Dorothea Orem Self Care Theory

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What is self-care? How do you achieve self-care in the Nursing field? I am looking in depth into Dorothea Orem’s theory and her view of how to achieve self-care. With her theory, we focus more on the patient managing their own care, than focusing on medical interventions. Dorothea Orem was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1914 and died in 2007 in Savannah, Georgia. She attended Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Washington DC and received her diploma of Nursing in the early 1930’s. Ms. Orem then continued her education at Catholic University of America and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1939 and her Masters of Science in Nursing in 1946. Ms. Orem had a wide variety of nursing experiences including, but not limited to; Operating Room Nurse, Medical- Surgical Adult and Pediatric Hospital Staff Nursing, Supervisor in the emergency room, and an instructor in Biological Science. In 1950, Ms. Orem moved to Indiana and worked in the Division of Hospital and Institutional Services of the Indiana State Board of Health. Her goal was to upgrade the quality of nursing in general hospitals throughout the state. It was during this time that she developed her definition of nursing practice. In 1957, she took a job in the Office of Education, US Department of Health, Education and Welfare as a curriculum consultant. While in that position she addressed the question, “What is the subject matter of Nursing?” This led to development of “Guides for Developing Curricula for the Education of Practical Nurses” in 1959. We first see Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care theory in her first book; Nursing: Concepts of Practice in 1971. Ms. Orem later went back to school and received Honorary Doctorates of Science from both Georgetown University in 1976 and Incarnate Word College in 1980. Ms. Orem also received Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Illinois

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