Running head: HENDERSON MODEL FROM A HOLISTIC VIEW Application of the Henderson Nursing Model from a Holistic Perspective Abstract Virginia Henderson founded the Henderson Nursing Model before it was acceptable to consider medical treatment from a holistic perspective…
Application of the Henderson Nursing Model from a Holistic Perspective Virginia Henderson was an advanced woman of her time. By 1934 she had earned both her Bachelors of Nursing and her Masters Degree in Nursing Education and was well on her way towards making one of the biggest changes in nursing history. In an era where nurses were starting to be appreciated for more than their ability to change dressings, Henderson’s work on a theory of nursing was the right move at the right time in history (“Nursing Theory,” 2011). Henderson’s Nursing Model Henderson is known as a “needs theorist” (Kim & Kollak, 2006, p.17). Her prime theory was centered on the idea that a nurse’s position was to help the individual to gain their own independence. This lent a flexibility to the nursing model; an idea that a nurse could be many things to the same patient. Henderson put it as “assisting the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to the health or its recovery (or to a peaceful death) that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge; And to do this in such a way as to help him gain independence as rapidly as possible” (1961, p. 42). ...
She was also a strong proponent for the idea that the nurse’s obligation and duty is to the patient rather than the doctor which was a prevalent belief prior to that time. Nicholl (1997) wrote about her “Henderson’s definition of nursing was a major shift from the task-procedure perspective and one of the earliest widely used definitions to present a conceptualization of nursing that included function and goal” (p.509). Henderson viewed a nurses function as being either substitutive (doing something instead of the patient); supplementary (helping the patient directly to do something) or complementary (working with the patient to do something). This way the patient had a certain control over how his or her treatment went; with the nurse identified as someone who can facilitate that process (“Nursing Theory”, 2011). This emphasis on the patient having some control over his or her health and treatment is one aspect that resonates with holistic health practices. Holistic Medicine and the Henderson Nursing Model Holistic medicine is defined as a “doctrine of preventive and therapeutic medicine that emphasizes the necessity of looking at the whole person—his body, mind, emotions, and environment—rather than at an isolated function or organ...holistic medicine puts ownership of the patient's health back with the patient, teaching the precepts of exercise, a good diet, adequate sleep, fresh air, and moderation in personal habits” (Shaw, 2008). Originally considered “new age” and totally against the medical methods of treatment, in more recent times holistic aspects of health care are working alongside mainstream medical techniques. While it could not be said that Virginia Henderson was a ...
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