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An operationalization of Martha Rogers' theory throughout the nursing process

International Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0020-7489(79)90018-x
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy


Abstract Rogers (1970) presents a philosophical view of man that allows the use of assessment tools and technologies specific to the patients condition. Assessment tools and technologies will vary with the patient population and the scientific advances of society. They must not become the focus of nursing practice because they are time limited and can detract from the patient. The focus of nursing practice is man and the life force within man. The nursing science principles identify constants in the nursing of man, such as; establishing priorities, implementing change, and patterns of change. The theoretical framework of Martha Rogers paints a dynamic picture of man as ever evolving with increasing complexity from birth to death. The nurse enters the lifespace of the individual to help maintain his physical and emotional integrity in acute illness and/or as a change agent in chronic illness or permanent disability. The goal is to redirect his life events from patterns that produce decreased functioning or illness to patterns that lead to optimum health. The areas of nursing intervention are determined by the nursing diagnoses derived from the individual's life-style, patterns of interaction with the environment, as well as his physical and emotional states. The nursing diagnoses and nursing science principles unite in a prescribed plan of care for the patient. The knowledge that change in the patient occurs simultaneously with that in the environment directs the nurse to focus certain actions toward the environment and to predict a change in the patient as he interacts with the changed environment. Additional predictability is achieved by looking at the patient's previous adaptation patterns and life-style. If he has not changed his living patterns for a previous equally serious illness he is not likely to change for the current one unless a unique change force enters into his life-space. By entering into a scientifically based therapeutic relationship with the patient, the nurse can make the difference between the patient continuing a life of inadvertent self-destruction or reaching for his optimum health potential.

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