University of Phoenix
Theoretical Foundations of Practice
October 17, 2011
Dorothea Orem was born in 1914 and died in 2007. During her years in nursing she wore many hats including staff nurse, private duty nursing, educator, administrator and a consultant. She published her original theory in 1971 with subsequent revisions over the years (Saleem, 2011). Orem’s major assumptions were that people should be responsible for their own care and the care of their ill family members. People are individuals and nursing is an interaction between two or more individuals. Nursing is about actions taken to help people maintain their health or to care for these people when their health is failing. The goal is to meet the patient and family needs that will ultimately help to heal. Orem’s nursing theory consists of three parts: self care theory, self care deficit theory, and nursing systems theory. The Self Care Theory states that an individual can initiate and complete all activities of daily living independently. Patients who have a need for self care that is greater than their ability to care for themselves have a self care deficit (Tomey & Alligood, 2006). Those patients with a self care deficit need nursing intervention strategies to enable them to manage their disease process. The purpose of nursing practice is to assist the patient to become sufficiently prepared to participate in his or her own care, and in turn have an improved quality of life (Tomey & Alligood, 2006). Orem's theory of nursing systems predicts how to apply the nursing care by suggesting three different nursing systems that are based on the needs of the individual patient. This includes wholly compensatory, partly compensatory, and supportive-educative. Nursing theory should theoretically have a substantial impact on clinical practice and support methods for patient care. Dorothea Orem’s theory of...