Erikson's Developmental Theories

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ERIKSON'S STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT - HLTEN503B Contribute to Client Assessment and Developing Nursing Care Plans

Knowledge of wellness, pathophysiology and clinical skills allow nurses to provide care with the goal of maintaining, improving or returning the patient to health as well as providing for the needs of patients with chronic illnesses. These aspects of nursing care along with the growth and developmental needs of hospitalised individuals across the lifespan combine to enable nurses to construct nursing care plans which apply to the physical health of the client and the psychological, cognitive, maturity, social and moral needs of each individual client. Nurses caring for clients in the hospital environment can be guided in their practice by relating the approaches of theorists such as Erik Erikson to address their clients' social and personality needs (Funnell, Koutoukidis, Lawrence 2010, pp. 184-185).

Erikson's theory of the 'Eight Stages of Development' describes a lifelong process through which human personality evolves as the individual responds to their environment, psychological experiences, biological influences and social interactions. These factors contribute to the core idea of Erikson's theory that each stage, beginning at birth and ending at death, offers a psychosocial conflict that must be overcome by the corresponding virtue in order to progress to the next stage of development. Any one of these stages can be applied to an individual, depending on their age and circumstance, who is hospitalised in order to offer nurses an approach to nurturing the development of their clients (AllPsych Online, 2011).

Stage I is the year from birth to 1 year old, the conflict at this stage of Erikson's theory is 'Trust vs. Mistrust'. The infant, dependent almost solely upon others, learns to develop trust when the central caregiver, often

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