Hildegard Peplau Essay

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Nursing theorist Hildegard Peplau published Interpersonal Relations in Nursing in 1952 (Nurses Info, 2012). It took four years for her work to be published because it had been considered too revolutionary for a nurse to publish a book without a physician co-author (Nurses Info, 2012). Although Peplau was initially known for her contributions to psychiatric nursing, her theories have been applied to the nursing field in general. According to Potter and Perry (2009), “Hildegard Peplau’s theory focuses on interpersonal relations between nurse, the patient and the patient’s family. The patient is an individual with a need, and nursing is an interpersonal and therapeutic process. This nurse-patient relationship is influenced by both the nurse’s and the patient’s perceptions and preconceived ideas” (p. 44). The key takeaways that struck me are the emphasis on patient-centered care, the therapeutic aspect of the nursing process and the relationship between nurse, client and family. As we have learned in other classes, these are critical components of today’s nursing practice. In Peplau’s theory, the elements of the nursing metaparadigm (i.e. person, health, environment and nursing) are defined and broadened as follows (Current Nursing, 2012): * Client/Patient – Person, group, community deserving of humane care with dignity, privacy, ethics * Environment – Physiological, psychological & social fluidity that may be illness-maintaining or health promoting * Health – Forward movement of personality and other ongoing human processes in the direction of creative, constructive, personal, and community living. * Interpersonal – Phenomena occurring between people * Nurse – The medium of the art of nursing; a maturing force. * Nursing - A significant therapeutic interpersonal process. It functions cooperatively with other human processes

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