Orem’s Self Care Deficit Theory And Its Application In Practice

1080 words - 4 pages

One of the theories of nursing is Dorothea Orem’s self-care theory, also called the self-care deficit theory. Nursing theories are important for several reasons. The profession is strengthened when knowledge is built on sound theory (Black, 2014). Theory is important for reasoning, thinking, decision-making, and supporting excellence in practice (Black, 2014). Dorothea Orem’s theory is a conceptual model that provides a structure for critical thinking in the nursing process (Black, 2014). A conceptual model provides a comprehensive and holistic perspective of nursing (Black, 2014). Orem published her theory in 1959 and continued to develop her model, eventually formalizing three interrelated theories: theory of self-care, theory of self-care deficit, and theory of nursing system (Black, 2014). The focus of Orem’s model is the patient’s self-care capacity. The process helps to design a nursing process specific to each patient that will provide for the self-care deficit of the patient (Black, 2014). Self-care deficits exist when the patient has limitations and the self-care requirement is greater than he patient’s capacity (Manzini & Simonetti, 2009).
Orem’s theory is based on self-care requisites, which are basic needs of individuals at all stages of life. The ability or lack of ability of a patient to provide these self-care requisites for himself determines the self-care deficit (Black, 2014). The ability of a patient to provide his own self-care is dependent on factors such as age, gender, current state of health, and sociocultural factors (Caetano & Pagliuca, 2006). The self-care deficit Is then used to design a nursing plan that meets the patients’ needs (Black, 2014). Self-care requisites can be divided into three categories: universal, developmental, and health deviation self care requisites (Gonzalo, 2011). The universal self-care requisites that Orem based her model on are air, water, food, elimination, balance of activity and rest, balance of social interaction and solitude, human well-being, and normalcy (Gonzalo, 2011). Developmental self-care requisites are associated with adjusting to change. Health deviation requisites deal with the demands of an illness (Gonzalo, 2011).
Orem’s self-care requisites can all be evaluated in a general health assessment (currentnursing.com, 2011). Air can be assessed by outward appearance, lab tests, knowing any history of respiratory disease, and determining if the patient is a smoker. Water can be assessed by skin turgor, presence of edema, input and output measurements, Food can be assessed by a dietary history, weight gain or loss, and bowel habits. Elimination can be assessed by pattern, bowel sounds, dietary habits, and any chronic conditions. Asking about activity, assessing gait and muscle tone, and assessing sleep patterns and neurological function can determine activity and rest. Solitude and social interaction can be determined by asking if the patient lives alone, if the patient has any...

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