Essay Sample on the Self-Care Deficit Theory by Orem

Published: 2023-04-30
Essay Sample on the Self-Care Deficit Theory by Orem
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Healthcare Nursing care
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1790 words
15 min read


The nursing profession flourishes health services, encourages and improves health and skills, avoids disease and disability by diagnosing and managing the mental and emotional actions of a patient, and advocates for the treatment of people, families, societies, and populations. (Asociacion Americana de Nurses (ANA). Taking care is the basic understanding one receives of the word nursing; it is a career of offering care for the sick. Nursing provides health services for people and families, and its social value should be understood and should be the number one public concern. This needs a knowledgeable and articulate professional who ought to be explicit and mentally stable to support ill individuals.

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Initially, nursing was known to be the task of carrying out the physicians 'orders, and then over time, it is taken into account that they simply follow the doctor's orders. They should be qualified to care for the patients in their very own right manner if it is medical treatment or environmental influence or the wellbeing condition for the patient. This paper aims at analyzing one popular nursing theory, the self-care deficit theory by Dorothea Orem. The article will provide a brief biography of Orem, a summary of the theory, its implications on nursing practice, its assumptions, and the strengths and limitations of the argument.

Dorothea's Biography

Dorothea Orem born in 1914, on July 15, grew up in Maryland at Baltimore. Orem's father was an employee in the warehouse and the mom was a nurse practitioner. She was the youngest of two children. Dorothea Orem went to Baltimore's Seton Secondary school, and cleared in 1931.Throughout the earliest 1930s she obtained her certification at Washington D.C in nursing at the Providence Clinic Institute in Medicine.

Orem then decided to undertake her 1939 Bachelor of Science in Medicine and in 1945 she studied her masters course in nursing at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. She's had quite a successful professional experience (Berbiglia & Banfield, 2013). She obtained a number of Honorary Doctorate degrees. She obtained Honorary Ph.D. in Science from the University of Georgetown in 1976 and Incarnate Word College in 1980. She then obtained a Humane Letters Honorary Doctorate Wesleyan University in Illinois of 1988 and a Doctorate Honors from the university of Missouri, Columbia, in the year 1998.

Summary of the Theory

The ideology of Orem is mostly associated with some people's nursing philosophy. The Orem Model is an instrument that encourages nurses to use the integrated approach for each patient (Orem, 2011). I think the comprehensive approach is one that all nurses should take into consideration when caring for patients. Nurses are not only carers for patients but are instructors and supporters too. The nurse is accountable for taking care for the patient till the end in all aspects, and not just for the manifestations of a patient's disease.

A nurse needs to educate patients how to take care of themselves and build nursing systems that reflect the principle. According to research, the independent professional conduct of nursing is differentiated from other disciplines related to health in the fact that it aims at caring for all the patient's needs (Seed & Torkelson, 2012). Nurses are advised to incorporate strategies to enable patients to practice self-care. Patients manage to care for themselves and end up being healthier and happier. The theory by Orem offers a framework in which nurses can comprehend and implement the most efficient ultimate care for patients of different population groups.

The argument by Dorothea Orem offers nurses with a method for identifying, treating, and educating people who cannot care for themselves. The approach also focuses on working for the dignity and the willingness of the individual to practice self-care. Nurses ought to know that while they can take better care of themselves, clients can recuperate more quickly (Orem, 2011). As presented by Orem, someone who established and conducts self-care practices to maintain life, proper operation, and wellbeing is impacted by primary conditions elements. These factors include gender, state of development, environmental factors, age, factors in the family system, health condition, sociocultural aspects, healthcare system factors, resource availability, and the living pattern.

All these factors are what show the need for self-care to a client. A nurse is required to consider these factors with every patient to offer a high healthcare level. After a nurse becomes aware of the needs of the patient, they need to be the teacher to the client and provide quality care at the same time (Berbigilia, 2013). In a past interview of Dorothea Orem, she claimed that it is significantly imperative for nurses to empower patients to gain the ability to track change and adjust or learn to give dependent or self-care. Her theory, not only concentrates on the patient's comprehension of self-care but also empowers nurses to come up with implementations to improve the self-care capability of the clients.

Orem's Theory Propositions

Orem's theory contends that for one to survive and be completely functional, people must be in consistent communication and interact among themselves and their surroundings. She also believes that the ability to act intentionally is aimed at discovering the values and policy making needed (Wong et al., 2015). Orem further means that intelligent individuals often face hardships in the context of self-care exercise, and others that include having activities that are existence-sustaining and operationally regulated. Orem's concept fourth presumption is that moral agency can be seen in recognition, creation, and passing it on to others means and ways of recognizing needs for and make a contribution significant into self and other people. Lastly, Dorothea assumes human beings' groups with designed connections accumulate tasks and give roles for offering care to members of the group.

Implications of the Theory in Nursing Practice

The Orem Model is a concept that every nurse and every patient can worry about. The Orem Model must be recognized when drawing up a nursing care program. Such preparations can be as easy as taking time to brush clients ' teeth. It preserves the integrity of the individual and fosters a stronger sense of health. It is imperative to reinforce the positive attributes of each individual to promote the restoration for people with chronic illnesses (Shah, Abdullah & Khan, 2015). It also involves encouraging the exploration of advantages and offering encouragement to improve their knowledge of their skills. Enhancing wellbeing and patient understanding are measures that nurses must take to ensure a high quality of treatment. Productive self-care operations are equivalent to improving overall health and satisfaction for each patient (Hartweg, 2015). Dorothea's theory is a resource that can enable nurses to prepare clients for the personal-care challenges mentally. A patient who has the opportunity and know-how to offer self-care would be safer than a client who cannot.

Orem's research has an excellent emphasis, self-care. While there exists of complexities found in the systematic philosophy of nursing programs, the objective of Orem to encourage readers to consider nursing care as a means of supporting individuals was clear in any definition provided. The concept of health that is intended to be static, it can then be modified by rendering it appropriate for the ultimate perception of health as a significant issue in the ever-changing society (Shah, Abdullah & Khan, 2015). The function of the surroundings in the interaction between nurse and patient has not been addressed, even though Orem has identified this. Orem established the responsibility of nurses in preserving wellbeing for the client with high consistency in compliance with the life-maintaining requirements of each person. While Orem considered the significance of parents or guardians in offering care for their loved ones, the concept of self-care may not be extended instantly to all patients who require full treatment or support with self-care operations including infants and the elderly population.


One evident strength in the argument by Orem is that it fits into nursing for both beginners in the profession and those who have already advanced in the profession. The approach also offers a detailed foundation for nursing practice (Berbiglia & Banfield, 2013). It entails nursing utility in the fields of nursing administration, learning, and implementation. Another strength is that the phrases self -care deficit, nursing programs, and self -care are well comprehended by fresh graduate learner nurses and may deeply looked into, as the nurse acquires more experience and knowledge. She also precisely highlights when nursing is crucial. Nursing is vital when the patient is not in a position to consistently maintain the level and self-care quality crucial for life and health sustainability, heal from injury or illness, or even deal with their implications. According to Hartweg (2015), the self-care approach that Orem utilizes is in line with the modern elements of health maintenance and promotion. Lastly, the theory delineates and explains three identifiable systems of nursing.


One major limitation is that theory is generally seen as a single issue as Orem claims a system as one whole aspect. Secondly, the theory is regarded as simple but is complicated. The utilization of self-care in a combination of concepts like self-care demand, self-care requisites, self-care agency, self-care deficit, and global self-care might be a bit challenging for readers (Berbigilia, 2013). Another limitation is that the idea of health that Orem provides is restricted in three rigid circumstances that she regards to a comprehensive framework of nursing, that maintains rigidity. Further, in her entire work, minimal recognition of the psychological needs of the patient is present.


The approach of Orem is evidently simple but applicable to a broad range of clients. It elaborates on the concepts nursing systems, self-care, and deficit of self-care that are crucial to learners who anticipate beginning their nursing career. Moreover, the approach shows that all clients want to take care of themselves are manage to rapidly and ultimately recover by undertaking their self-care through all possible means. The theory applies explicitly in primary care and rehabilitation or other nursing circumstances that advocate for independence among patients. Although the approach considerably affects the independence of each patient, the self-care concept may not be instantly applicable to people that are in need holistic treatment or help with self-care operations like infants and the elderly.


Berbiglia, V. A. (2013). Orem's self-care deficit theory in nursing practice. Nursing Theory-E-Book: Utilization & Application, 222.

Berbiglia, V. A., & Banfield, B. (2013). Self-care deficit theory of nursing. Nursing Theorists and Their Work-E-Book, 30(1), 240. 33(6), 394-398.

Hartweg, D. L. (2015). Dorothea Orem's self-care deficit nursing theory. Nursing theories and nursing practice, 105-132.

Orem, D. E. (2011). The self-care deficit nursing theory. Nursing Theories: The Base for Professional Nursing Practice, 6, 113.

Seed, M. S., & Torkelson, D. J. (2012). Beginning the recovery journey in acute psychiatric care: Using concepts from Orem's self-care deficit nursing theory. Issues in mental health nursing

Shah, M., Abdullah, A., & Khan, H. (2015). Compare and contrast of grand theories: Orem's self-care deficit theory and Roy's adaptation model. Int J Nurs Didac, 5(1).

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