Applying Theory to Practice: Planning, Implementing and Evaluating

Overview of the Theory: Purpose and Rationale

Contemporary development of healthcare delivery in the United States should not disregard, the idea of patient-centered care that is the core, multi-facet component embracing a number of important variables such as respect for client’s preferences, values, and expressed needs, integration and coordination of care; successful communication and information exchange, emotional support, and advancement of patient-provider relationships. All these aspects are highly applicable in the field of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery Center where patient safety and quality of healthcare delivery are of paramount significance. To enhance the outlined principles, Dorothy Johnson’s behavioral system model should be considered and implemented into nursing practice because it meats the goals and outcomes our Center pursues.

Dorothy Johnson’s Behavioral System Model: Description

Proposed in 1968 by Dorothy Johnson, the theory is aimed at promoting effective behavioral activities for preventing illness. The theorist states that the main purpose of nursing is concerned with a patient who is considered as an integrated whole (Parker and Smith, 2010, p. 104). In this respect, Johnson defines nursing as an external regulatory trigger that is focused on preserving the integration and organization of the clients’ behaviors at an auspicious level under the terms in which the behavior has a potential threat to social and physical health, or in which a particular disorder is discovered (Parker and Smith, 2010, p. 105). With reliance on the definition, nurses should assist patients in meeting their social demands, modifying their behavior to support biological priorities, and gaining more benefits from the knowledge ad experience of the physicians.

Judging from the main assumption involves the fact that an individual as a behavioral system is made up of several subsystems where the attachment is considered the major challenge for social organizations (Parker, 2010, p. 106). More importantly, the model is also based on the idea that man’s behavioral system is essential for striking the balance between external forces and inner subsystems that should be able to adjust to changes.

Evaluating the Theory

The chosen evaluative criteria will greatly contribute to defining the basic strategies for promoting patient-centered care. Hence, a thorough analysis of the behavioral system of a human will enable nurses to implement more effective and consistent approaches to advancing provider-patient relations and meeting patients’ needs and concerns. With regard to the evaluation of individual characteristics, it is possible for nurses to define which ones are crucial for introducing certain medical interventions (Lauver, 2002, p. p. 247). Consequently, the presented theory sufficiently meets the established goals because introduces a clear and accessible system to intervene. Due to the fact that patient-centered healing initiative “seeks to create a health care system that …prioritizes self-care, reemphasizes the therapeutic relationship, and bridges conventional and alternative medical system”, the implementation of behavioral system model can considerably advance this intervention (Maizes, Rakel, and Niemiec, 2009, p. 3). More importantly, the system primarily depends on the analysis of the social, emotional, and psychological characteristics of a person believing that the biological model is not enough for introducing a full-fledged therapeutic course.

Developing a Plan for Implementing the Theory in Practice

Owing to the fact that patient-centered healing, which is congruent with theory of Restorative Subsistence, and Johnson behavioral system model are heavily correlated, it is, first of all, purposeful to launch a specific training program for nurses to present the basic concept this new theory is based on. Importantly, the nursing administration must take full responsibility for implementing the selected theory into practice, using a holistic approach. In means, that all members of the staff, but not particular individuals should be engaged in the development of a unified code for treating the patients with particular reference to patient-centered healing and self-care. In addition, there should be constant caregiver that would be able to provide patient with diligent care and support. Further steps should be aimed at introducing collaborative care and integrative approach to meet patients’ needs (Alligood and Marrier-Tomey, 2006, p. 158). In fact, using integrative approach to treating the patients will help improve the healing conditions, especially during a post-operational period. Patients should feel emotional support and, therefore, nurses should be aware of social and psychological concerns of their clients.

Major Challenges and Barriers for Implementation

Although there is a great consistency between the theory chosen and the implementation model, there are still certain constraints that need to be surpassed. In particular, nurses often have problems in understanding and defining the external factors that influence patients’ psychological and biological welfare. Mixed opinion can arise due to the nurses’ different experiences while treating patients. This challenge is serious as far as the treatment outcomes are concerned. Second problem that might emerge is difficulty in defining all components affecting person’s health. Due to the fact that each physical body is a complex unity composed wisdom and truth, nurses should resort to a careful study and analysis of social and psychological contexts, which is sometimes difficult because of emerging ethical and moral concerns. In this respect, nurses should carefully treat information and ensure patients of confidentiality and privacy.


Alligood, M. R., and Marriner-Tomey, A. (2006). Nursing Theory: Utilization & Application. US: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Lauver, D. R., Ward, S. E., Heidrich, S. M., Keller, M. L., Bowers, B. J., Brennan, P. F., Kirchhoff, K. T. and Wells, T. J. (2002). Patient-Centered Interventions. Research in Nursing & Health. 25(4), pp. 246-255.

Maizes, V., Rakel, D., and Niemiec, C. (2009). Integrative Medicine and Patient-Centered Care. Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public. pp. 1-35.

Parker, M., & Smith, M. (2010). Nursing theories & nursing practice. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.

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