APPLICATION OF NURSING THEORY TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: THE SELF-CARE MODEL OF DOROTHEA OREM
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the application of Orem's Self-Care Model of Nursing (see: Orem, Taylor & McLaughlin, 2003) to clinical nurse practice. The central thesis of the paper is that Orem's theory has strong utility for application to modern day clinical practice and can be applied to most any case in order to attain the desired medical and caring outcomes. The presented discussion will support this perspective of Orem's theory.
The paper begins with a brief overview of the theory which is then followed by a delineation of a non-nursing theory that supports one or more of Orem's self-care notions. The next section of the paper presents a historical overview of the evolution of Orem's theory, a delineation of the concepts central to the metaparadigm, and an exploration of the theory's usefulness in education and research. The final section of the paper applies the theory to a particular case. A model of the theory is presented in Appendix A.
Alligood and Marriner-Tomey (2001) state that conceptual or theoretical models of nurse practice are pivotal to the field, providing the profession with a guide to patient care and with a general frame of reference that connects the structural environment to the patters of behavior and relationships within the organization. The Orem Self-Care Model of Nursing (Orem, Taylor & McLaughlin, 2003) is one such model.
According to Seedhouse (2000), the Orem Self-Care Model of Nursing conceptualizes the central role of nursing as assisting the patient with self-care where the term "self-care" is defined as those activities that individuals engage in to maintain life, health and well-being. In Orem's model, one key notion is the "self-care agency" which is defined as a person who provides the care (usually the individual but in cases of children it can be parents or caretakers).