Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nursing Theory

Martha Rogers, esteemed nursing theoretician
exclaims, "Call the doctor! The patient is
deresonating his energy fields and his
helicy is dropping too fast."

Oh boy, subjects like  the theoretical basis of nursing really rub me the wrong way because they are waste  products of the nursing academic/administration/ office-sitter complex.  When my alma matter was fighting for it's life in the 1970s one of the survival strategies involved replacing operating room experience with a Martha Rogers nursing theory class. The rationale; "Anyone can learn how to be a scrub nurse, but few can master Martha's theories."  No fooling!

 If you want to drive yourself crazy check out this gem courtesy of the eminent Martha Rogers: "The integrainess of people and the environment that coordinate with a multidimensional universe of open systems points to a new paradigm of nursing:  energy fields, pattern, helicy, and resonance whereby man is always becoming."

Nursing theoreticians were in their heyday  several decades ago when diploma nuring schools were closing and nursing education was being shifted from the hospital to academic enetities. Nothing wrong with that, but educators needed a new curriculum to differentiate themselves  from diploma schools. Nursing theory and nursing research were what they came up with. One explanation of the relatedness of these two entities was that nursing research served to validate nursing theory.

I might be foolish, but I know when someone is trying to hoodwink me. Why do these highly educated academics term it "nursing research?"  If the research is to benefit patients it should be called clinical research and based on accepted fact, not unfounded theory. Facts are facts so why muddy the waters with nursing specific nomenclature. There is no such thing as pharmacist research or doctor research. Combining two entities that are not fact based or scientific does not increase their credibility. It's like stacking bafflegab on top of bolderdash which exponentially increases the inherent subjective content of any conclusions.

Conferring objective status to subjective findings never turns out well. It's how we came up with the old time surgeon's rationale for removing an organ that has no pathology. "I'm taking out his spleen based on empirical experience."  In contemporary times subjective matters like pain have been scientifcated  by pain scales. It's not doing anyone any favors to confuse subjective matters with scientific fact.

Probably the biggest failure of nursing theory was a failure to relate to clinical practice. This is facilitated by the fact that nurse theoriticians are office sitters of the highest order. My message to them is this.

Leverage yourself out of your comfortable chairs and remember it's not that difficult because once you get the largest body part moving, the rest is sure to follow. Find a sick person to help. Find a chest tube to milk, a Foley bag to empty, a trach to suction or learn how to load a sponge ring forceps with just one hand.  For crying out loud, find a patient to help! Don't just sit something.

BREAKING NEWS: Office sitting nurse theoretician studying
field gradient theory becomes flying nurse theoretician courtesy
of a friendly local MRI machine. Never fear, the OldfoolRN product
development institute is working on a nonferrous theoretician's chair.


  1. Haha! Love this, but fat chance!

  2. Don't laugh..I've been hard at work on my nonferrous theoreticians chair. I can't decide whether to use aluminum or carbon fiber for the sitting component. It's liable to be heavily stressed, so I'm leaning toward carbon fiber. Thanks so much for indulging in my foolishness! It makes my day.

  3. “Oh, thank goodness, next semester classes include Nursing Theory and Practice of the Professional Nurse, “ said no one ever. So much out there to learn, and ways to grow, to be better at taking care of patients. It’s almost as though some people’s livelihood depends on padding nursing curricula with content that is devoid of tangible value, and serves to detract from the valuable, relevant wisdom that would help nurses give better care.

    1. How true. I appreciate your perusal of my older posts written before the decline of my cognitive skills. I really had it going on in my earlier years-not so much today!