There is no doubt that nursing remains one of the most important fields of the human activity as specialists related to the sphere help their clients to cope with their physical issues and make significant contributions allowing to maintain an appropriate level of health in the society. Obviously, it can be extremely important for nursing professionals to work in an effective manner without the use of ready models helping to solve a wide range of problems peculiar to the sphere. In this connection, it is impossible to overestimate the importance of nursing theories. The purpose of the given paper is to outline the chosen nursing theory, introduce the particular problem and prove its significance for the field, and apply the theory to resolve the nursing issue presented.
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The particular theory chosen for this assignment was developed by Dorothea Orem who was a famous nursing theorist and researcher. The Self-Care Theory in its initial state was enunciated by the author more than fifty years ago, and numerous changes have been implemented since that time (O’Shaughnessy, 2014). The discussed theory touches upon a large number of aspects of the nursing care, but the primary idea expressed by the author is connected with independence of patients. In fact, the author supposes that it is extremely important to encourage patients to introduce self-care practices and, therefore, become more independent during the periods of treatment and rehabilitation.
Realizing that the development and education level of patients depends upon the practices applied by their medical attendants, the theorist also puts increased focus on the importance of trustful relations between nursing specialists and their patients. Another problem that is addressed in her works is the role of the environment which often defines the success of self-care measures taken by a patient.
Description of Issue or Concern
There is a wide range of issues that may occur during the work and significantly reduce the quality of care or act as a factor decreasing the chances of positive outcomes for patients. The particular issue that needs to be mentioned when it comes to quality of healthcare service is the lack of knowledge that many patients demonstrate when nursing specialists work with them. In fact, speaking about this issue, it is necessary to say that many people do not pay enough attention to the information on symptoms and possible problems that cause them. Due to that, it often happens that people who have health issues tend to use inappropriate or even dangerous methods to maintain their health due to the lack of knowledge on their diseases and disorders.
Therefore, the specific issue that needs to be discussed within the frame of the assignment is the lack of knowledge on the health conditions that many patients demonstrate. The given situation seems to be even more complicated because we live in the world where almost every citizen in both developed and developing countries can try different methods of information retrieval including the use of the Internet. Nevertheless, it sometimes happens that the information retrieved from various online sources is inconsistent with the scientific knowledge related to diseases and important preventive measures. Due to that, it is obvious that the issue related to the lack of knowledge in patients is strictly interconnected with the credibility of the information. Thus, it is clear that nurses must highlight the importance of credibility while giving instructions to their patients.
The reason why nursing profession should care about the issue presented in the paper is quite obvious as the lack of education has a great number of negative consequences both for patients and specialists in the field. To begin with, the reason why increased attention must be paid to the problem is interconnected with the fact that the lack of education is responsible for unsuccessful self-medication and self-treatment (Shadur, Hussong, & Haroon, 2015). Although self-management is often used in a positive context, lack of patient education may turn it to the practice which is quite dangerous.
As for the knowledge on the topic which is presented in the nursing literature, it is necessary to say that the problem has been studied by many researchers in the field. The majority of researchers recognize the fact that it occurs quite often. Revealing the factors that cause the problem, Dehghani, Orang, Abdollahi, Parvianian, and Vejdani (2014) state that it often occurs due to the mistakes of specialists coordinating the work of nurses. More than that, it is supposed that the problem occurs due to the limited knowledge of healthcare providers on certain health issues (Childress, Theis, Brackett, Woodard, & Dietrich, 2017).
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Speaking about the stakeholders affected by the issue, it is necessary to say that the discussed situation presents the problem that is equally unfavourable for patients and nurses; the former often put their health at risk when they try to implement self-care measures without proper knowledge whereas the latter have to deal with the consequences of inappropriate self-treatment in their patients and such cases can destroy the reputation of nursing specialists and medical centres. Therefore, both sides should take actions to improve the situation and reduce the risk of negative health outcomes.
Application of Selected Nursing Theory to Issue or Concern
The theory proposed by Dorothea Orem presents a lot of recommendations for nurses that are aimed at helping patients to cope with their problems using their resources. Therefore, the theorist highlights the importance of independence for patients. Due to that, the ideas presented by Orem can be used to develop the strategy allowing to decrease the number of cases when patients take inappropriate actions due to the lack of knowledge related to their health issues.
Considering that education level of clients depends upon the behavior of their nurses, the theorist also emphasizes the importance of trustful relations between nursing specialists and their patients (Abotalebidariasari, Memarian, Vanaki, Kazemnejad, & Naderi, 2016). In other words, to provide patient education helping to reduce the risk of future problems, nurses should be able to gain their patients’ confidence.
The strategy helping to eliminate the cases of inappropriate self-management should be complex. Considering the importance of both knowledge and trust, it is necessary to implement measures allowing to get across to patients, provide them with information on their health issue, and teach them how to use online libraries and other sources to search for credible information approved by scientists. Therefore, the proposed strategy is expected to complete three tasks associated with the identified issue.
The theory proposed by Orem can help to implement this strategy because it presents the most important ideas that every nurse should consider while providing patients with assistance; thus, the theory explains the role of a nurse and the primary needs of a patient. In her theory, the author states that nurses are supposed to find out the reasons why patients cannot take care of themselves prior to work. These recommendations can help to reduce the problem of knowledge deficiency as they provide nurses with the opportunity to analyze the situation of the particular patients. The proposed strategy includes a few steps. To begin with, nurses are supposed to identify the needs of their patients following the guidelines provided by Dorothea Orem.
Then, it is necessary for healthcare specialists to establish the relationship of trust with their patients; to fulfil this task, they can demonstrate the willingness to help their clients to estrange their problems. In general, it usually happens that each nurse has her or his way to establish contact with patients, and the use of these safe and proven methods should not be neglected. As for the next step, nursing specialists are expected to give primary instructions concerning the particular health issue to their patients. In order to motivate patients to start their own research on their problems, it can be important to tell them about the cases of patients whose actions deteriorated their health conditions due to the lack of knowledge.
Even though the self-care measures that can be implemented by patients are extremely important, it is necessary to give special consideration to the question of credibility. After that preliminary teaching, it is important for nursing specialists to explain to their patients that articles and recommendations that can be found online are not always written by qualified healthcare specialists. Due to that, healthcare specialists are supposed to provide their patients with recommendations on the most and the least credible sources that can be found online. In fact, implementing this step, nurses can help their patients to develop critical thinking skills. As a result, they can prevent negative health outcomes as their patients will not use the information retrieved from questionable sources.
It is possible to implement the given strategy in cases when health issues that patients face are not life-threatening. The implementation of the strategy does not involve significant cash investment, and this is why is can be easily implemented in different states of the country. Nevertheless, it would be necessary to make changes to nurses’ professional training programs; for instance, more attention should be attracted to computer literacy in connection with self-care measures. Despite the fact that the issue of deficient knowledge in patients has been studied by many specialists, there are still certain research gaps that need to be filled. Thus, it would be important to conduct a research allowing to find the links between instructional methods used by nurses and the willingness of patients to follow the given recommendations. The research may be based on perceptions of people from different parts of the country, and its results would help to improve the effectiveness of patient education even more.
In the end, the theory developed by Orem can be used to address the problem of deficient knowledge in patients that can reduce the effectiveness of medical treatment and leads to health complications. In particular, specialists may use recommendations related to patient needs assessment and establishment of productive relationships. As for the new knowledge gained due to the assignment, I suppose that the use of Orem’s theory to develop a strategy aimed at improving the effectiveness of patient education will help nurses to perfect their skills as the consistency of the theory has been confirmed by many practitioners (Mohammadpour, Rahmati Sharghi, Khosravan, Alami, & Akhond, 2015).
Abotalebidariasari, G., Memarian, R., Vanaki, Z., Kazemnejad, A., & Naderi, N. (2016). Self-care motivation among patients with heart failure: A qualitative study based on Orem’s theory. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice, 30(4), 320-332.
Childress, K. J., Theis, J., Brackett, J., Woodard, T. L., & Dietrich, J. E. (2017). Fertility preservation in pediatric cancer patients: Provider knowledge and beliefs at a large pediatric hospital. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 30(2), 280.
Dehghani, A., Orang, M., Abdollahi, F. S., Parvianian, N. A., & Vejdani, M. (2014). Barriers to patient education in clinical care: Viewpoints of nurses. Iranian Journal of Medical Education, 14(4), 332-341.
Mohammadpour, A., Rahmati Sharghi, N., Khosravan, S., Alami, A., & Akhond, M. (2015). The effect of a supportive educational intervention developed based on the Orem’s self-care theory on the self-care ability of patients with myocardial infarction: A randomised controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24(11-12), 1686-1692.
O’Shaughnessy, M. (2014). Application of Dorothea Orem’s theory of self-care to the elderly patient on peritoneal dialysis. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 41(5), 495.
Shadur, J. M., Hussong, A. M., & Haroon, M. (2015). Negative affect variability and adolescent self-medication: The role of the peer context. Drug and Alcohol Review, 34(6), 571-580.
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