The main purpose of nursing theories is to improve the nursing practice, hence improving the health as well as quality of life of people, families or the community at large (Parker & Smith, 2010). Nursing theories usually provide logical methods of approaching and viewing the care of people in their own environment. Through the use of the theoretical model in care organization, the nursing focus on quality care strengthens significantly (Parker & Smith, 2010). In addition, there is consistency in communication as well as related activities in the nursing care. The development of nursing theories together with theory-guided practice models significantly improves the discipline and the professional practice of nursing (Parker & Smith, 2010).
One of the most key issues facing the nursing discipline is the artificial isolation of nursing theory and practice (Parker & Smith, 2010). Practicing nurses have the responsibility of studying and valuing nursing theories, just the same way that student nurse has the responsibility of understanding and appreciating daily practice of nursing. Just like theories in any other professional, nursing theories become useless if they do not impact the nursing practice (Parker & Smith, 2010). When practicing nurses and student nurses work together, both the practice and discipline of nursing significantly benefit. In addition, nursing service to the clients and the society at large improves.
Nursing practice is crucial in the process of developing, refining and testing nursing theories (Parker & Smith, 2010). The development of various nursing theories is through dialogue and reflection regarding actual nursing situations. Despite the fact that nurses do not conceptualize their thoughts on nursing theoretically, their perspectives and values are always consistent with certain nursing theories. They always make these perspectives and values explicit through the embracement of various nursing theories.
Nursing practice and theories usually reflect the same values and beliefs. Values, beliefs and knowledge always guide nurses in practice (Parker & Smith, 2010). The reflection of these values, beliefs and knowledge, is in the literature regarding nursing's metaparadigm, theories and philosophies. Moreover, nurses in practice together with nursing theorist usually work with the same phenomena in the nursing context (Parker & Smith, 2010).
Margaret Newman's Theory
Margaret Newman's Theory is a nursing theory which is similar to the unitary-transformative nursing paradigm (Newman, 2008). According to this theory, the focus in the field of health searches for wholeness patterns rather than prediction and identification of causes of diseases. Margaret Newman planted the seeds of this theory during her childhood and her experience in caring for her mother. Newman's study in various universities played a significant role in influencing her quest for articulating and exploring the knowledge of nursing discipline (Newman, 2008).
Newman's perspectives on the field of nursing substantially enriched the theory of HEC. Work, as well as dialogue, further enriched this theory. During her study at the University of California, she explored how nurses were responding to patients in an effective way (Newman, 2008). She then began making deliberative observations regarding patients putting into consideration the reflection of the patient's observations. This specific attention led to stimulation of patients to respond through talking about the things that were meaningful in their unique circumstances.
Within the Margaret Newman's Theory of HEC, relationship is the primary focus in the nursing discipline. In addition, this theory views health as objective of the nursing relationship (Newman, 2008). According to Newman, it is not possible to lose the wholeness in an individual, although the patterns of wholeness can take different forms depending on various factors. In addition, Newman considered health as a transforming process to achieve higher levels of consciousness (Dorothy, 2006).
Consciousness is the whole information of the pattern, and it involves the information capacity of an individual to interact effectively with his or her environment (Newman, 2008). In addition, it includes interconnection of the entire living system of human being including physiochemical maintenance, growth processes and the immune system (Dorothy, 2006). Expanding consciousness involves the process where an individual becomes more of oneself, finding greater meaning of life. It also involves reaching new connectedness with various types of people all over the world.
Newman maintained that movement through different levels of consciousness usually occurs continuously. Nevertheless, disorganization as well as disharmony in people's patterns such as sickness, changing circumstance and catastrophic events can significantly fuel potential movement from one level of consciousness to another (Dorothy, 2006). This can results in transformation or even expansion of consciousness.
With regard to Margaret Newman's Theory of HEC, pattern is the main aspect of nursing practice as well as research. Each individual has a unique interaction pattern between him or her and the environment. These patterns usually provide information about the meaning of life and whole understanding (Newman, 2008). Proper attention to space-time, contrast and movement are vital identification of pattern. Patterns always vary depending on the unique configuration of the environmental situation of each individual. Nevertheless, Newman's theory of HEC posits that there are pattern similarities among various people who have similar life experience. In such a situation, it is easy to identify the general pattern (Dorothy, 2006). Pattern identification is one of the most fundamental things in the field of nursing.
Margaret Newman's Theory describes an interactive nurse-client process for the purpose of recognizing patterns, which focus on relationships, interactions and events, and their meaning in the lives of people (Dorothy, 2006). Identifying, as well as recognizing patterns, usually opens new possibilities for expansion as action of consciousness (Newman, 2008).
Assumptions of Margaret Newman's Theory of HEC
Reflecting her theoretical works, Newman was able to prepare her toward a theory of presentation. It was during this presentation theory that Margaret Newman's Theory of HEC explicated formally. There are several assumptions that Newman outlined with regard to her theory. First, Newman posed that health constitutes conditions known as pathology or disease, or states, in case the disease is not present. Secondly, pathology or disease can be regarded as manifestations of the underlying patterns of the individual (Dorothy, 2006).
The third assumption of Newman's theory is that the patterns of individual manifestation themselves as a disease was present before the structural as well as functional changes of the disease. The other assumption is that the disease will not change the individual's patterns (Dorothy, 2006). If becoming sick is the only way of manifesting the pattern of a person, then this implies that is health for the individual. The last assumption of this theory is that health is essentially the expansion of consciousness (Newman, 2008).
Newman's presentation of her theory drew a conclusion that the roles of nurses are not to make people become well or even prevent them from getting sick, but to assist them in recognizing the power which is within them. This is for the purpose of moving them a higher level f consciousness.
HEC theory Development
Focusing on ways of testing the theory through research was the nest step after identifying the assumptions of the theory. Newman concentrated on the nurse-client mutuality in the pattern recognition process (Newman, 2008). She also concentrated on uniqueness as well as wholeness of the patterns in each situation of the client. Also, she concentrated on the sequential concentrations of patterns evolving over time. Lastly, Newman concentrated on the movement of life toward expanded consciousness as well as insights occurring as points of action potential (Dorothy, 2006).
During the testing of HEC theory, Newman discovered that the Western scientific methodologies of research were insufficient (Brown, 2011). Taking this into consideration saw the need to clear that her theory fell within the new paradigm of nursing. She saw human beings as inseparable and unitary from the larger unitary field which combines individual, family and the community at large (Kathleen & Paula, 2011).
Newman's theory usually proposes that we cannot manipulate, control and isolate variables for the purpose of understanding the whole of phenomena (Brown, 2011). The nurse together with the client usually relates for a mutual partnership in order to attend the patterns of mutual relationship as well experiences in the lives of the clients (Dorothy, 2006). For instance, a client who has had a heart attack can be able to understand the whole heart attack experience with regard to its significant in his or her life.
Margaret Newman's Theory does not divide the lives of people into fragmented variables. Instead, it attends to meaning and nature of the whole which later becomes apparent in the nurse-client dialogue. A nurse who practices within the perspectives of Margaret Newman's Theory always possesses high levels of awareness (Newman, 2008). In addition, he is able to gain the ability to sense how physical signs, spiritual insights, emotional conveyance mental insights and physical appearances are meaningful manifestation of the underlying patterns of a person (Kathleen & Paula, 2011). In addition, these manifestations are significant as they provide insight with regard to the nature of interactions of the person with his or her environment. It has to take discipline as well as critical reflection on practical experiences applying the…