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Wiedenbach Ernestine’s prescriptive theory of nursing is based on three factors. These are the central role which the practitioner considers important to the particular discipline, the prescription for which this central purpose will be fulfilled, and the realities in the immediate situation that may have an influence on the central purpose. Wiedenbach in her theory proposes that clinical nursing contains four main elements. These are a philosophy, a purpose, a practice and the art. She defines the nurses’ philosophy as the attitude they have towards life and how they believe about it, and how the two affected their reality. She further believed that nursing philosophy is composed of a reverence for life, respect for the dignity, worth and autonomy of each person, and the resolution to take action personally and hold professional beliefs.
Wiedenbach defined purpose as what each nurse aims at accomplishing through her actions, which are all the activities that are carried out for the total good of a patient. She then defined practice as the observable actions that nurses take as a result of the beliefs and feelings about meeting the needs of a patient. Her theory states that the art of nursing is made up of understanding the needs of patients, aiming at and acting towards improving the ability of patients and directing all the medical related actions towards the improvement of the condition of a patient (George, 2011).
In relation to this theory, my role in caring for the patients revolves around the elements pointed out by Wiedenbach. My nursing work involves administering prescribed drugs to the patients, giving counseling services to those who need it, ensuring that those who cannot help themselves remain in a clean area, and encouraging those who are losing hope. This follows what Wiedenbach defines as the nursing skills. Her theory states that the purpose of nursing is patient centered. For me, a patient is any person who walks to the health facility to seek help from any of the health professionals. This is a person who needs to be served with all the humanity and the nurse should ensure that she takes actions that will meet the needs of this person. The needs of patients may not necessarily be related to physical illnesses; they incorporate all the aspects that contribute to patients’ well being, including psychological support and consolation. Thus, if at all this need can be met at the health facility, the nurse should attend to a patient (Basavanthappa, 2007).
My beliefs about nursing are that it is a kind of a voluntary career which is aimed at helping members of the society. I believe that the goal of all the nursing activities is to help a patient. Therefore, all the activities should be aimed at helping. This theory can, therefore, be incorporated into these beliefs to guide my attitude towards life, as explained by Wiedenbach’s element of philosophy. This will help me to live a life with the belief of helping in any action that I take. Her element of purpose will help me carry out activities that will contribute only to the good of a patient. Her definition of practice as beliefs and feelings about meeting the needs of patients fully corresponds with my perception of nursing, as I understand that a nurse should only work for the good of a patient. This changes the entire view of the nursing work as the art defined in the theory.
Generally, Wiedenbach’s theory defines nursing as an art which entails actions that are aimed at the good of patients and at improving their conditions by all the medical related activities.
In her needs theory, Henderson Virginia defined nursing as having an exclusive function of assisting individuals, whether they are sick or well, in carrying out the activities which may contribute to their health or recover their health, or let them die in a peaceful manner. These are activities that a person may perform without any assistance if he/she has the strength, the will and the knowledge to perform them. The nurse should also assist in a way that helps a patient become independent as fast as possible. The theory also describes the role of nurses as substantive, meaning that it is done for a person, complementary, meaning that it involves working with a person with an aim of helping the patient to depend on him/herself as much as possible.
Basically, her theory highlights on the basic human needs as the main focus of the nursing practice. Her theory has four main concepts, which include individual, environment, health and nursing. Thus, the theory states that each individual has basic needs which also add up to health. An individual requires assistance so as to achieve better health, be independent and die peacefully. The theory defines environment as a setting under which an individual learns the unique way of living as well as the external factors that influence life and development. Health is defined as the ability of an individual to function without any assistance. She states that it is important for the nurses to emphasize health promotion, prevention and cure of diseases (George, 2011).
Henderson explains the concept of nursing as offering assistance to individuals who do not have the strength, will or knowledge to satisfy their basic needs. Nursing should involve assisting such individuals in their life activities and attainment of independence. The nurse should, therefore, have knowledge to offer individualized care and solve problems scientifically.
Henderson’s theory of need is similar to my personal philosophy of nursing in some ways. One way is that I start all my nursing activities by making an enquiry on all the needs of a person before carrying out any activity. This ensures that everything that I do is based on the patient’s need. A proper understanding of the patient’s needs enables me to plan out the activities that will be conducted on that patient. I support the Henderson’s theory that the need of the patient is health and therefore, all the actions should be professional, which means that we should focus on restoring or maintaining the health of that person.
My role in caring for patients is to restore them to their independent state. So as to help a patient and to ensure that he/she will be able to do all things unaided, I should have adequate knowledge that will enable me to tackle all the needs of the patient professionally. For me, a patient is a person who comes to health facility after realization that his or her body cannot function independently as it is intended to. This person, therefore, visits the health facility to seek help to attain independence. It is, therefore, important to know why the patient cannot perform independently so as to identify his/her health needs (Kim & Suzie, 2006).
My beliefs about nursing can be incorporated in this theory, which will enable me to understand the basic needs of all individuals. These are indentified in the theory as fourteen components of nursing based on human needs. The understanding of basic human needs will enable me to identify what is deficient in a patient and I will, therefore, be able to assist towards meeting the deficiency. This will eventually make a patient independent in performing his/her activities. Thus, knowing the needs of a patient forms the basis for the nursing care.
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