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Faye Glenn Abdellah is from New York City and while living in New Jersey was witness to a German

airship explosion. At this time she vowed to become a nurse. She not only became a nurse, but also dedicated her life to research and education. She helped change nursing focus from a disease centered approach and constructed her own patient-centered approach. She described the beneficiaries of nursing as being individuals who are trying to achieve health, and this was the purpose of nursing. Abdellah created a theory of twenty one areas of focus for nursing. It was divided into three classes: physical, sociological, and the emotional needs of the patient; the types of nursepatient interpersonal relationships; and the common elements of patient care. Using a scientific foundation the patient-centered approach was constructed to bring organization to nursing care experiences. It emphasized the importance that every nursing action should be focused on treatment for the patients overall health not just the disease. Her research is still the framework of many present studies regarding the responsibilities of the nurse. The general aspect of her concepts offers present studies the opportunity to identify the relationship between the nurse and patient and the nursing interventions. Her researches began in the 1950s, at a time when nursing was becoming a popularly accepted profession in America, but was still far from having an organized and established education system. It did not yet have a basis of training or concise standardized principles. The theory was developed in the hopes of helping nursing education and to guide nursing care in practice. The patient-centered approach was developed from her experiences and training. Before discussing the main components of Abdellahs Theory, there are four major concepts that need to be defined. Nursing, as she presents, is providing information or a service

for a person with the intended goal of meeting their needs, restoring their ability to help themselves, or alleviating any type of damage. A person, she defines, as consisting of physical, emotional, and sociological needs, and is the sole purpose of the existence of nursing. Abdellah does not define a state of health but does speak of it in regards to a healthy state of mind and body. Included in planning for nursing care is the patients environment and society; on a small, local level, as well as a large, international level. In Abdellahs theory she recognizes ten steps to identify a patients problem: (1)learn to know the patient, (2)sort out significant data, (3)make generalizations about the data in relation to similar nursing problems in other patients, (4)identify a therapeutic plan, (5)test the generalizations with the patient and make further generalizations, (6)validate the patients conclusions about his nursing problems, (7)continue to observe and evaluate patient, (8)explore patient reaction to therapeutic plan, (9)identify the nurses feelings about patients nursing problems, (10)develop comprehensive nursing care plan. The twenty one nursing problems that are identified and discussed by Abdellah are as follows:

1. To maintain good hygiene and physical comfort.

2. To promote optimal activity: exercise, rest, and sleep.

3. To promote safety through the prevention of accidents, injury, or other trauma and through the prevention of the spread of infection.

4. To maintain good body mechanics and prevent and correct deformities.

5. To facilitate the maintenance of a supply of oxygen to all body cells.

6. To facilitate the maintenance of nutrition of all body cells.

7. To facilitate the maintenance of elimination.

8. To facilitate the maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance.

9. To recognize the physiological responses of the body to disease conditions pathological, physiological, and compensatory.

10. To facilitate the maintenance of regulatory mechanisms and functions.

11. To facilitate the maintenance of sensory functions.

12. To identify and accept positive and negative expressions, feelings, and reactions.

13. To identify and accept the interrelatedness of emotions and organic illness.

14. To facilitate the maintenance of effective verbal and nonverbal communication.

15. To promote the development of productive interpersonal relationships.

16. To facilitate progress toward achievement of personal spiritual goals.

17. To create and/or maintain a therapeutic environment.

18. To facilitate awareness of self as an individual with varying physical, emotional, and developmental needs.

19. To accept the optimum possible goals in the light of limitations, physical and emotional.

20. To use community resources as an aid in resolving problems arising from illness.

21. To understand the role of social problems as influencing factors in the case of illness. (Abdellah, 1960)

This theory has incorporated the concepts of health, nursing problems, and problem solving. Instinctively, problem solving is by nature a part of human function and is the focus of nursing practice. Abdellah integrates nursing care plans into the practice and in this way formulates a testable and correctable practice. The way Abdellah conceived this theory can be categorized as a theory to practice to theory development. She analyzed, synthesized, compared, and refined her research and construed a series of guidelines to be used for education and practice.

This theory has multiple strengths. It can easily be applied to guide practitioners and health care workers in various activities. The theory is presented in a clear manner that can be understood and used by nurses of any expertise level. It can also be used for patients with specific health needs and nursing problems. Weaknesses that are encountered with this theory is that it is inconsistent with the concept of holism and can result in overlooking potential problems because the patient is not thought to be in a precise stage of illness. The clear and categorized preciseness of Abdellahs theory can be used upon admittance of a patient. For example, a patient presenting with severe chest pain, shortness of breath, and tachycardia will be assessed and determined to have cardiac damage and past medical history of heart attacks. Nursing problems identified: (1)maintain physical comfort, (2)facilitate maintenance of supply of oxygen, (3)identify and accept emotional and organic illness. Nursing interventions would include: administer oxygen, elevate head of bed, administer analgesics as ordered, promote rest, promote deep breathing and coughing exercises, implement exercises as tolerated, find nature of emotional stressors, teach early signs and symptoms of cardiac distress and course of action. By isolating the nursing problems and interventions needed for this specific patient the nurse can proceed to apply Abdellahs theory in communicating with the patient and family members, and reviewing the necessary course of actions. I believe that this type of scientific method approach is necessary for nurses to stay organized and concise in regards to patients with certain disease processes. Like all other theories though this cannot be applied to every patient, but I definitely consider this theory to be helpful in my own advance practice. References:

1. Abdellah, F.G., Beland, I.L., Martin, A., & Matheney, R.V. Patient-centered approaches to nursing (2nd ed.). New York: Mac Millan. 1968. 2. Abdellah, F. G., Beland, I. L., Martin, A., & Matheney, R. V. (1973). New directions in patient-centered nursing. In McEwen, M. and Wills, E. (Ed.). Theoretical basis for nursing. USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.