Orem developed the self-care deficit theory to improve the quality of nursing in hospitals.
This theory is used in primary care settings and rehabilitation. It urges the patient to be independent as possible. Several major assumptions form the basis of the theory and they include the following. People take responsibility for their care and that of other members of the family. Hence, people should be self-reliant. For self-care to be achieved, requisites such as universal and development self-care must be met. This is paramount if ill-health is to be averted. People should be knowledgeable of potential health problems so as to promote self-care behaviors. The theory also suggests that nursing is a form of action that involves two or more people, and the behaviors that come with nursing such as self-care and dependent care must be learned within a socio-cultural context. Additionally, people vary from one individual to another, and hence people display distinct characters and patterns. Orem’s theory made up of three parts which are related to each other.
- The first part is self-care which involves the activities that one does on his own to his well-being, health, and life. Self-care is a human ability that makes people take care of themselves and is conditioned by factors such as socio-cultural orientation, development stage, age, health, and the available resources. The requirements of self-care are connected with life processes as well as maintaining human structure and functioning. Additionally, self-care requires people to take the correct measures in times of illness, injury or disease.
- The second part of the theory is the self-care deficit, and it stipulates when nursing is needed. Hence, if an adult is incapable of providing continuous self-care, nursing is required. Such people can be helped through guidance, support, teaching them, acting for them and providing a surrounding that promotes personal development such that the person will be able to meet future demands.
- The third part of the theory is nursing systems. It describes how the self-care needs of the patient should be met by both the patient and the nurse (Smith, & Parker, 2015).
I think that the theory tries to direct people on how they can take care of themselves and how they can collaborate with nurses to ensure that proper medical attention is accorded to them. It encourages people to know the health risk that they face from day today and how they can deal with the risks. This knowledge should then be passed onto other individuals in the community so that they can also protect themselves from the risks. In practice, this theory is practiced for instance on people who have nutritional disorders. The patient should know what causes the disorder and how he can avoid it. His family members should make sure that he consumes proper food, and should take care of him when he is not able to do so for himself. They should also know when the condition is too serious such that nursing is required. The nurse and the patient should plan how the will coordinate to ensure that the patient receives proper treatment and self-care is achieved.
Self-care requires people to carry out medically prescribed measures effectively. In areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes, people should be aware of how to control the breeding of the insects. Also, they should know to prevent themselves from being bitten and hence being exposed to diseases such as malaria. Using this knowledge, people can prevent themselves from getting malaria.
In my opinion, the essence of this theory to nursing is immense. It incorporates the patient, community, and nurse into achieving a common goal, health. With the help of nurses, people can take care of themselves and their loved ones. Additionally, they can ensure that proper health attention is accorded to their patients.