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Martha RogersThe Science of Unitary & Irreducible Human Beings Denise Barger, RN, BSN Pat Schlagel, RN, BSN Lisa Thielke RN, BSN Minnesota State University Moorhead Nursing 600
Grand Nursing Theorist Martha Rogers
Application to Environment • Continually exchanging energy with the unitary human being • Constant state of change • Helix • Represents environment energy field • Co-existing & interactive with unitary human
Application to Person • Unitary energy system • Whole entity – sum of the parts • Continually exchanging energy with the environment • “These energy fields may be described as open systems, with each person having his/her own unique pattern of energy which constitutes the person’s identity.” (Tettero, Jackson, & Wilson, 1993, p.777)
Critique of Theory • Rogers was ahead of her time
Clarity • Difficult to understand • Used uncommon language • Related concepts to space, universe • Abstract model
Simplicity • Theory is comprised of: • Only five key definitions • Three principles of homeodynamics • Six assumptions about human beings • Difficult to understand • Abstract system of ideas
Generality • Abstract model makes it generalizable • Powerful • Broad in scope • Provides framework for development of nursing knowledge • Helped develop other grand theories and middle range theories
Empirical Precision • Early criticism identified major limitations • Difficult to understand principles • Lack of operational definitions • Inadequate tools for measurement • Deductive in logic • Inherent lack of immediate empirical support • Misunderstood initially
Derivable Consequences • Intends to assist in the understanding of human evolution and human potential • Organized in a manner that place nursing’s identity as a science • Focus is on the human and environmental connection as highly significant • Many have used the theory for research
Summary • Has positively impacted nursing • Widely accepted theory concepts • By offering an emphasis on holism • Mutuality of humans and the environment • Fits with effectiveness of complementary and alternative health practices • Fits with family systems • Allows nursing to study areas that would use only linear, three-dimensional and reductionistic approaches
References Gunther, M. E. (2006). Unitary Human Beings. In A. Tomey & M. Alligood (Eds.), Nursing theorists and their work (pp. 244-266). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier