Nursing Care Theories and Their Comparison

The role of a nurse is significant during the patient’s stay in the clinic and throughout his treatment and recovery. Unlike doctors, the nurse’s activity is not aimed at treating the disease but at the patients themselves. Until the 19th century, the tasks of nurses were the usual technical care of patients, but in modern times, the functions of a nurse are more global. This had a significant impact on the development of nursing and various theories if nursing care began to form. This essay aims to describe the theory of nursing care needs, compare this theory with the idea of self-care, and reflect on the chosen approach to a modern social problem.

All people have basic needs, the satisfaction of which is the basis of nursing care. During illness, some people are deprived of the opportunity to meet their fundamental needs. In this case, the nurse’s task is to contribute to the speedy recovery of the patient and provide assistance to meet these needs. According to Henderson’s theory, fourteen needs must be met for the patient to recover. (Pinheiro et al., 2016). A social problem is the lack of commitment of nurses to take care of the needs of patients or insufficient attention to the issues of each patient. There is another theory of nursing care, such as the patients’ self-care about themselves. It is assumed that the patient should take care of himself, no less than a nurse or a doctor.

The theory of self-care is not practical enough, in my opinion, since often the patients do not have the physical ability to take care of themselves on their own. In addition, the patients may not know what precisely from a medical point of view they need for recovery. When applying the Henderson theory, which is aimed at helping the patient to meet his basic needs, it is more effective. Since the patient will feel support and help from qualified medical personnel, he will try to relieve themselves.

In conclusion, there are different theories in different spheres of people’s lives, the choice of which will somehow affect their future life. As for nursing care, the main goal is the recovery of the patient, and therefore the nurse should choose and apply a theory that will be as focused as possible on achieving this goal. When comparing the two approaches, it is clear that one will work more effectively to fulfill the purpose.


Pinheiro, F. M., Santo, F. H. d. E., Chibante, C. L. d. P., & Pestana, L. C. (2016). Profile of hospitalized elderly according to Viginia Henderson: contributions for nursing care. Care Online, 8(3), 4789-4795.

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