Self Care Theory in Nursing: Selected Papers of Dorothea Orem

By Katherine McLaughlin Renpenning; Susan G. Taylor | Go to book overview

Foreword

This publication of the collected papers of Dorothea E. Orem is a significant and valuable contribution to the nursing literature. These writings give insight into the development and range of thinking about nursing over the years. Orem's conceptualizations have provided a mental model essential to the development of nursing as a discipline of knowledge—a practical science with applied sciences and the foundational nursing sciences. As Mary B. Collins, an experienced clinical nurse, once said, “It gives me the words to express what I know to be nursing.”

Through six editions of her book, Nursing: Concepts of Practice, and two editions of Concept Formalization in Nursing: Process and Product by the Nursing Development Conference Group, of which Orem was the leader, key contributor, and editor, Orem has provided the theoretical structure upon which to develop and expand nursing knowledge. She has clarified nursing's particular contribution to health care and given direction for its future development.

Dorothea Orem has a unique ability to listen to a group of nurses expressing their concerns and ideas about nursing and to analyze and conceptualize the essence of meaning in what is being said. Through this process she frequently formulates an abstract model to illustrate the relationships among the concepts.

Dorothea Orem has always been gracious and considerate about others' ideas and exemplifies a scholarly approach to whatever subject is under consideration. She always functions as an integral part of the group, never dominating, but sharing with others in a collaborative working relationship. She quietly encourages input from nurses, facilitating in developing their ideas, helping them gain insights and stimulating them to take a similar scholarly approach to nursing.

Notable about Orem is not only her depth of thought but also her continuing growth over the years in developing her conceptualizations, as

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