The Relationship Between Kolcaba's Comfort Theory and Orthopedic Nursing

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The Relationship Between Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory
And Orthopedic Nursing
by
Myra D. Iliano
St. Joseph’s College of Maine
NU 500 Conceptual Bases for Nursing
C. Andrew Martin, Instructor
March 1, 2012

Abstract
Katherine Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort establishes a framework for care provided by the nurse by defining the state of comfort as it exists in various forms and contexts. The achievement of optimal health through the relief of pain is asserted as the foundation of all nursing care (Kolcaba, 2003). That focus is shared with the orthopedic nurse in the surgical post-operative in-patient setting. The nursing interventions supported by the taxonomy of this theory are easily analyzed and utilized in the orthopedic environment. The metaparadigm concepts are also a perfect in this type of venue. Examples of nursing actions specific to the orthopedic environment will be utilized to explain the relevance of this theory’s concepts to maintaining the well-being of the patient. An outline of the process of change will be offered in ordered to assimilate this theory into a typical nursing setting.

Choice of Appropriate Nursing Theory
The field of orthopedics involves the ongoing care and support of those patients experiencing acute bone trauma or chronic bone diseases. It also involves medical treatment and pain management of patients who must undergo surgeries, such as joint manipulations, repairs, or replacements. The nursing care which supports this practice must address all needs which may arise from that repair or other treatment rendered by the physician. Specialized technical skills, accurately defined interventions, therapeutic nurse-patient communication, positive caregiver attitude, and effective continuity of care are important in the overall care provided by the effective orthopedic nurse (American Society of Registered Nurses, 2008).

As an orthopedic nurse, I feel that there is one nursing theory which clearly addresses all of those concepts necessary throughout the provision of high-quality care to my patients. Katherine Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort identifies comfort of the patient as the focus of nursing care. It defines comfort as different forms and contexts which require specific interventions. It also analyzes the effects of certain variables, such as communication and knowledge, upon the effectiveness of the comfort state. Kolcaba views comfort as a holistic state which involves the physical and mental well-being of the patient. Appropriate nursing interventions are offered by Kolcaba in order to provide that comfort they. (Current Nursing Organization, 2011). Overview of Practice Setting

New Albany Surgical Center is a surgical orthopedic facility which is located in a suburb in central Ohio. Approximately 20 to 25 orthopedic surgeries are performed daily, five days a week. The facility contains 52 inpatient beds set aside for those patients who are admitted for a few days after hip and knee replacements for teaching and rehabilitation. The population served by this facility is adult, with most of the patients being over 55 years of age. Approximately two-thirds of these patients are over the age of 65. Most of the patients appear to be lower to middle class economically, and either retired or on disability. There is an equal distribution of male to female ratio and the majority of these patients are Caucasian. Although many of these patients come from the surrounding suburban area, a few patients come from a small Appalachian area in the southern part of the state. Nurse’s Role in Selected Setting

I am employed as a Staff Nurse in the inpatient department of this facility. As a Registered Nurse, I am responsible for receiving the post-operative patient from the post-operative department after orthopedic surgery. The main focus for my patient is pain management through ongoing assessment and evaluation. I strive to meet the physical and mental needs of both the patient and family. I...
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