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Interpersonal Relations Theory and Essential of Nursing Education

Discuss how the Theory of Interpersonal Relations relates to Essential IX? Are there any incompatibilities between this Essential and Peplau’s theory? Explain your answer.

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Essential IX of master’s education in nursing essentially outlines several nurse roles suggested in Hildegard Peplau’s theory. For instance, the requirement of nursing graduates to have an advanced level of understanding of relevant sciences is required for the successful facilitation of roles of a teacher and resource person (AACN, 2011). For the former, a nurse is expected to have sufficient knowledge of psychology and pedagogic skills in order to communicate the necessary information to the patients in reference to their interests or needs (Davis, 2016). The latter requires in-depth knowledge of specific disciplines that may be required by the patient (Snowden, Donnell, & Duffy, 2014). Therefore, the nurse is expected to be proficient in certain sciences in order to readily present the knowledge whenever required.

Another point of intersection between Peplau’s theory of interpersonal relations and the ninth essential is the acknowledgment of involvement of both direct and indirect components of care. Upon my understanding, this thesis aligns with the major concept of a broad and multi-layered collaboration between a nurse and a patient aimed at reaching a higher level of understanding and maturity regarding the patient’s problem (Snowden et al., 2014). While the essential does not specify the components, it is possible to assert that interpersonal communication, which is one of the firmly established elements of nursing practice, is among them (Bach & Grant, 2015). Finally, the broad definition of nursing interventions as any form of activity that leads to improved patient outcomes is consistent with the diversity of roles proposed by Peplau (Snowden et al., 2014). It should be acknowledged, however, that Peplau’s theory prioritizes communication, a focus that is absent from the Essential IX. Nevertheless, the roles fit well within the definition and arguably cover the majority of the nursing activities and proficiencies.

Give a specific example from your own practice in which you successfully integrated new knowledge into practice and how it influenced outcomes for the patient?

In my practice, I often deal with patients’ distorted understanding of the scientific method and its role in ensuring positive outcomes. In one specific example, I encountered a patient who was knowledgeable of the existence of treatments and interventions that are not properly tested and offer no proven benefits, such as chiropractic and homeopathic medicine (Newell & Lewith, 2016). However, his approach was based on receiving the information on the viability of the intervention from an authoritative source without the possibility to analyze the information. This approach poses two risks: the patient may not receive accurate information on time and fail to avoid the questionable intervention or receive inaccurate or biased information, which would discredit a legitimate one. Simply put, the patient was predisposed towards independent inquiry but did not possess relevant tools for analysis.

I introduced him to one of the possible frameworks of analysis that allows an approximate assessment of the claim’s origin and establishing its scientific validity. The framework included the criteria of appeal to ancient wisdom, the presence of suspicious and far-fetched claims, and the source of information (mass media versus scientific channels), among others (Dunning, 2013). Unfortunately, I can only speculate on the actual outcomes of this new knowledge integration since I was not able to observe its successful use in real-life conditions. Nevertheless, we conducted several training sessions where the patient was able to correctly identify fraudulent claims from pseudoscientific interventions. Thus, I can assert that this new knowledge will eventually allow him to select the options more accurately, timely dismiss pseudoscientific claims, choose appropriate treatments, and modify his behavior in order to achieve the best health.


AACN. (2011). The essentials of master’s education in nursing. Web.

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Bach, S., & Grant, A. (2015). Communication and interpersonal skills in nursing. Dorchester: Dorsett Press.

Davis, J. H. (2016). Faculty roles and processes for NCLEX-RN outcomes: A theoretical perspective. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 11(4), 171-174.

Dunning, B. (2013). How to spot pseudoscience. Web.

Newell, D., & Lewith, G. (2016). Alternative, complementary or orthodox: What is real medicine?. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare, 4(3), 467-471.

Snowden, A., Donnell, A., & Duffy, T. (2014). Pioneering theories in nursing. London: Andrews UK Limited.

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