Orem Self Care Deficit Nursing Theory
Uploaded by sinbaaad on Oct 30, 2011
This essay examines Orem’s theory both in nursing situations and in other disciplines.
Dorothea Orem developed several interesting theories of nursing which are still current today. (Orem herself is very much alive; she lives in Savannah, Georgia.) According to one source, Orem’s inspiration for her theory came when she asked herself a simple question, “Why do people need nursing?” (Taylor, n.d., PG). Her nursing theories arose out of a need to answer that question.
This paper discusses Orem’s self-care deficit nursing theory (SCDNT) and how it relates to some of the practical issues of nursing. It also discusses the way in which the theory might apply in non-nursing situations.
II Major Components of the Theory
Orem’s theory really arises out of the comparison of two other theories. First, she proposed the “theory of self-care.” In this theory, she proposed that human beings are capable of taking deliberate action to regulate their lives, health and well-being. The term she gave to this ability to take action on one’s own behalf is “self-care agency.”
The self-care deficit theory says that human beings have a set of tasks they must perform in order to insure optimal life, health and well-being. Orem termed the total of all these actions that are essential to maintaining life, health and well-being “therapeutic self-care demand.” When the actions a person can perform (self-care agency) are insufficient to fulfill all or part of the therapeutic self-care demand, a self-care deficit develops. That is, the person can no longer perform everything he/she needs to do to maintain their life, health and well-being. A “nursing system” is the term given to “the design and organization of an action plan that bridges the identified gap between self-care agency and therapeutic self-care demand.” (Whitener, 1998, PG). It seems then that the “mechanism” we need is something to either help the person perform the needed action; substitute different actions; or find someone to assist in the performance of the actions.
III How the Theory Relates to Nursing, Clients and
Whitener’s article describes the use of the theory in regard to children’s health, and is a good example of the way the theory relates to nursing. The idea described in the article is the way in which children can be presented with appropriate health messages to develop “self-care agency.” (Recall that self-care agency...