Borrowed Theories Applied to the Nursing Profession

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Borrowed Theories Applied to the Nursing Profession


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Borrowed Theories Applied to the Nursing Profession

Nursing practice requires knowledge advancement in order to meet the set objectives in the work environment. With the current trend whereby people are embracing healthy lifestyle, new things are being developed to match the emerging trend. One way of coping with emerging issues is through borrowing knowledge from a different field and applying the gained knowledge in the development of solution. Use of non-nursing theories give nurses a reference point upon which they can base their assumptions and arguments on situations they encounter.

Nurses are required to have an in-depth understanding of nursing theories such as theories on treating patients. However, nurses cannot depend on nursing theories alone without the use of borrowed theories. In healthcare, nurses have borrowed heavily from theories in behavioral, physical and biological science disciplines; they have applied these theories in nursing situations (Yee, 2007). An example of borrowed theory used in healthcare is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. Maslow came up with the hierarchy of needs that is universal to everyone.

The hierarchy of needs is depicted in the form of a pyramid graphic. The bottom layer comprise of basic physiological needs such as water, food, basic biological functions and sleep. Although the next levels are necessary for biological survival as the bottom layer, they are essential for human being’s psychological well-being. If these needs are not met, an individual feels anxious. Example of such needs are safety, family, need for belonging and love, and need for esteem. Self-actualization is the top most layer of the hierarchy. Self-actualization is about an individual fulfilling his/her perceived potential.Each layer supports the layer above it.

Application of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs in healthcare. Healthcare workers can apply Maslow’s model to assess a patient as a whole human being- a physical, emotional, moral, intellectual and social being with inseparable feeling and psychology. Healthcare practitioner must account for the patient’s physical needs at all stages of treatment. Needs at the higher level depend on fulfillment of needs at the lower level and are also important for the person’s well-being, productivity and health. This model encourages doctors to put into consideration a patient’s operating system, hence it helps in understanding a patient.


Yee KS, e. a. (2007). Conceptualization of socio-technical intergrated information technology solutions to improve incident reporting through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: a qualitative study of junior doctors. Stud Health Technology information.

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