Theory is a concept that communicates relationships and phenomenon, and with reference to nursing profession, nursing theory assists nurses to prescribe, describe and predict nursing care. In a contemporary healthcare environment, nursing theory is very critical to nursing profession. In essence, a conceptual nursing model is a starting point of nursing profession, and nurses are required to apply a conceptual model for nursing care and practice. The middle range theory is an example of a nursing theory that focuses on human experience, reality and number of concepts. Typically, nursing theory provides an autonomy that reinforces nursing education, practice as well as nursing research.
Peplau's theory is one of the major nursing theoretical framework guiding nursing practice, decision and care. Peplau develops theory of interpersonal relations to guide the practice of health profession revealing that effective communication is an integral part of the interpersonal relations that produces positive outcomes in an healthcare setting. Fawcett (2010) argues that nurse and patient relationships foster mutual understanding and trust, which eventually assists in delivering a quality healthcare.
Objective of this paper is to evaluate Peplau's theoretical framework. The study explores the case study of a nursing educator whose students are having difficulties in understanding the nursing concepts and principles that the educator is teaching. The study uses the Peplau's principle and theoretical framework to solve the problem.
Overview of Peplau's Theoretical Framework
Peplau develops an interpersonal relationship theory that serves as basis on nursing practice. After several decades of the theoretical formulation, nurses still practice Peplau's technique and practice till today because her theoretical framework keeps paces with modern awareness. Apart from providing the clinical care, nurses are required to develop an effective communication with patients in a friendly manner to promote level of trusts between patients and nurses. In essence, modern day nursing practice requires nurses to use the theory to promote an effective health outcome, and Peplau's theory influences nurses' awareness on the strategy to relate with patients.
Peplau's theory is classified as middle-raged theory because the theory identifies therapeutic relationship between nurses and patients. Peplau's middle range theory assists in revolutionizing scholarly nursing work that paves way for the treatment of patients suffering from personality and behavior disorders. Peplau's theoretical framework focuses on nurses' interpersonal competencies that assists patients to regain their health and well being. Moreover, Peplau's theory provides conceptual frameworks that guides nurses on the strategy to plan, access and intervene in order to achieve an optimal outcome for patients suffering from diseases. The foundation of Peplau's theory is by exploring nurses personality and arguing that nurses are complex individuals based on rigorous training, past experience as well as unique personality traits of nursing professionals. Similarly, patients are complex individuals based on their knowledge with specific framework . Meanwhile, nurses- patients relationship should be initiated within an healthcare environment and implemented through identification, orientation, exploitation as well as resolution. It is also critical for nurses to adopt different roles for patient to meet different phases in the healthcare setting. Nurses' role include teaching, counseling, leading and surrogating. Peplau suggests that it is critical for nurses to apply the concepts of human interpersonal relationship to promote therapeutic patient's needs. In essence, successful patient-nurse relationships requires unbiased patient-focused capable of promoting therapeutic relationships to meet patient's needs. Peplau suggests that it is critical for nurses to accept, recognize, and encourage patients readiness for growth. Likewise, nurses must mobilize community resources in order to cope with patients psychosocial needs that might have arisen based on sudden change of patient's health status. (Joanne, 2013).
Thus, it is critical for nurses to interact with nurses to achieve effective patient's care. Joanne, (2013) argues that through nurses-patients interpersonal relationships, nurses can be beneficial to patients. Despite the beneficial aspect of Peplau's theory, the theory does not include aspect of physiological phenomenon, and mainly focuses on the interpersonal and psychological phenomena. Moreover, the theory cannot be applied to patients suffering from a severed altered mental states. Moreover, the theory cannot be applied to infants or young children. Nevertheless, the theory can still assist nurses to collect data on infant or young children to assist in developing interpersonal relations with parents of the children in order to implement a pertinent care. More important, the data collected can assist in establishing relationships with families of patients suffering from mental problems.
Several reasons make this study to select the Peplau's theory to solve the nursing practical problem. First, the theory can assist nurses to facilitate patient's well-being using an effective communication to instill confidence in patients. Moreover, the theory can assist nurses to manage patients' anxiety in order to foster healthy development. Through interpersonal relationships, the theory can enhance a greater understanding on the strategy to use complex set of skills and knowledge to assist nurses to deliver care for patients. (Reed, & Shearer, 2011). In essence, the study selects the theory because of its benefit in solving problems in nursing education.
Description of Issue and Problem
The Peplau's theory is one of the middle-raged theory that can assist nursing educators to solve the health problem and enhancing a greater understanding of nurses in addressing the health issues. The problem that this study attempts to address is about a nursing educator who is assigned to take up a large nursing class of undergraduate students. The students compose of adults and young adults in the second year nursing degree. However, the students are facing challenges to understand the teaching subject making students not performing well in the subject which consequently lead to frustration in the impeding group work. The issue is in the rage of middle theory. Essentially, Middle range is very applicable to nursing education because it has immense influence on students outcome and nursing practice. The critical issue to the problem is that the nursing educator does not apply Peplau's theoretical framework in teaching the students. Essentially, interpersonal relationship is not only applicable to patient-nurses relationship, the theory is also applicable to educator-student relationship. The study uses the Peplau theoretical framework to address the problem.
Application of the Peplau's Theory to the Problem
Peplau's theoretical framework can guide an educator on the strategy to develop an interpersonal relationship with students. Peplau argues that successful teaching process include identification, orientation resolution and exploitation. Essentially, interpersonal relation assist an educator to manage and cope with difficult issues within a teaching environment.
In orientation phase, the educator should introduce himself and herself to all students, and should allow all students to introduce themselves so that educator gets acquaintance with all students. At this stage, the educator should portray herself as a professional person having expertise to instill knowledge in students. The professionalism portrayed by the educator at the orientation level will make the students to accept the educator's level of expertise, which eventually make the educator to serve as both counselor and nursing teacher. The educator should answer all the questions that students ask in a professional manner. This strategy will assist educator to access students' readiness to learn. More important, the educator should make the students to understand the importance of the subject to their nursing career. Once the students accepts and acknowledge their deficiency, they will be ready to learn. The awareness will assist educator to move onto the role of educators and resources. In essence, the level of student readiness will assist educator to determine the frequency of teaching that should be provided to students. The problem solving, active participation, and foster collaboration will foster bond between the student and educator. At the orientation learning environment, the educator should use written and verbal description to explain important nursing concepts and information. Moreover, the educator can use visual teaching aides to supplement other teaching methods.
Washington, (2013) points out that the relationship between nurses and patients is similar to the relationships between educators and nursing students. During the orientation stage, students and educator come to know one each other and learn to work with one another. However, at the identification stage, the students will get to know educator as resources that they could tap. Once the student identifies educator as resources, they will do everything possible to collaborate with the educator to improve their knowledge. In essence, the educator should desist from creating an hostile learning environment for students. Moreover, the educator should use the experiment and instruction to assist students to understand the teaching subject. The nursing educator should also use past experience to identify effective method to teach students. Peplau points out that there is a need to analyze, formulate, describe, test, and validate method to teach students. Using this strategy, the educator will fall into role of teacher, counselor, technical expert, surrogate, resources and leader.
A mutual relationship between student and educator at the first phase will translate into the second phase. At the identification phase, students start to identify problems that need to be solved, which will assist them to understand what the educator is teaching them. The goal of educator is to…