, throughout their development; they reflected the interests of nurses of that time” (As cited in Powell, 2012). Without questions and theories to propel the inquisitive nature of medical practice such as nursing, modern ...view middle of the document...

This composition of needs led to the development of Virginia Henderson’s theory of nursing, which soon became known as the Needs Theory.
Henderson’s Needs Theory is based on an interrelation of concepts ranging from fundamental human needs, biophysiology, culture, interaction, and communication, whose purpose is to aid an individual in becoming as independent as possible. She also utilized and expanded ideas from other disciplines such as Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. Maslow developed a ladder formation of needs ranging from the most essential to survive to the more primitive needs of self-actualization (Wills & McEwen, 2002). Henderson incorporated Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs with her ides for patient care, thus, creating the 14 components of her theory (Appendix 2). The first nine pieces of Henderson’s theory are mostly physiological, or having to do with the normal functioning of the individual. The tenth and fourteenth consist of the mental features of learning and communication. The eleventh component encompasses the spiritual and moral needs of the individual, and the twelfth and thirteenth are geared towards occupation and recreational needs (Vandemark, 2006). Together, the theory's definition and 14 basic needs provide a logical and clear guide for nurses to reach the attainable goal of providing stability and gaining independence for the patient. While the theory itself is relatively simple, the organization allows generality and can be applied to the health of all individuals, old, young, sick, well, male, female, etc.
Like any other applicable theory, Henderson’s work must be put into action. The clinical application of her theory can be utilized in all of the meta paradigms, client, health, environment, and nurse, of the nursing process. The first meta paradigm is the client. The client is one of the most essential pieces of the nursing profession because if the client did not exist, neither would the practice. The first way to apply Henderson’s theory to the client is by recognizing the most basic needs necessary to survive; needs such as breathing. Administering oxygen is a simple way to provide care for any patient who is having difficulty in being independent with this essential human need. Second, the client requires assistance in attaining optimal health and achieving independence, or even a peaceful death. Therefore, because the client relies on an outside source for assistance (the nurse), the nurse must be available at all times to assist in achieving these goals. Another way to use Henderson’s theory is by understanding that the mind and body are inseparable, but also interrelated (Powell, 2012). The mind may feel healthy while the body is deteriorating. This fact is can be frustrating for most individuals; therefore, nurses must understand the 14 needs of the client to consider all parts of the human being (biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual) to individualize the care of each...

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