Purpose of the theory The purpose of Dorothea Orem’s theory was to define and explicate nursing. With her background as a staff nurse, nursing manager and nursing educator, Orem understood several components of nursing.
Her acquired experiences and observations helped her build new concepts that later outline her theories (Hartweg, 1991). In the critical care setting the importance of understanding nursing terms is that it delineates what is expected of each concept. Furthermore, it helps with identifying, organizing and prioritizing each of the patient’s self-care deficits. Scope of theory Dorothea Orem’s self-care deficit nursing theory is considered a grand theory also known as a macrotheory or abstract (Potter ; Perry, 2009).
Her theories are considered grand because of their complexity. Orem’s self-care deficit theory is just one aspect of three other interrelated theories called: self-care, dependent-care and nursing system (McEwan and Willis, 2007, p.143). Furthermore, Orem defined multiple abstract concepts such as: nursing, self-care, self-care deficit, and health. Since each patient’s self-care deficits are unique, Orem provided a framework of how to guide care for patients but left nurses with the responsibility of acquiring knowledge, understanding and creativity to their care.