Story Nursing Theory

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Story Theory is a middle-range theory put forward by Mary Jane Smith and Patricia Liehr in 1999. They believe that stories are an essential part of nursing practice. They believe that stories are just as important to diagnose and treat as the physiologic bodily responses of the patient. In fact, often it is the stories that clarify and give meaning to the measurements of physiologic response. Smith and Liehr posit that all nursing encounters take place within the framework of a story. Story Theory proposes that story is a narrative happening wherein a person connects with self-in-relation through nurse-person intentional dialogue to create ease. (Smith & Liehr, 2005) Ease occurs amid accepting the whole story as one’s own. This is a process of attentive embracing the intricacy of one’s situation. The theory is based on three concepts that are clearly identified and defined. The first is intentional dialogue which is defined as “the central activity between nurse and person that brings story to life; it is querying emergence of a health challenge story in true presence.” (Smith & Liehr, 1999) The second concept is connecting with self-in-relation. This is defined as “an active process of recognizing self as related with others in a developing story plot uncovered through intentional dialogue.” (Smith & Liehr, 1999) Creating ease is the third concept. It is defined as “remembering disjointed story moments to experience flow in the midst of anchoring.” (Smith & Liehr, 1999) These definitions are fairly simple and concise. Although self-in-relation is a new term coined by the theorists, like intentional dialogue and creating ease, it is a very explicit concept. Even without reading the stated definitions and explanations, one readily gets a good sense of what they mean. The concepts themselves readily convey their meaning. This is one of the theory’s strength. Secondary supporting definitions are given. For example, the theorists offer a definition...
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