Patricia Banner born in Hampton, Virginia received her early and professional education in California. She majored in nursing and obtained a Bachelors of Arts in 1964 from Pasadena College. After which, she earned a masters degree in nursing with her emphasis in medical surgical nursing from the University of California. She has worked as a research assistant to Richard Lazarus at the University of California and worked on her PhD in the areas of stress, and health conferred in 1982 (Benner, Tanner, & Chesla, 2009; Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2010).
Benner possess a wide range of clinical experience including acute medical surgical, critical care, and home healthcare. She possessed a sufficient background in research and initiated her career in this area as a postgraduate nurse researcher in the School of Nursing at the University of California. In 1982, Benner achieved the position of associate professor in the Department of Physiological Nursing at the same university (Basford & Slevin, 2003; Finkelman & Kenner, 2010). Considering her achievements, the paper is discussing the implementation of nursing practices theoritized by Patricia Benner.
Theoretical Aspects of Benner in Nursing
Benner has studied clinical nursing practice with an attempt to discover the knowledge embedded in nursing practice, which provides that knowledge accrue with the passage of time in the practicing area while determining the difference between practical and theoretical knowledge. Benner has made one of the first theoretical distinctions related to theory itself. She has stated that the development of knowledge consists of extending practical knowledge through theory-based investigations. The use of charting the existing awareness has further developed through the clinical experience within the practice of the discipline (Finkelman & Kenner, 2010). It is believed that nurses have been offending in documenting the clinical learning along with the lack of reflecting the practices and clinical observations remove nursing theory of the uniqueness along with the sufficient knowledge entrenched in clinical practices (Basford & Slevin, 2003).
Benner has maintained the practical knowledge while extending the theory and it can be developed before the scientific formulas. The clinical situations are more different and it can be complicated as compared to theoretical accounts. It can be said that the clinical practice is an area of investigation and plays a significant role as a source of developing knowledge. The clinical practice embodies the concept of excellence while nurses can gain new knowledge with the help of studying the practice (Finkelman & Kenner, 2010). It is known that the nursing is required to establish the knowledge base of knowledge and awareness through the scientific investigation. For this reason, it is important to record and develop the awareness of clinical expertise. The practice and theory in the nursing area establishes a higher probability for creating the new possibilities (Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2010).
The theory is derived from the practice, which is further modified with the extension in theoretical aspects. Benner implemented the Model of Skill Acquisition and Skill Development of Dreyfus and Dreyfus to clinical nursing practice. The model illustrates five levels of skills acquisition and development, which include novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, and expert. It works on the assumptions that changes in four aspects of performance can occur through the level of acquisition (Finkelman & Kenner, 2010). These four aspects include the movement from reliance on abstract principles and rules to use previous experience, shift from the reliance on analytical and rule-based thinking, change in the perception of situation from considering it as a compilation of equal relevant pieces, and passage from a separate observer to one of the involved position (Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2010).
The performance level is most likely to be determined with the consensual validation of specialized judges along with the assessment of the results of the situation. Benner has further identified two interrelated aspects of practice distinguishing the levels of practice from the advanced beginner to experts. For this reason, the clinicians at different levels of practice living in different clinical worlds while recognizing and responding to different needs (Basford & Slevin, 2003; Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2010).
The clinicians are required to develop the sense of responsibility towards the patient while evolving into a member of a healthcare team. He attempted to highlight the increasing edges of clinical knowledge rather than describing the day of a typical nurse. Benner explained that nursing practice is beyond the rigid application of rules and theories because it is based on the reasonable behavior responding to the demands of a given situation (Benner, Tanner, & Chesla, 2009).
The skills are acquired with the help of nursing experience along with the perceptual awareness, which can be developed by the specialized nurses as decision-makers from the situation leading them to follow their gut feelings while seeking the evidence to confirm the understated changes being observed in the patients. Benner stated that the theory is critical in forming the appropriate questions for asking the clinical situation while directing the practitioner to look for issues and anticipating the caring needs (Finkelman & Kenner, 2010; Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2010).
The skilled practice of the nursing exceeds the bounds of formal theory while the concrete experience provides learning about the exceptions along with the shades of meaning in a situation. The knowledge embedded within a practice discovers and interprets the theory while adapting theory in caring nursing practice. It can be assumed that the entire practical situations are more complex as compared to the formal models and descriptions. The nursing is described as a caring relationship, which enabled the condition of connection (Basford & Slevin, 2003; Benner, Tanner, & Chesla, 2009; Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2010).
Importance of Benner's Theory
The Benner's theory is highly significant and it was significantly presented to assist the research and nursing practice. The theory provides the personal philosophy in such a way that the nurse practitioners can understand the ways through which nursing students can obtain certain skills at novice phase (Benner, Tanner, & Chesla, 2009). The nurses are required to carefully deal with the patients because it requires the cultural consideration. The cultural consideration is required to deal with the patients and ethical beliefs while helping them to recover from their sick phase. It is important for the healthcare professionals to develop the relationship with patients while being cooperative in helping the patient to recover (Basford & Slevin, 2003).
It should be abstract in thoughts while having a good ability to understand the ways to comprehend the emotions of patients. The clashes in beliefs and misunderstandings can emerge in dealing with the patients. The healthcare professionals are required to practice empathy and develop an unusual strong desire to contribute to the welfare of patients (Basford & Slevin, 2003; Finkelman & Kenner, 2010). The healthcare workers are required to learn different languages to manage their foreign patients.
Moreover, the theory of Benner also provides that the nurses and healthcare patients be required to focus on the patients while trying to understand their practices and culture. The establishment of good relationship between the healthcare practitioners and patients can be improved with the help of effective communication (Finkelman & Kenner, 2010; Benner, Tanner, & Chesla, 2009).
It is found that the providence of care in the hospital is a challenging task for the healthcare professionals because it involves the conflicts regarding the cultural and religious beliefs of patients. The professionals are required to comprehend the evidence and truths related to the cultural and religious beliefs while proceeding with the treatment in the most appropriate manner. It is known that the healthcare professionals and nurses are required to comprehend the situation in most effective manner while acting accordingly to the demands and requirements of patients (Basford & Slevin, 2003; Finkelman & Kenner, 2010).