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Orems Theory

Orem's Theory

Nursing theories are key to the educational process of obtaining a nursing degree. Understanding the various tenets behind care as a nurse may seem natural to those that are natural care-givers but nursing theories assist others in understanding why various avenues are taken regarding patients. Have the writers at Paper Masters help you understand all nursing theories, including Dorothea Orem's self-care model.

Orem Theory, also known as the Self-Care Deficit Theory, was developed by Dorothea E. Orem and contains three key elements:

  1. The theory of self-care
  2. The theory of self-care deficit
  3. The theory of nursing system

One of the foundational principles of this theory is that individuals need to be their own primary advocates, responsible for their own care as well as the care of their family members. However, health care professionals are responsible for aiding in this self-care through their provision of knowledge and support, allowing individuals to have the tools and skills necessary for success. Ultimately, each person is a distinct individual and has their own unique needs pertaining to their overall health.

Orem suggested the following regarding healthcare professionals:

  1. Health care professionals must adjust their practices to best meet the patient's needs.
  2. Interpersonal technologies are used to provide the patients with the knowledge necessary to engage in self-care.
  3. Nursing professionals must adjust their communication styles and strategies when speaking with patients of different ages and health levels.
  4. Some patients will require more direction while others are largely autonomous.
  5. Regulatory technologies should be used by nursing professionals to encourage positive growth and development for all people.
  6. Health care professionals should use the various tools at their disposal to aid patients in combating diseases or other illnesses.
  7. Ultimately, though, it is the responsibility of the patient to ensure their overall health.

Critically examining the values and beliefs that are central to Orem's theory our researchers contend that while care is an integral and essential part of Orem's theory, education also takes prominence as pertinent to patient recovery. Self-care models are predicated on the assumption that the individual wants to meet his or her own needs with regard to health. However, situations arise when this cannot be accomplished. As such, the individual must access the help of healthcare providers and learn what steps are necessary to once again assume the responsibility of self-care. Thus, the education of the patient is critical for the development of this theory.

Considering the significance of self-care in the current healthcare market, it becomes clear that moving the patient toward self-care not only improves the quality of life for the patient, but also serves as the basis for creating a culture of preventative care. By teaching patients how to care for themselves and how to ensure a better quality of life in the future, the self-care model seeks to promulgate awareness and responsibility on the part of the patient. Patients that engage in self-care are less apt to be sick and less dependent on the healthcare system. While this process is not perfect, in a culture that stresses the necessity of cost-containment in healthcare, this is one step that can be easily implemented toward this end. Applying this theory to the context of nursing, one writer made the observation that the Orem's model of self-care can be utilized to assess the client, develop a course of action that will improve the quality of life for the client and assess the outcomes of this process. Thus, according to Horan, the process of self-care is a holistic method of nursing care that seeks to ensure the well-being of the client over the long-term.

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