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Orem’s Self-Care Model


Nursing is one of the most important spheres of human activity which contributes to the improved outcomes of any recovery process and guarantees that a patient will be provided with the most appropriate care. The unique importance of the given sphere resulted in the appearance of a specific theoretic background needed to analyze the most topical patients needs and create the most efficient methods of their fulfillment. For this reason, we could state that nursing theory is a core of nursing itself as it provides specialists with the knowledge needed to assist patients in their recovery.

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The appearance of nursing theories is usually preconditioned by the peculiarities of the current age and the most topical demands to the provision of care. Besides, the Self-Care Theory by Dorothea Orem could be considered one of the most important nursing theories that are used in the modern healthcare setting. Its ideas and assumptions remain topical nowadays because of its focus on the health of a patient and ways he/she could contribute to its improvement on his/her own (Breiddal, 2012).

In this regard, the given paper delves into the main aspects of the given theory and the way it is explored nowadays to guarantee patients recovery and enhanced outcomes. The given paper consists of the Introduction that outlines the scope of the research; Importance section that presents a unique topicality of the chosen theory and the rationale for its studying; Summary of the Theory section that provides the comprehensive investigation of this very theory, its main concepts, and alterations; Application section that considers the ways Self-Care Theory could be realized in practice; Conclusion section that summarizes all information presented in the document.


Therefore, Self-Care model is one of the most topical and important approaches to the preservation of patients health that are explored in the modern healthcare setting. The fact is that it revolves around the idea that a nurse should meet the self-care needs of every individual and in this way contribute to his/her recovery. The given concept corresponds to the main task of the modern public health service which is the enhancement of patients knowledge about health and improvement of their ability to care about themselves to guarantee positive outcomes of any treatment (Phillips, 2014).

The topicality of this approach makes Self-Care Theory one of the integral parts of a masters program as a specialist of this sort should possess the knowledge of the most important approaches that could be useful when delivering care to a patient. Besides, this very nursing theory is extremely useful to the nursing profession as it, first of all, could guarantee the improved outcomes which are one of the main aims of any nurse working with patients. Generally, nursing is focused on the cooperation with patients and meeting their basic needs for a specific care.

At the same time, Self-Care Theory outlines crucial concerns that people should possess in case they want to remain healthy and preserve the quality of life of their families. In this regard, the combination of the traditional approach to nursing with this one could result in the improved understanding of current problems and help to eliminate them. Besides, the nature of this theory also contributes to its universal character as it could also be used to distinguish the nursing profession from the others.

The fact is that cooperation with patients and suggesting the most important information to them are one of the main nurses tasks (Phillips, 2014). Thus, to be able to care for themselves, patients should be provided with the data that nurses possess. For this reason, Self-Care model emphasizes the role of a nurse and separate it from other health professions. Besides, sometimes this task might be too complex because of the poor understanding of medical information. That is why an efficient monitoring becomes one of the main concerns related to the theory.

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Summary of the Theory

Nevertheless, the theory was suggested by Dorothea Orem in 1959, and since that time it had experienced numerous alterations and editions. The approach that nowadays is known as Self-Care nursing theory or Orems Model of Nursing was formed by the last edition of in 2001 (Orem, 2001). The main idea of this very method is the encouragement of a patient to be as independent as it is possible (Orem, 2001). In other words, people should be responsible for their own care, and a nurse should be ready to cooperate with individuals to help them to satisfy the basic needs for self-care by providing its assistance. This theory rests on the idea that patients have a great desire to care for themselves and in case this wish is satisfied improved outcomes could be guaranteed.

Furthermore, the theory considers nursing as a form of action that presupposes interaction between at least two or even more persons (Orem, 2001). For this reason, it is crucial to establish trustful relations with a patient and encourage his/her self-care activities. Analyzing the Self-Care model in terms of our metaparadigms of nursing, we could state that person becomes central here as a patient is given the greatest attention and all his/her attempts to improve the state of health are appreciated. At the same time, nursing is crucial here as it is the main nurses task to assure that a patient is provided with all information needed for his/her recovery.

Orem also emphasizes the role of the environment and states that only in case a person and a nurse manage to create an appropriate setting, an individual will be encouraged to engage in the self-recover process (Wazni & Gifford, 2016). Finally, the metaparadigm of health is obvious here as all above-mentioned efforts are focused on the significant improvement of the state of the health and its preservation. The combination of all these factors results in the great potential of this very theory and its promising character. At the moment, the healthcare sector is focused on educating patients to guarantee the increased level of health and to cultivate their ability to care for themselves. For this reason, the theory becomes extremely important for both education and healthcare policy.


Besides, the given theory could also be used to explain one of the professional nursing practice areas. It is evident that a nurse should provide patients with knowledge for them to be able to participate in the recovery process and make all procedures more efficient. In terms of the Self-Care model, it becomes one of the most important activities a nurse should perform (Wazni & Gifford, 2016). A specialist should assure that a patient possesses all data that is needed for him/her to be able to improve the state of the health independently.

For instance, in case a patient suffers from the high blood pressure, a nurse should be ready to provide him with the knowledge needed for him to be able to monitor it and take pills in case it is too high. Besides, the chronic character of this disease preconditions the unique importance of the patients engagement in the recovery process. He should be ready to use different preventive medications not to let the disease evolve and deteriorate the health of a person. In this regard, the cooperation between a nurse and a patient becomes crucial.

Moreover, it is crucial to assure that a patient performs all procedures in a right way as in case some stages are ignored the positive effect will be eliminated. For example, a patient suffering from diabetes might ignore prescriptions and administer insulin injections in a wrong way. It will not help him/her to improve the state of the health and, on the contrary, result in the significant worsening of his/her quality of life (Dalton, 2012). For this reason, a patient should not be left alone with his problems and attempts to improve the state of his health by his/her own. A nurse should also act as an educator and guarantee provision of the most important knowledge.


Altogether, Self-Care Theory is focused on encouraging a patient to involve in the recovery process and guarantee the improvement of his/her state in this way. It also outlines the great importance of nurses functioning as an educator to provide a patient with all needed data. The theory is extremely important for the modern healthcare setting as it contributes to the improved outcomes of any treatment. Besides, when investigating the given approach, the idea of the unique importance of patients participation in recovery became evident because of its the enhanced results that could be observed when applying the model to practice.

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Breiddal, S. (2012). Self-Care in palliative care: A way of being. Illness, Crisis & Loss, 20(1), 5-17. doi:10.2190/IL.20.1.b

Dalton, J. (2012). Diabetes disease management in a home care setting. Home Health Care Management & Practice, 24(1), 38-49. doi:10.1177/1084822311420288

Orem, D. (2001). Nursing Concepts of Practice. Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby.

Phillips, T. (2014). Exploration of theoretical models. Nursing Science Quarterly, 27(4), 308-314. doi:10.1177/0894318414546409

Wazni, L., & Gifford, W. (2016). Addressing physical health needs of individuals with schizophrenia using Orem’s theory. Journal of Holistic Nursing. doi:10.1177/0898010116658366

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StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Orem's Self-Care Model'. 13 December.

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