Nursing theories are models that try to explain nursing realities championed by nurses, varying with their era. Virginia Henderson formulated this Virginia theory after graduating with a diploma in nursing from Army School of Nursing, Washington. Virginia is the modern Florence Nightingale that tries to elaborate nursing basics. This theory focuses on enhancing patients independence while recuperating to fasten the healing process. Hospitalized patients need to be supported in activities that promote healing process. Nightingale defined nursing as her concept in patient management. Virginias theory argues that the nurse is supposed to help the patient in doing those activities that are health-related, in transition to peaceful death or in the recovery process; things they would have done on their own only if they had the knowledge, will and the strength to do so whether sick or well. In this process, the patient is helped gain swift independence. The nurses role is therefore more of substitutive to that of the patient, complements the efforts of the patient or supplementary for the patients inability in an attempt to make the patient gain their liberty once more after losing it ("Integrating Nursing Theory and Process into Practice; Virginia Henderson's Need Theory," n.d.).
World view of theory and its components
Basing on the global view of human needs, Virginia Henderson categorized the activities carried out by nurses into fourteen components ("George, Nursing Theories: The Base for Professional Nursing Practice, 6th Edition | Pearson," n.d.). The components entail physiological, psychological, spiritual, moral or occupational needs. The components include:
Ability to eliminate waste from the body
Breathing, eating and drinking enough and in a normal way
Ability to groom appropriately and maintain skin tidiness
Adjusting to the body temperature in the normal ranges by dressing appropriately
Sleeping healthily and waking up as expected
Communicating and expressing oneself properly
Ability to put on clothes of your choice and dressing well
Being safe while maneuvering around and also protecting others from injury
Knowledge and act of worshipping as you desire
Having an occupation that earns you a living and makes you actualized
Ability to explore the environment and develop in a way that enhances your health
Ability to engage in recreational activities to relax and keep the body fit
Influencing factors in the theory
This theory has four major influencing concepts: nursing, environment, individual and health .Health is the wholeness of the person and ability to perform stated activities independently. Factors such as culture, age, emotional stability and physical abilities tend to influence the application of this theory on a large proportion. The nurse is expected to be an agent of health promotion as well as disease prevention and cure. Environment forms the basis in which an individual adapts and lives a particular form of life which influences their health. The care offered should be at least in an environment that facilitates the patient to perform the fourteen activities with minimal or no straining. An individual consists of various parts mainly the body and the mind that are intertwined. An individual comprises of parts that require bio psychological basics. Nurses are supposed to offer individualized care to each patient in the process of assisting them to gain independence ("George, Nursing Theories: The Base for Professional Nursing Practice, 6th Edition | Pearson," n.d.).
Theory application in the clinical practice
This theory has interrelated concepts that are derived from other fields for instance, the fundamental human needs, culture, communication and bio-physiological needs. It is applicable for the health of all ages and can form the basis of the hypothesis that is measurable. It has added knowledge to nursing discipline and has been widely accepted. This theory has also been used broadly in directing and improving clinical practices.
This theory is based on specific assumptions. It assumes that nurses have the will to serve and can devote themselves anytime to assist the patient. It also assumes that nurses are trained to the highest level in both science and art which help them offer high-quality services. The ultimate assumption is that nurses will provide care to the patient till they can regain their independence and that patients have the desire to perform activities for themselves ("Nursing Theories by B T Basavanthappa - Paperback - First edition - 2007 - from BookVistas and Biblio.co.uk," 18).
Strategies in theory application in a clinical setup
In application process of the theory, nurses assess the patients ability to perform the fourteen activities then the data obtained is analyzed based on knowledge about health and disease thus you can come up with a diagnosis. The nursing plan is reached by considering what the patient can and cannot do independently. The nurse thus can then document what they are going to implement in assisting the patient. The patient is assisted and treatment process followed as directed by the doctor. The nursing care is evaluated and success or failure is concluded based on the ability of the patient to achieve independence ("Nursing Theories by B T Basavanthappa - Paperback - First edition - 2007 - from BookVistas and Biblio.co.uk," 18).
Strength and Weaknesses of theoryVirginias theory, however, has some few noted weaknesses. This theory lacks the holistic approach of the patient that is essential in the treatment process. There is no clear linkage between the physiological need and other basic needs of human as well as unclear relationship between the components listed thus lack of tangibility. The factors portray not the interrelation needed and the influence in the nursing care process. The theory should illustrate further on what the nurse should do while assisting the patient in a peaceful transition to the next life ("Integrating Nursing Theory and Process into Practice; Virginia Henderson's Need Theory," n.d.).
In conclusion, Virginias theory is simple yet generalizable. It emphasizes on human needs and independence in activity performance. It provides guidance to nurses on assisting patients to regain lost capabilities ("Integrating Nursing Theory and Process into Practice; Virginia Henderson's Need Theory," n.d.).
George, Nursing Theories: The Base for Professional Nursing Practice, 6th Edition | Pearson. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.pearson.com/us/higher-education/program/George-Nursing-Theories-The-Base-for-Professional-Nursing-Practice-6th-Edition/PGM122432.html
Integrating Nursing Theory and Process into Practice; Virginia Henderson's Need Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/19421335/Integrating_Nursing_Theory_and_Process_into_Practice_Virginia_Henderson_s_Need_Theory
Nursing Theories by B T Basavanthappa - Paperback - First edition - 2007 - from BookVistas and Biblio.co.uk. (18). Retrieved from https://biblio.co.uk/book/nursing-theories-b-basavanthappa/d/436308062
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