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Martha Rogers’s Theory and the Movie “The Sixth Sense” by Shyamalan

The theory of unitary human beings formulated by Martha Rodgers has played a very significant role in the discipline of nursing as well as many other disciplines. The introduction of the theory has transformed the field of nursing and the initial perception of healthcare. In today’s world, nursing is not only regarded as a science but also as an art courtesy of Martha’s theory of SUBH.

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She made nursing to be regarded as a profession and she was able to identify the unitary man as the main concern of the nursing phenomenon. The theory of unitary of human beings has improved the understanding of the topics of health, the environment, people, and nursing. With the help of the four concepts, the theory of the unitary of human beings has made it possible for people to understand different phenomena from different fields in today’s world.

The concepts of openness, energy field, continuity and pan dimensionality have been used to establish a perfect connection between Rodgers’s theory of unitary of human beings and the psychological thriller, the sixth sense movie. The theory can be used to understand the content of the movie and the strange phenomenon of a little boy being able to see ghosts traversing the world.

The theory can also be used to prop, understand as well as explain principles of different disciplines such as quantum physics among others. Openness, pan dimensionality, continuity, and energy fields are four very important concepts for understanding other disciplines and relating them to Rogers’s model.

The theory of unitary human beings pioneered by Martha Rogers is a product of science, which has had great influence in several disciplines all over the world. Rogers, the founder of the theory, completed her pursuit of nursing in 1936 and was able to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree the following year at George Peabody College. After several years of working as a nurse, she decided to enroll for two master’s degrees in the subjects of public health as well as teaching.

Martha never stopped at master’s level but she went further to acquire a doctor of science degree before becoming a professor of nursing in 1954 at the New York University for a period of twenty-one years. While at the University Martha was able to design and establish a degree program after thoroughly revising the theory based on learning and curriculums. It is also during her service at the New York University that Martha Rogers came up with the science of unitary human beings conceptual framework. The theory presents a very different perception of the nursing process as well as human interaction (Rodgers, 2009).

The efforts of Rogers to establish what is popularly known as SUHB theory, made it is possible for nursing to be considered as a scientific discipline. The outline of the theory that Martha developed gave the disciple of nursing a new different perception, which redefined the approach of the conventional medical approach to become a service of nursing care. Rogers (2009, p. 3) states, “Rogers’ framework allows for an alternative to traditional nursing, which can be construed as reductionistic, mechanistic and analytic, This framework includes an open system world view, and thus, has challenged many traditional ideas about nursing”.

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The framework designed by Martha has five assumptions namely “wholeness, openness, unidirectionality, pattern, organization, science, and thought (Rodgers, 2009, p. 3). Firstly, the theory assertion regards human beings as a unified whole that actually exceeds the sum of parts that make us up. Next, there is a constant exchange of energy and matter between the environment and human beings; it is an only human being in the entire animal kingdoms, which possess passion, consciousness and language and are capable of thinking abstractly.

A person’s completeness can only be reflected and discovered by using organization and prototype approach and that the process of life exists along a space-time continuum, which cannot be reversed whatsoever. The theory of SUBH is best analyzed based on the topics of health, the environment, people and nursing.

Openness, pandimensionality, continuity and energy fields are four very important concepts for understanding and relating Rogers’s model to other disciplines. For instance, the openness concept means that there is a constant exchange of energy that exist between the environmental field and human field and that there exist no barriers between the field that might interfere with the exchange of energy.

The energy field concept holds that the energy field is a significant unit or component of the nonliving and the living. The energy field makes it necessary for the environment and human beings to be perceived as wholes, which cannot be reduced under any circumstance. The energy fields are known to differ continuously in amount, concentration as well as in density.

The next concept of pan dimensionality is described as a non-linear domain, which does not have sequential or spatial characteristics. The concept illustrates the fact that what people use to explain events in language are considered illogical and that there does not exist ordering of lives because the present is comparative.

The sixth sense movie also referred to as a psychological thriller involves a boy who sees ghost, such experience disturbs him, and makes behave in anti-social manner. The boy later finds help from Bruce, the psychiatrist, whose earlier patient committed suicide after trying to kill him. In the movie, the boy played Haley Osment while Bruce Willis played Dr Malcolm Crowe, the psychiatrist and Cole played the former patient of Willis who has psychological issues that led to his death. Cole lived a life full of fear, sleeplessness and stress (Contactmusic, 2010).

Dr Malcolm meets Joel after losing his former patient to suicide. Weighed down by the death of his patient, he sees a small boy who to him needed his professional service but he could not trust anyone with his experience, because he believed no one could believe him. The psychologist tried persistently until he won the confidence of Osment. It is at this point that the experience of Joel is revealed to the audience. At this point, the movie reveals what the boy has been seeing: many dead people, who display scary evidence of death traversing the world and they have different demands from the boy.

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Rogers’s theory of Unitary Human Beings can be used as a very important tool to understand the sixth sense movie. For instance, the concept of energy field, where the non-livings as well as the living both have a fundamental unit can be used to explain several episodes of the sixth sense movie.

This concept can be used by audience to understand the environment and people in the movies as irreducible wholes necessitated by the energy field (Free Online Research Papers, 2009). Martha’s theory asserts that human beings are energy field on their own and do not depend on other fields for wholeness. She further argues that humans have characteristics, which are specific to individuals to the extent that they can never be predicted by other parts.

This explains the uniqueness of the experience of Joel in the sixth sense movie where he was able to see dead people roam all over the world. People should therefore understand that such instances are possible in real life situation as explained in the concepts of Rogers’ theory of SUBH.

Openness concept, which explains the existence of exchange of energy between human and environmental fields, depicts unity of the fields without barriers to block such energy flow (Current nursing, 2010). This concept explains that the dead and the living have one field, which should be used to understand the relationship between the dead and the living. The same concept can also be applied in the quantum physics, which deals with units of indivisible energy, which are derived from the same field, and all living organisms depend on one another in accordance with the concept of openness.

The concept of continuity in Rogers’ theory explains the existence of a link between the dead and the living (DeAngelis, 2003). The theory of continuity explains that old people in any given society alternate new responsibilities for the dead and that they continue to uphold representative ways of becoming accustomed to the environment as is depicted in the sixth sense movie.


Contactmusic. (2010). Sixth sense movie review. Web.

Current nursing. (2010). Martha Roger’s science of Unitary Human Beings. Web.

DeAngelis, T. (2003). Dream on. Web.

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Free Online Research Papers. (2009). Martha E. Rodgers, the creation of the SUHB. Web.

Rodgers, M. (2009). Dr. Martha Elizabeth Rogers 1914 – 1994. Web.

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