Background: Theory Description
Catering to the needs of patients from multicultural backgrounds is a challenging task. To improve the process of managing diverse patients’ health issues, a nurse will have to consider using the principles of multicultural communication. However, to apply the framework successfully, a nurse must encourage a reciprocal process of education, i.e., encourage patients to acquire essential knowledge about their health issues. By using Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory, one will be able to contribute to a rise in the levels of patient education extensively.
The application of a nursing theory is crucial to the management of diverse patients’ needs. A theoretical framework introduces a system based on which a comprehensive strategy can be developed. As a result, premises for approaching patients from any cultural background are built.
Orem’s Self-Care Theory comprises several minor theories, including the Theory of Self-Care, Theory of Self-Care Deficit, and Theory of Nursing System (Shah, 2015). The Theory of Self-Care suggests the promotion of activities that teach patients to develop self-care skills as a part of patient education. The Theory of Self-Care Deficit allows determining the stage of patient development at which they are incapable of acquiring essential knowledge and, therefore, require the assistance of a nurse. The Theory of Nursing System, in turn, helps unify the existing nursing frameworks and determine the connection between them (Shah, 2015).
The paper will focus on education of diverse patients. In the next section, the problem will be identified. Afterward, a strategy for managing the issue will be outlined. Finally, a conclusion will be provided
Nursing Concern to Be Addressed
In an increasingly diverse environment, catering to patients’ needs may be extraordinarily hard for a nurse. Although education and knowledge acquisition among nurses allows identifying culture-specific characteristics of patients and, thus, recognize unique threats to which they may be exposed have been enhanced among nurses over the past few years, the issue remains persistent (Holden, Schubert, & Mickelson, 2015). The specified phenomenon can be attributed to not only the lack of knowledge and skills among nurses but also the absence of awareness about respective health threats among patients. In other words, it is crucial for patients to have agency in carrying out essential steps of a self-care routine. Seeing that a very limited number of patients nowadays have independence in self-care and decision-making, it is essential to encourage the principles of self-care in accordance with Orem’s theory to improve patient outcomes worldwide (White et al., 2015).
The reasons for applying Orem’s theory to resolve the issue are quite evident. Because of the inability to make nurses learn every single facet of every culture to which patients may belong, it is imperative to encourage the principles of self-care among target demographics. It would be wrong to assume that the suggested measure will imply nurses’ refusal to cater to diverse population’s needs. Instead, the framework will lead to an enhancement of communication between nurses and patients, creating opportunities for a better understanding of nursing goals and processes (Shahdadi, Dahmardeh, Salari, & Ahmadidarehsima, 2017).
Recent studies on the topic indicate that the problem has been in existence for quite a while (Almutairi, McCarthy, &Gardner, 2015). The significance of cultural competence as the solution to meeting the needs of patients from different cultural backgrounds is stressed heavily, yet recent studies indicate that embracing every possible facet of another culture is barely possible (Salehi, Kermanshahi, Mohammadi, & Hassanzadeh, 2015). Therefore, advanced tools for preventing health issues among patients must be deployed. Moreover, there is sufficient evidence of the problem becoming very common in the nursing environment (Jirwe, Emami, & Gerrish, 2015). For instance, low literacy levels have a strikingly negative effect on the efficacy of health management among diabetic patients: “Low health literacy and diabetes numeracy are recognized barriers to adequate diabetes care” (White et al., 2015, p. 146). Therefore, there is sufficient evidence that the subject matter has been recurrent in the realm of modern nursing.
While patients are viewed as the primary stakeholders whose interests will have to be taken into account when managing the problem, one will also have to consider several other stakeholders. Health educators must be mentioned among another type of stakeholders that will be involved in the process of change. Providing patients with essential information about self-care and the means of sustaining it, health educators will play a crucial role in the program. Healthcare organizations such as hospitals will also partake in the process of educating patients by providing staff, equipment, and resources required to perform patient education. Local government members, e.g., the board of nursing, will exert control over the process, thus, becoming another important stakeholder. Finally, local communities, as well as the global one, will have to be recognized as stakeholders due to the effects that the implementation of the said change will have on the process of delivering nursing services, communication between patients and nurses, meeting the needs of patients from diverse and multicultural backgrounds, etc.
Applying the Theory to the Problem
Dorothea Orem’s Theory of Self-Care Deficit places a very strong emphasis on the promotion of patients’ independence, thus, stressing the need to encourage patient education and helping target demographics identify available health resources, acquire necessary habits and develop the behaviors that contribute to a faster recovery (Hauffman et al., 2017). Therefore, Orem’s theory is likely to serve as the foundation for improving communication between a nurse and a patient despite possible diversity issues by introducing a patient to the concept of self-directed learning. As soon as a patient remembers crucial ideas of health management, a conversation with a nurse is likely to become more efficient since a patient will have a general idea about health management and health issues. As a result, fewer misunderstandings will occur in the course of communication.
The adoption of innovative technological tools will have to be considered as the technique for carrying out patient education in the context of a diverse environment. The specified strategy can be justified by the fact that communication may be an issue in the context of a multicultural organization (Dumit, Noureddine, & Magilvy, 2016). The active use of visuals, 3-D models and simulations as the method of teaching the required knowledge and skills to patients and nurses alike: “Patients can benefit from the introduction of personalized physical 3D models with the intent of facilitating mutual understanding between patient and physician” (Bernhard et al., 2015, p. 5).
Therefore, utilizing available resources to introduce the latest technological advances into the realm of a nursing facility and encourage patients to acquire the recommended skills and knowledge must be regarded as the top priority. The specified tools will serve as the means of overcoming the language barrier that may pose a significant threat to successful communication between patients and nurse educators during the promotion of self-care. Furthermore, studies indicate that the application of Orem’s framework is likely to help resolve the issue of meeting the needs of diverse patients by encouraging family members to participate in the process of patients’ recovery (Mayberry, Berg, Harper, & Osborn, 2016).
The strategy described above can be implemented by creating a team of nurses who will educate patients about the health issues that they face and encourage target demographics to learn more about their condition from trustworthy resources such as educational videos posted at the official sites of hospitals or their official YouTube channels; instructions listed at the official sites of hospitals and nursing services; newsletters sent to patients on a weekly or daily basis, etc. By introducing consistency into the education process, one will be able to help patients develop healthy habits and become enthusiastic about the learning process. Consequently, a significant improvement in patients’ ability to use self-care skills, i.e., identify a problem, locate available resources, and use them appropriately, can be expected (Mayberry et al., 2016).
Orem’s Theory of Self-Care Deficit, therefore, will help resolve the issue of mismanaging the needs of a diverse population by making the dialogue between nurses and patients more efficient. With a stronger emphasis placed on patient education, target demographics will be able to understand nurses better, as well as communicate their needs more efficiently. As a result, nurses will provide patients with the information and resources necessary to improve patients’ health status and prevent the development of health issues (Abreu, Barroso, Segadaes, & Teixeira, 2015).
It should be noted, though, that the identified approach will not cover all gaps that can be found in the area of patient education nowadays. Further research will be required to meet the needs of multicultural populations when addressing the issue of stereotypes and myths about specific areas of healthcare and certain diseases. While some misconceptions may be harmless, others may be detrimental to patients’ well-being and lead to a rapid deterioration of their health. Thus, opportunities for reducing the impact of myths and encouraging patients to use trustworthy sources of knowledge, instead, must be regarded as a priority.
Conclusion: Self-Care as the Focus
Because of a rapid rise in diversity levels among patients, nurses need to improve the communication process with patients and enhance patient education, For this reason, the introduction of Orem’s Self-Care Theory will have to be introduced in the realm of contemporary nursing. The theory will serve as the foundation for educating patients. Furthermore, it will allow them to discover opportunities for engaging in the consistent acquisition of health-related knowledge and skills.
The use of innovative technologies as the means of patient education and the further promotion of self-care should be regarded as a necessity at present. Particularly, 3-D models need to be designed to teach patients how to address relevant health concerns, as well as develop an intrinsic understanding of the associated health issues. In addition, patients have to be provided with access to trustworthy information resources. The specified steps are bound to lead to a significant increase in the number of positive patient outcomes. Moreover, the specified approach will create premises for meeting the needs of diverse demographics successfully and within a relatively short amount of time.
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