Martha Rogers 1914-1994. Melissa Scholtens Kelli Erb Marisa Gariglio Katina Zenner. Born May 12, 1914 in Dallas, TX. Martha E. Rogers's Science of Unitary Human Beings .
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Patients are considered "unitary human beings," who cannot be divided into parts, but have to be looked at as a whole. Humans are viewed as integral with the universe and have the capacity to participate in the process of change.
Instead of a focus based on health and illness, Rogers' theory was focused on unitary human-environment mutual processs.
Rogers viewed her work as the basic science of nursing capable of generating multiple theories
"Rogers believed that there was a unique body of knowledge for nursing and she set out to develop that, based on the strong belief that a true picture of human beings cannot be obtained by looking at the parts, or even the sum of the parts, a traditional view widely known as holism."
(Society of Rogerian Scholars)Rogers' Motivation
In creating the Unitary Science Theory Rogers united theories from contemporary science, philosophy and art.
The following slides describe and depict the sources of Martha Rogers' philosophy.
(Butcher, 1999)Philosophic View of Rogers
Heisenberg's principal of uncertainy was a basis describing the unpredictable nature of change (Butcher, 1999)
von Bertalanffy’s General Systems Theory to describe a negentropic universe of open systems which evolve toward increasing innovation, creativity, and diversity (Butcher, 1999)
Quantum theory to postulate energy fields as the fundamental unit of the living and non-living (Butcher, 1999)
Cybernetics and system theory to support the notion of a universe characterized by integral irreducible wholes that are more and different than the sum of parts (Butcher, 1999)
Numerous philosophers, scientists, and theorists from a wide range of disciplines influenced Rogers, but none more significantly than Nightingale.
Both scholars had similar personality characteristics and values that influenced the discipline of nursing in similar ways.
Rogers repeatedly identified nursing as an independent science, and was one of the first to do so.
The philosophy of humanism had a significant impact on Rogers' philiosophy which is defined as: "philosophy of joyous service for the greater good of all humanity in this natural world and according to the methods of reason and democracy" (Butcher,1999)
Rogers (1970) defined nursing as a “humanistic science dedicated to compassionate concern for maintaining and promoting health, preventing illness, and caring for and rehabilitating the sick and disabled”.
Values expounded by humanists are clearly evident in all of Rogers' writing
Nursing equaled service to mankind
"Rogers consistently emphasized the pattern as a whole rather than particulate events"
To sum this up simply:
Rogers wanted to see the forest instead of each individual tree!
The consistent thread throughout all of Martha Rogers' writings is the term pattern being indentifed as "a unifying concept"
"To view nursing as understanding and caring for human beings in the wholeness and mutuality or the person environment rather than isolated actions and responses"
(Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science,2004)
According to Martha Rogers patients "cannot be divided into parts, but have to be looked at as a whole." Patients are considered "unitary human beings." (www.nursing-theory.org)
According to Rogers, the science of unitary human beings is continuously ongoing. "In a universe of open systems, causality is not an option; change is continuously innovative and creative...association does not mean causality." (Wright, 2007, pg. 64)
Martha Rogers believed that the human and environment coexisted. Patients could not be separated from their environment when addressing health and treatments. (www.nursing-theory.org)
An "expression of the life process. Illness and health are part of the same continuum, and the events occurring throughout the patient's life show how the patient is achieving his or her health potential."
Is a science and an art. This involves using the science of nursing creatively to help better the life of the patient. The practice of nursing, according to Rogers, should be focused on pain management, and supportive psychotherapy for rehabilitation. (www.nursing-theory.org)
Martha E. Rogers was born 1914 in Dallas Texas. In 1936 she graduated from Knoxville General Hospital School of Nursing with her nursing diploma. In 1937 she obtained her Public Health Nursing degree from George Peabody College. She also earned a Masters degree from Teachers College at Colombia University in 1945. Rogers went on to get her Doctorate in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1954 (www.nursing-theory.org).
"Through Rogers unconditional love she respected people's dignity and worth and their capacity to actualize their potentials." "The light from her concern for human dignity and worth illuminated nurses to the meaning and purpose of nursing so they could be quality-of-life enhancers" (Phillips, 1997, p. 39).Let there be Light-Origin
Rogers believed that nursing is a learned profession and requires nursing to be educated in institutions of higher learning. Some say that Rogers was one of the first nurses to view nursing as a learned profession. She believed that nursing is both a science and an art. She spent time and energy educating the public as well as fellow nurses that nursing uses a unique body of knowledge (Phillips, 1997).
Roger's Science of Unitary Human Beings is a unique philosophy to nursing because we are looking at the patient as a whole instead of just parts of the patient. It also includes elements such as therapeutic touch, guided imagery, music, humor, and meditation. Rogers was a pioneer and icon in nursing and the way we practice today. All of her elements are helpful interventions nurses can do to help a patient heal.
Martha Rogers Science of Unitary Human Beings describes all of the global concepts of human being, environment, health, and nursing which were described on previous slides.
Rogers defines health, one of the global concepts, as an expression of the life process. She describes four characteristics to this life process which are: Energy field, Openness, Pattern, and Pan dimensionality.
Energy field-"the fundamental unit of all, both the living and the unliving". This provides the patient a way to view his or her environments as a whole
Openness- "refers to the fact that the human and environmental fields are constantly exchanging their energies."
Pattern-"distinguishing characteristics of an energy field that is seen as a single wave."
Pan dimensionality-"is a domain that has no spatial or temporal attributes."
Nurses come to know human energy field pattern and environmental energy field pattern through manifestations of that pattern in the form of the clients' experiences, perceptions, and expressions (Venes, 2009).
The role of the nurse is to serve people. Rogers proposes non-invasive modalities for nursing, such as therapeutic touch, humor, music, meditation, guided imagery, and even the use of color. The interventions of nurses are meant to coordinate the rhythm between the human and environmental fields, help the patient in the process of change, and help patients move toward better health (www.nursing-theory.org).
Martha Roger's Science of Unitary Human Beings Theory has been used in many different areas of nursing, including, hospice, healing centers, hospitals, out-patient care, and delivery rooms.
Taber's Medical Dictionary gives the definition of therapeutic touch as: "the practice of running the hands on or above a patient's body to restore health. It is based on the premise that the human body is a complex system of energy fields, which must be channeled and balanced for optimum health."
In a study of 20 infants,10 infants that received therapeutic touch, massage, and listened to classical music continuously throughout the day during the first 10 days of their life, had increased maturation of visual evoked potentials, visual acuity, and more mature brain processes. These were evidenced by maturational changes in EEG activity and significant changes in the visual cortex (McGrath, 2009).
Music has a wide range of therapeutic benefits including, enhancing personal growth, communication, and self-expression. Music therapy
is often used with individuals who have speech or communication difficulties, autism, mental illness, or have been sexually abused (Mandleco, B. L., & Potts, N. L., 2012)
Alligood, M., & Fawcett, J. (2004). Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing. Infinite Potentials. Retrieved from http://societyofrogerianscholars.org/Visions/Visions-Volume12.pdf
Butcher, H. K. (1999). Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 7, 49-54 The artistry of Rogerian practice.
Malinski. 2006. Rogerian Science-Based Nursing Theories. Nursing Science Journal, volume19, 7-12. doi: 10.1177/0894318405284116
Mandleco, B. L., & Potts, N. L. (2012). Pediatric Nursing: Caring for children and their families. (3rd ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning. Retrieved from: http://0-online.statref.com.libcat.ferris.edu/document.aspx?fxid=83&docid=278. 2
McGrath, J.M. (2009). Touch and massage in the newborn period: Effects on biomarkers and brain development. Journal of perinatal and neonatal nursing, (Oct-Dec), 304-306. doi:10.1097/JPN.0b013e3181bf1a74.
Nursing Theory. (2011). Retrieved from
Nursing Theory. (2011). Retrieved from http://currentnursing.com/nursing_theory/unitary_human_beings.html
Phillips, J. (1997). Martha E. Rogers: An Icon of Nursing. Nursing Science Quarterly, 10(1), 39-41. doi: 10.1177/089431849701000112
Society of Rogerian Scholars. (2008). Theory: An overview of the science of unitary human beings. Retrieved from http://www.societyofrogerianscholars.org/theory.html
Venes, D. (2009). Tabers cyclopedic medical dictionary. (21st ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company. Retrieved from: http://0-online-statref.com.libcat.ferris.edu/document.aspx?fxid=57&docid=63317.
Wright, B.W. (2007). The Evolution of Rogers' Science of Unitary Human Beings: 21st Century Reflections. Nursing Science Quarterly, 20(1), 64-67. doi:10.1177/0894318406296295
Wurges, J. & Frey, R. (2009). Therapeutic touch. In L. Fundukian (Ed.), The gale encyclopedia of alternative medicine (3rd ed.). Detroit: Gale. http://www.altmd.com/Articles/Therapeutic-Touch--Encyclopedia-of-Alternative-Med
Mrs. P. ,a 56 year old female is admitted to the hospital with irretractable nausea and vomiting post chemotherapy and radiation. Symptoms include tachycardia with heartrates from 100-160's, nausea and vomiting, dehydration with headache and fatigue. She is complaining of generalized pain and weakness with a focus on a headache. Mrs. P. is surrounded by multiple family members and several small children who appear to be well meaning, but are coughing, sneezing, and talking loudly. Mrs. P is unfortunately placed in a semi-private room with a roommate who is eating Mexican food for lunch and laughing watching the loudly tuned TV. The nurse administers IVP narcotics for her pain and headache and an IVP antiemetic, but Mrs. P continues to complain of headache.
1) Considering Rogers' Theory of Unitary Human beings where Rogers states "nurses are in constant mutual process with those for whom they care and have opportunities to pattern the environment for change" what immediate interventions could be initiated for Mrs. P?
2) Using Rogers' theory, what non-pharmacologic interventions could be utlitized for pain management?
3) In what ways can the nurse alter the way care is provided during the shift in order to promote improvement in symptoms and provide a calming environment?
4) What can the nurse do so that family and visitors can help Mrs. P recover more quickly?
5) What can the nurse do help Mrs. P increase her appetite and help control nausea and vomiting?