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Nursing Theories of Caring


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Madeleine Leininger was one of the most influential nursing theorists for laying groundwork on caring clients of various cultures. Her work is known as “The Transcultural Nursing theory”. With the world being such a melting pot of culture, nurses must be very cognizant of how they come across to clients. One expression of caring may mean something completely different in other cultures and allow a communication barriers to be put up. Culture is defined as a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (Merriam-Webster, 2013). These beliefs may have been handed down from many generations of relatives. Leininger says in her theory that nurses must take in consideration the patient’s culture and background in order to provide them with the best care possible (Nursing Theory, 2013). Leininger identified three nursing decisions and actions that achieve culturally friendly care for the patient. They are: cultural preservation or maintenance, cultural care accommodation or negotiation, and cultural care repatterning or restructuring (Nursing Theory, 2013). An example would be, in the Indian culture, a family who seeks fertility treatments through donor sperm or egg donation, cannot pick an unknown donor. They must choose a family member. If the physician and medical staff know this, they show caring by going out of their way to accommodate the patient and their families. Another example would be if a patient has dietary restrictions while in the care of medical staff, their should be an understanding to accommodate the patient out of the heart of caring. When looking a this theory, it could include there economic status, what foods they eat, their gender or the gender the identify with, age, sexual orientation, etc. It is not always clear what accommodation nurses must take. Leininger states, “Care is essential to curing and healing, for there can be no curing without caring.” I chose Madeleine Leininger because her theory exhibits the way the health care system will need to look like now and in the near future. The healthcare system in America includes all the immigrants that have lived here for many years and those that will live here. There is such an array of various cultures that need and receive care on any given day. It is essential in the healing process for a client to feel understood, cared for, and compassion. When there is a barrier, the client does not receive adequate care and may not continue appropriate treatment once discharged. All patients want to feel better, be understood, and have a feeling of being genuinely cared for. Ms. Leininger’s theory is a practice theory. Her idea of the caring theory falls under the practice theory, becase it helps transform the medical settings world. Nurses emotionally and socially care for these patients no matter what their cultural or religious needs my call for. Medical staff can utilize this theory in everyday life and with every patient to aid in their recovery. Just taking a little extra time to help someone with his or her needs therapeutically can make the world of difference in recovery time.

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