Chamberlain College of Nursing
Theoretical Basis of Advanced Nursing
July 20, 2013
Nursing theories are the basic concepts that define nursing practice and provide the explanation to why nurses do what they do. Nurses are exposed to theories everyday in their practice. Did I give much thought to nursing theories prior to becoming a student? No, I did not. Of course I utilized them in my everyday nursing practice, but never put much thought in the theory itself. The concepts of Leininger’s theory of cultural diversity will be discussed in relation to how it impacts patient care. The key concepts of Leininger’s theory and their relationships with one another will be summarized as well as its relationship to nursing education. Importance of Nursing Theory
During any given day, a nurse will utilize multiple nursing theories. These theories guide how a nurse treats patients, how tasks are performed, assessments completed and interventions established. By studying nursing theory, it allows for the student to start critically thinking. One way to look at a theory is as the foundation for good clinical practice. If the foundation is cracked, then it weakens the structure (i.e. clinical practice). Having a good comprehension of nursing theories coupled with compassion and intuition would make for a strong nurse.
Nursing theory provides the foundation for nursing research which develops nursing practice. Nursing research is important to advance clinical practice which allows patients to receive the best nursing care possible. Early nursing theories appear to be common sense or things that we do automatically without thinking about it. However, somewhere in a nurse’s life, somebody taught that nurse about caring. By the time we become nurses, the art of caring has already been engrained in our personalities. Key Concepts
Listed below are the key concepts of Leininger’s theory of cultural diversity. * “Religious and Cultural knowledge is an important ingredient in health care” (Leininger, 1991). Some religions and cultures have a different way of practicing medicine. When nurses adjust care plans around religious and cultural preferences, patients would be more inclined to follow treatment care plans. For example, Middle Eastern cultures are very reluctant to accept a diagnosis of mental illness. Extensive education needs to be given to the family on mental illness when this diagnosis is made of Middle Eastern patients. Another example pertains to patients from Russian. These patients are very mistrustful of healthcare professionals, so when treatment plans are developed, the team needs to be mindful that the patient may not be disclosing accurate health information due to their cultural beliefs that medical practitioners are not to be trusted. * “Health care providers need to be flexible in the design of programs, policies, and services” (Leininger, 1991). Providing flexibility when planning care for those culturally diverse populations when keep the patient more engaged in their treatment. For example, when a patient has difficulty sleeping at night and is awake for the majority of the night, then morning care could be postponed to accommodate the patient’s poor sleep. This would give the patient an adequate chance to get sleep and be more cooperative with the treatment process. * “The use of traditional models of health care is widely varied and may come into conflict with Western models of health care practice” (Leininger, 1991). When developing treatment plans, the patient’s customary health care practices needs to be taken in to consideration. For example, if a female patient does not make her own medical decisions, then the appointed male of the household needs to be included in making treatment decisions. * “For a nurse to successfully provide care for a client of a different cultural or ethnic to background, effective...
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Leininger M. Culture care diversity and universality: A theory of nursing. New York: National League for Nursing Pres; 1991.
Leininger, M. M. (1988). Leininger 's theory of nursing: Cultural care diversity and universality. Nursing Science Quarterly, 1(4), 152-160. doi:10.1177/089431848800100408.
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