Virginina Henderson Critique of Theory

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Critique of Virginia Henderson: Need Theory Many theorists have come up with conceptual models that tried to define and explain nursing, one of which is by Virginia Henderson (1966). In this model, she stated that “the unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or peaceful death) that he/she would perform unaided if he/she had the necessary strength, will or knowledge. And to do this in such a way as to help him/her gain independence as rapidly as possible” (Henderson, 1966). This paper presents an analysis and evaluation of Henderson’s nursing theory using Fawcett`s framework of analysis and evaluation of conceptual models of nursing (2000).
The person as defined in Henderson’s model is all encompassing; it applies to the sick, the well and the dying. Caring would include a genuine interaction with the patient, being a source of comfort and strength, and when the patient is well, the nurses must make sure to empower the patients to take care of themselves. Moreover, during that time, nurses functions were not identified programs for skills training and even education varied from school to school, to countries and even in hospitals .There were also legal barriers to how nurses should carry out their duties, which made the profession’s position in healthcare ambiguous and misunderstood. Nursing is primarily helping people in performing basic bodily functions that they are able to do if they are well and to provide this care and help in a limited time only (Henderson, 1991). It stressed more on what the nurses should do and who should they take care of and thus belongs to the reciprocal interaction world view category. The model is concerned with addressing the issues of defining what nursing is and what nurses do. Henderson came up with a definition of

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