Dorothea Orem's Self Care Theory

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An Exemplar: Dorothea Orem’s Self Care Theory Applied to Nursing Practice
Brandy Rose
NUR502 – B02 Dr. Miller
September 22, 2012

Introduction Nursing theory can often be an intimidating concept to novice and experienced nurses. Often nurses are overwhelmed with learning and understanding their practice, evolving practice changes related to evidenced based practice, high acuity patients, and the demands of hospital administration. The thought of applying theoretical concepts related to theory based nursing can seem difficult, challenging, and time consuming. Brenier (2002) compares theory to broccoli, “ as with broccoli, a child may turn up a nose with the first taste, but after experimenting with broccoli and other vegetables, the taste of broccoli becomes the favorite” (p. 384). Personally speaking, I can relate to the comparison of broccoli and nursing theory. As a new nurse, I was resistant to the thought of applying theory to my practice. In the big scheme of nursing care, it appeared to be one more thing to tack on to my list of things to do. After all, I was overwhelmed with meeting the demands of patients, families, and physicians. In addition, I was trying to meet best practice standards, develop effective time management skills so my twelve-hour shift did not become a fourteen-hour shift, and often handling life-threatening situations.
The epiphany I had about nursing theory was when I realized I had actually been applying Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Theory to my practice and had not even realized it. This epiphany came when I was listening to a discussion at one of my healthcare facilities’ quarterly nursing summits. The presentation was about the importance of relating Orem’s Theory to nursing practice and the results of evidenced based practice of Orem’s Self-Care Theory. I realized at that moment that her nursing theory was not as

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