Virginia Henderson Theory

Topics: Nursing, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Nursing theory Pages: 5 (1368 words) Published: December 15, 2012
Virginia Henderson-Theory critique

Virginia Henderson-Theory critique
Referred to by some as the “Florence Nightingale of the twentieth century,” Virginia Henderson made many contributions to nursing (Butts & Rich, 2011). She was born in 1987, in Kansas City, MO, and devoted more than 60 years of her life as a nurse, teacher, author, and researcher (2011). Henderson became interested in nursing during World War I with a desire to help the sick and wounded militants. She graduated from nursing school in 1921 and began her nursing career in New York City. In 1926, Henderson returned to school and completed her bachelor of science degree and master of arts in nursing education (2011). She then went on to write several nursing publications and established one of the most precise definitions of nursing (2011). Similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, Henderson defines nursing through 14 components based on human needs, and because of this has been called the “needs theory” (Potter & Perry, 2005). These needs pertain to bodily functions, safety, and psychological needs. The goal in this theory is for patients, whether well or sick, to regain independence at their fullest potential and includes the phenomenon of the patient’s physiological, psychosocial, sociocultural, spiritual, and developmental realms ("Nursing theories," 2012). The 14 components

* Breathe normally. Eat and drink adequately.
* Eliminate body wastes.
* Move and maintain desirable postures.
* Sleep and rest.
* Select suitable clothes-dress and undress.
* Maintain body temperature within normal range by adjusting clothing and modifying environment * Keep the body clean and well groomed and protect the integument * Avoid dangers in the environment and avoid injuring others. * Communicate with others in expressing emotions, needs, fears, or opinions. * Worship according to one’s faith.

* Work in such a way that there is a sense of accomplishment. * Play or participate in various forms of recreation.
* Learn, discover, or satisfy the curiosity that leads to normal development and health and use the available health facilities.
Henderson’s 14 components are used to assess the needs of each patient and whether the patient will require assistance in meeting those needs. A plan is then designed based on the patient’s deficits in order to help the patient become more independent as quickly as possible. Interventions are then based on physiological values as well as individual characteristics. Patient’s need for assistance is then evaluated and a new plan is formulated until the patient can function independently. Henderson stressed continued assessment of the patient’s needs with revision of the care plan based on the change in the patient’s condition ("Nursing theories," 2012). Theory description

The four major concepts discussed in Henderson’s theory are person, environment, health, and nursing. In Henderson’s theory, the person is viewed as a whole, made up of psychological, sociological, biological, and spiritual components. However, the person requires assistance achieving their basic human needs until they can do so independently ("Nursing theory," 2011). Henderson defines the environment as a delicate system made up of biological, physical, and behavioral components. Because these components are dependent on one another, change in one will result in change among other parts of the system disrupting balance. Henderson believed that some environmental factors could influence human health and it’s the nurse’s function to control the environment to help maintain balance (Butts & Rich, 2011). It is implied that health is basic to human function and equivalent to independence which is the ultimate goal in Henderson’s theory. The quality of health is based on the person’s ability to independently meet the 14 basic human needs (Butts & Rich, 2011)....
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