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Virginia Henderson As a patient receives treatment and is on the road to recovery, it's important that the patient is able

to take care of him or herself after being released from medical care. To that end, nurses should be caring for the patient while, at the same time, be helping the patient become more independent and reach goals and milestones on the road to health. Virginia Henderson's Need Theory addresses this issue and helps nurses help patients so that they can care for themselves when they leave the healthcare facility. Biography of Virginia Henderson Virginia Henderson was born on November 30, 1897 in Kansas City, Missouri, and was the fifth of eight children in her family. In 1921, Henderson graduated from the Army School of Nursing at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. In 1932, she earned her Bachelor's Degree and in 1934 earned her Master's Degree in Nursing Education, both from Teachers College at Columbia University. Henderson died on March 19, 1996. Career of Virginia Henderson After graduating from the Army School of Nursing, Henderson worked at the Henry Street Visiting Nurse Service for two years. In 1923, she started teaching nursing at the Norfolk Protestant Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. After earning her Master's Degree, she stayed on at Teachers College as a faculty member, where she remained until 1948. After 1953, Henderson served as a research associate at the Yale University School of Nursing. Henderson received Honorary Doctoral degrees from the Catholic University of America, Pace University, the University of Rochester, the University of Western Ontario, and Yale University. In 1985, Henderson was presented with the first Christianne Reimann Prize from the International Council of Nurses. She was also an honorary fellow of the United Kingdom's Royal College of Nursing. The same year, she was also honored at the Annual Meeting of the Nursing and Allied Health Section of the Medical Library Association. Henderson is well known for her definition of nursing, which says, "The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to peaceful death) that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge." Virginia Henderson's Contribution to Nursing Theory: Nursing Need Theory Henderson's Need Theory emphasizes the importance of patient independence so that the patient will continue to progress after being released from the hospital. Henderson described the role of the nurse as one of the following: substitutive, which is doing something for the patient; supplementary, which is helping the patient do something; or complementary, which is working

with the patient to do something. All of these roles are to help the patient become as independent as possible. She categorized nursing activities into fourteen components based on human needs. The fourteen components of Henderson's concept are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Breathe normally. Eat and drink adequately. Eliminate body wastes. Move and maintain desirable postures. Sleep and rest. Select suitable clothes-dress and undress. Maintain body temperature within normal range by adjusting clothing and modifying environment. 7. Keep the body clean and well groomed and protect the integument. 8. Avoid dangers in the environment and avoid injuring others. 9. Communicate with others in expressing emotions, needs, fears, or opinions. 10. Worship according to one's faith. 11. Work in such a way that there is a sense of accomplishment. 12. Play or participate in various forms of recreation. 13. Learn, discover, or satisfy the curiosity that leads to normal development and health and use the available health facilities. While a nurse's job is to care for patients, it is also to help patients be able to care for themselves when they leave the healthcare facility. This will help ensure that the patient has fewer setbacks during recovery from the illness or injury, and will help the transition into self-care be smoother since a nurse will be helping and supervising along the way until the patient goes home. For those nurses who work in rehabilitation, Henderson's theory is one that can be easily used every day, and it will be the patients who benefit from it. For more detailed information: Need Theory The Nursing Need Theory was developed by Virginia Henderson and was derived from her practice and education. Henderson's goal was not to develop a theory of nursing, but rather to define the unique focus of nursing practice. The theory emphasizes the importance of increasing the patient's independence so that progress after hospitalization would not be delayed. Her emphasis on basic human needs as the central focus of nursing practice has led to further theory development regarding the needs of the patient and how nursing can assist in meeting those needs. Henderson identifies three major assumptions in her model of nursing. The first is that "nurses care for a patient until a patient can care for him or herself," though it is not stated explicitly. The second assumption states that nurses are willing to serve and that "nurses will devote themselves to the patient day and night." Finally, the third assumption is that nurses should be educated at the college level in both sciences and arts. The four major concepts addressed in the theory are the individual, the environment, health, and

nursing. According to Henderson, individuals have basic needs that are components of health. They may require assistance to achieve health and independence, or assistance to achieve a peaceful death. For the individual, mind and body are inseparable and interrelated, and the individual considers the biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual components. This theory presents the patient as a sum of parts with biophysical needs rather than as a type of client or consumer. The environment is made up of settings in which an individual learns unique patterns for living. All external conditions and influences that affect life and development. The environment also includes individuals in relation to families. The theory minimally discusses the impact of the community on the individual and family. Basic nursing care involves providing conditions in which the patient can independently perform the fourteen components explained in the model. There are fourteen components based on human needs that make up nursing activities. These components are: Breathe normally. Eat and drink adequately. Eliminate body wastes. Move and maintain desirable postures. Sleep and rest. Select suitable clothing. That is, dress and undress appropriately. Maintain body temperature within normal range by adjusting clothing and modifying the environment. 7. Keep the body clean and well groomed and protect the integument. 8. Avoid dangers in the environment and avoid injuring others. 9. Communicate with others in expressing emotions, needs, fears, or opinions. 10. Worship according to one's faith. 11. Work in such a way that there is a sense of accomplishment. 12. Play or participate in various forms of recreation. 13. Learn, discover, or satisfy the curiosity that leads to normal development and health and use the available health facilities. These components show a holistic approach to nursing that cover the physiological, psychological, spiritual, and social. The first nine components are physiological. The tenth and fourteenth are psychological. The eleventh component is spiritual and moral. The twelfth and thirteenth components are sociological, specifically addressing occupation and recreation. The theory's definition of health is based on an individual's ability to function independently as outlined in the fourteen components. Nurses need to stress the promotion of health and prevention, as well as the curing of diseases. According to Henderson's model, good health is a challenge because it is affected by so many different factors, such as age, cultural background, emotional balance, and others. Henderson's definition of nursing states: "I say that the nurse does for others what they would do 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

for themselves if they had the strength, the will, and the knowledge. But I go on to say that the nurse makes the patient independent of him or her as soon as possible." The nurse is expected to carry out a physician's therapeutic plan, but individualized care is result of the nurse's creativity in planning for care. The nurse should be an independent practitioner able to make independent judgments as long as he or she is not diagnosing, prescribing treatment, or making a prognosis, since those activities are the function of the physician. Henderson explains in The Nature of Nursing that the role of a nurse is "to get inside the patient's skin and supplement his strength will or knowledge according to his needs." The nurse has the responsibility to assess the needs of the patient, help him or her meet health needs, and provide an environment in which the patient can perform activity unaided. Retrieved from http://nursing-theory.org/nursing-theorists/Virginia-Henderson.php