The Importance of Incorporating Nursing Theory Essay

Nursing has evolved over time into a profession with its own body of knowledge (Abdellah, 1972). Research has picked momentum and is currently generating a lot of new knowledge. Research in various areas of nursing has necessitated the establishment of learning and practice theories. Theories attempt to explain phenomena.

A theory is a set of . A theory represents an attempt to explain phenomena that are associated with certain behaviors. Nursing theory is a set of concepts, assumptions and definitions obtained from nursing models (Abdellah, 1972). Nursing theories often link the concepts, assumptions, relationships and definitions together. This gives rise to an explanation, a system of doing things or a way of . That is, it lends guidance to the nursing practice.

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Theories enable both nursing students and qualified nurses to understand the principles underlying certain interventions and to predict the likely outcomes of the said interventions. However, theories do not provide guidance to all aspects of nursing. In addition, theories may be largely made of opinions and not facts. Nursing should always focus on both patient and nurse safety. Where theory is thought to be insufficient, the best practice principles should be followed. Theory may undergo some modifications over time owing to emergence of new evidence and better understanding of phenomena.

Theories in nursing research may be used to explain certain behavior. Understanding behavior is necessary in some studies because it may be the only logical explanation of some findings. In nursing, theories are often used to guide interventions, patient safety, and nurse safety. No theory can sufficiently explain a phenomenon. A theory may guide the development of new knowledge in the field. It directs the course of the profession. Without theories of nursing, the development of knowledge may become slow. Generally, nursing theories guide patient care, nursing education, and professional development.

The major problem facing hand hygiene is lack of compliance with (Caglar, Yildiz & Savaser, 2010; CDC, 2002). Several studies have shown that this phenomenon is not related to lack of knowledge and moral issues (De Wandel, Maes, Labeau, Vereecken, & Blot, 2010; , 2003). Some researchers have reported that attitude and motivation are the most accurate predictors of hand hygiene behavior (Parmeggiani, Abbate, Marinelli & Angelillo, 2010).

A theory has been proposed to explain this behavior; attribution theory. The theory was developed in the twentieth century. Attribution theory was identified as the most appropriate theory to explain the proposed intervention in this study. To explain reasons why health workers find it hard to comply with , it is necessary to understand their behaviors.

Attribution refers to the process of explaining phenomena by linking them to others or things. In the case of hand hygiene, attribution theory may be used to explain the hand hygiene behaviors of the health workers. This implies that behavior is caused. There is a reason for every behavior. Hand hygiene behavior can be attributed to self or to others. Attribution theory exists in two forms; situational and dispositional. Situational refers to external factors while dispositional attribution refers to factors inherent in the individual.



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