Self Care Deficit Theory

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Analysis and Application of Dorothea Orem's Self-Care Practice Model Elaine Gilligan Whelan, RNC, MA, MSN

Curriculum design in nursing education has become an increasingly sophisticated process throughout the past decade. "Theories" of nursing have emerged, and have become the basis for various curricula models. One model which is relevant to nursing education, practice and research, is that of Dorothea Orem. Nurse educators are constantly bombarded with material regardmg various nursing "theories." Each nurse educator would benefit by having some familiarity with the models of the major theorists of our day. Dorothea Orem s theory is the basis for numerous curricula across the country. Since curriculum design and redesign affords faculty the opportunity to pursue alternative approaches to the present blueprint of their academic program, material must be succinctly presented which affords one an overview of such theories as that of Orem. This paper is an attempt to address that need.

James (1968). Following this analysis of the model, a clinical example of the application of the model is presented. Analysis Philosophical Assumptions: Orem has presented the following assumptions about the nature of man, the nature of nursing, and the interactions between man and environment. Regarding the nature of man, Orem sees man as responsible for his own self-care in relation to his health. She also sees man as responsible for others who are dependent upon him (children, the sick and the elderly). Thirdly, she believes man has the right to choose or not to choose in relation to his health (Orem, 1980, pp. 1-33). For Orem, nursing is viewed as a human service which is valued in many social groups. Nursing is considered to be a mode of helping, wherein the focus of nursing is the individual's self-care action. Nursing intervention is necessary, within Orem's framework, in order to sustain life and health, to facilitate recovery from disease or injury and to...
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