Nursing theory as a guiding framework for practice
In my 20 years of experience as a professional nurse, I have found that nursing theory provides a cognitive and Spiritual framework for my practice. Using a theoretical framework, gives meaning to my practice by aligning my Spiritual beliefs as an individual with my actions and interventions as a nurse.
All theories are grounded in the Metaparadigm of Nursing, the most global perspective of the discipline of nursing with central concepts of person, environment, health and nursing.
My own foundational guiding theory is Orlando’s Nursing Process Theory: finding and meeting the patients immediate verbal and nonverbal needs for help.
“Nursing….is responsive to individuals who suffer or anticipate a sense of helplessness, it is focused on the process of care in an immediate experience, it is concerned with providing direct assistance to individuals in whatever setting they are found for the purpose of avoiding, relieving, diminishing or curing the individuals sense of helplessness.” – ~Orlando
Utilizing nursing theory as an intuitive guide to practice
As someone trained to set up field Army hospitals and deliver care under stressful circumstances, this model never fails to guide my priorities. For example, a patient in respiratory distress cannot verbalize the need for air, but as an experienced nurse I know the nonverbal signs of acute respiratory distress and can respond to their immediate needs for oxygen without them having to utter a word. This nursing action preserves lifesaving energy and answers the nonverbal signal of distress.
This also evidences the extreme importance of meeting the patients verbal and nonverbal needs for help while prioritizing the most immediate need for air. Nurses triage every circumstance guided by the nursing process and that process is guided by a personal honor code most people refer to as Nursing Theory.
As an instrument of healing…my actions are always guided by theory first!
What are the guiding principles or theory of your own nursing code of honor?
Love you all so much!