According to Stacey Whitney in eBook Dynamics in Nursing Art and Science of Professional Practice she defines a theory as the following. A theory is a collection of statements that explain a relationship between two or more ideas. Theory maintains a central role in the evolution of the nursing discipline. (Grand Canyon University,2018). She later describes a conceptual model as, “Conceptual models explain a particular way of thinking, or a mental picture of how the theory fits together, according to the theorist. A conceptual model is the organizing structure that defines the theory.” (Grand Canyon University, 2018). Using Whitney’s definition of theory and conceptual model can see that theory is statement whereas a conceptual model is an expression of a particular theory. Any individual can have a conceptual model of something, but a theory has a body of accepted proof. An example would be a personal concept that traffic is heaviest on Thursdays. For this concept to be a model longer definition or visual representation would be needed. To continue the example the model would state that traffic is heaviest on Thursdays due to the fact that it is last day of the week that most people are engaged in regular activities including school and work. For the model to be considered a theory then studies to back the claim up would be needed like traffic studies that would be repeated in several different areas and would continue to be proven true.
A nursing theory would be Orem’s self-care deficit theory.Whitney describes the theory by stating the following: Orem’s theory states that the individual should be in an appropriate environment to receive care. The environment is external; however, for Orem’s theory, the environment and individual are bound together, and they function as one unit. Individual health is a condition in which humans are structurally and functionally complete. Health is considered physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social (Orem, 1995) A brief summary of the theory is that the patient is no longer able to care for themselves at an adequate enough level and this where the nurse will step in and provide care in a manner that matches the patients’ needs to return to health. An example of Orem’s theory being used on daily basis would be when a client is recently diagnosed with diabetes the nurse’s role would be to educate on self-care and how to manage the disease appropriately with things such as foot care, blood glucose checks, and diet changes and so on. The nurse is working with the individual and giving them the ability to care for themselves with the education. By educating the patient the self-care deficit has been eliminated.