September 4, 2014
Application of a Grand Theory
Nurses use theories in every day practice to help answer questions and to build a strong foundation from. In this paper, two theories will be compared and contrasted. The first article applied Virginia Henderson’s grand theory of Principles and Practice of Nursing, also known as the activities of living theory (Nicely & DeLario, 2011). She believed, “the best health care is patient-focused; better still, family-focused” (Nicely & DeLario, 2011, p. 72). In this article, Henderson’s theory was applied specifically to the population of organ donation. Nicely and DeLario (2011) defined an organ donor as “an individual who is brain dead and is a candidate for solid-organ donation for transplantation” (p. 72). As one can imagine, this situation places a significant amount of stress on not only the patient but also the patient’s family and support system. By applying the fourteen activities categorized under Henderson’s theory, nurses are able to provide the brain dead patient with the proper care they deserve and to ease the process for the family going through this unfortunate situation.
For example, the first activity involves normal breathing. In order for organs to be viable, a person who cannot breathe independently will require immediate intubation. According to Nicely and DeLario (2011), “intubation and ventilation is necessary and is not negotiable in a brain-dead patient” (p. 73). A competent nurse will recognize the need for such an intervention and assist in achieving the desired outcome. Henderson’s activities go beyond physiological interventions for the patient, they include personal care and family support as well. Such as, bathing the patient and presenting them in a way to the family that encompasses comfort and holistic nursing care. By performing all fourteen of Henderson’s activities, a nurse is able to
References: Mefford, L. C., & Alligood, M. R. (n.d.). Testing a theory of health promotion for preterm infants based on Levine’s conservation model of nursing. The Journal of Theory Construction & Testing, 15(2), 41-47. Nicely, B., & DeLario, G. (2011). Virginia Henderson’s principles and practice of nursing applied to organ donation after brain death. Progress in Transplantation, 21(1), 72-77.