Virginia Henderson theory of “need”

Virginia Henderson theory of “need”

There are various nursing theories advanced by different professionals. These theories are aimed enhancing the practice of nursing. This discussion is based on Virginia Henderson’s ‘need’ theory.

Summary of the theory

The theory emphasizes various things that are required to be performed by nurses in promoting the health of the patient. Nurses are required to increase the independence of the patient to ensure that the progress of hospitalization is not delayed.  Therefore, patients and any other individual brought in the health center should be provided with assistance to help them gain independence in relation to performance of activities that aid in the recovery (Halloran 1996, p. 17).  The theory has categorized nursing activities into 14 components that are based on the needs of human. This needs include  ensuring that the patient  breathe in a normal way  by eating and drinking adequately,  eliminating body waste,  maintenance of postures (Halloran 1996, p. 17), getting enough sleep and rest, selection of suitable clothes and undress, maintenance of body temperature,  avoidance of dangerous  environment,  keeping the body clean, communicating with others to express emotions, fears and  opinions,  having the freedom to worship in ones religion or faith, sense of accomplishment  in work, opportunity to play and participate  in various recreation forms, opportunity to learn and to discover  and to study curiosity  which is important for the normal development of the  person in a health facility (Vandemark 2006, p. 605). Further more, roles of the nurse are described as substitutive meaning that they do their roles for the person by helping the patient through working with the patient to help them become independent.  Therefore, nursing according to this theory aims to assist the sick in performing activities that promote health or recovery or peaceful death. The theory uses four concepts including individual, environment, health and nursing.

The implementers of this theory are the nurses and other medical practitioners that have the responsibility of ensuring that patients are well attended to and recover from their ailments.  Therefore, there are various roles that are played by the educator who disseminates this information to the nurses that implement it.  The role of educator is therefore to ensure that nurses are well trained on the skills of handling patients and people in need of care at the health facility. The educator, therefore, has to make sure that the nurses are well equipped with requisite skills and knowledge to enable them diagnosis patients and assess their diseases, be able to provide correct assistance to help patients recover quickly from their various ailments. Nurses must be committed to their work to ensure that patients and individuals brought before them improve in their health status. The educator should therefore asses the situation using the 14 components; carry out analysis by comparing data to knowledge base of health issues or disease. Plan by identifying the individual need to meet their own needs without assistance by taking into account their strengths and knowledge, implement nursing by documenting how to assist solve the situation (Abrahams 2007, p. 382). After this, then, nursing process is implemented based on the various issues such as age, cultural background, emotional balance, intellectual and physical capacities among others. Nursing evaluation should also be done to ensure that all the 14 components are incorporated in the nursing practice.

Reference list

Abrahams, S 2007, ‘ Nursing the community, a look black at the 1984 dialogue between Virginia             A. Henderson and Sherryl L. Shamansky,’ Public Health Nursing, Vol.24 no. 4, pp. 382-        386.

Halloran, E 1996, ‘Virginia Henderson and her timeless writings,’ Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 23 no. 1, pp. 17-24.

Vandemark, L 2006, ‘Awareness of self & expanding consciousness: using Nursing theories to     prepare nurse –therapists,’ Mental Health Nursing, Vol. 27 no. 6, pp. 605-155.

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