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As the world continues becoming a global village, more knowledge and skills becomes paramount in dealing with day to day challenges. One of such field that has become focal point is the human life and health. As population increases, more health related issues are on the rise. This has led to more research being done on how well intervention programs can work in alleviating these health related issues. This paper seeks to have an in-depth look at kolcabas theory and how well it can be applied in a health set-up and how nurses can use the best practice of this theory to assist the patients.
It is important to appreciate the work that is done by the nurses. In most cases, nurses play a vital role by ensuring they give their patients the best services and in the ideal condition as much as they can. The theory of comfort is termed as a mid-range theory, because it is mostly concerned with nursing practice and research. It has a limited number of concepts and propositions, very low levels of abstraction and great ease in application of the actual nursing practice. In order to be able to apply this theory, it is important for the nurses to follow the three basic steps. The first step would be to understand the main technical definition of the theory of comfort and its origin (March &McCormack 2009). The second step involves understanding the interrelationship o the concepts of the theory and the final step would be to relate the identified concepts with practical settings that would enhance the general nursing practice as well as generate research questions that they would try to search for solutions in their line of work.
The nursing theory, has been used to serve as a guide in the assessment, intervention and the evaluation of nursing care and also as a rationale to be able to collect data about the health care status of the patients which is later used to come up with effective decisions and implementations. This theory helps the practitioner in understanding how well they can relate with their clients/patients and in turn provides a ground where researchers can make further studies to evaluate effectiveness of such intervention programs. The kolcaba Comfort theory, mostly uses the holistic approach to ensure that client’s care is provided. Kolkaba (1994, 2003) defined comfort as an immediate state off being strengthened by having access to the human needs for relief, ease and transcendence which are mostly addressed in four contexts of human experience in terms of physical, psycho spiritual, social cultural and the environment.
Relief is the experience of having some form of discomfort removed or reduced, ease is the total absence of these discomforts and transcendence is the ability to rise above the various discomforts in case they cannot be eradicated or avoided. (Kolcaba 2003).Transcendence is mainly a type of comfort that aims at strengthening the nurse to never give up in their line of duty of comforting the patients. As a way of increasing transcendence among the nurses, it would be important to make improvement in the environment where the nurses and patients will be working, increasing the number of social supports within the communities and providing reassurance to these patients by reassuring and empowering them to make them feel strong again.
Motivational messages from the nurses to the patients could also function very well in encouraging the patients and make them get well sooner than expected. Within this theory, Kolcaba explains that the main Meta paradigm concepts of the nurses to be based on assessing the comfort needs and measures of then patients who they will be handling. The theory focuses on the role of the nurse in the realm of comfort (March & McCormack 2009).
A patient is any individual, family or a particular community that is in need of health care services. In kolcaba’s Comfort Theory, environment symbolizes all the exterior influences that may be manipulated so as to ensure that comfort is availed to the patients. Nursing is described as the process of accessing the patient’s comfort needs, developing and implementing the appropriate nursing interventions. The asse3sssment can either be objective by maybe observing how a wound is healing, subjective by maybe trying to seek and know if a patient is really comfortable. This will include the home that the patient will be living in, the policies or even in the institution where the individual is situated (Kolkaba 2003). Kolcaba focuses on the health of the patient, family, community but not the attention of the healthcare providers.
Physical aspect is one of the four contexts which mainly pertain to the body and the mechanisms that surround a patient. These proc3esses include homeostasis, pain relief, regular bowel functioning, fluid balance as well as the constant supply of oxygen. Psycho-spiritual aspect encompasses the internal awareness, self-esteem and what an individual’s believes is important in life as well as accommodate the religious believes to be able to maintain the independence (Ann 2006).
The environmental context in which the theory could be applied relates to the surrounding, conditions and influences that the individual is living in. Finally the social cultural aspects include the family; religion and relationships that the individual has with the people around him or her that would be helpful when trying to apply comfort. In all these contexts, Kolcaba provides the nurses with an understanding of how to be able to assess a client’s comfort level depending on all the contributing factors which always allow the nurses to have an understanding on the designs that can be applied to have effective care plan in enhancing the patient’s comfort (Novak 2001).
The Kolcaba’s Theory of comfort, usually incorporates five propositions in trying to provide comfort to the patients. The first of these involves the nurses trying to identify the client’s comfort needs that might not have been met by the exiting support systems. The second proposition is for the nurses to design interventions that would help them address the problem at hand. The third preposition is for the nurses to take into account all the variables and coming up with interventions and later coming up with a mutual agreement concerning the outcomes of the whole process (Kolcaba 2003). The last preposition is achieved when client s engage in more healthy seeking behaviors more fully while in turn makes the institutions to do even better to enable the higher integrity bodies to be more involved in engaging in health seeking behaviors.
All these propositions all helped to give a Systematic approach to finding a solution to the nurses who are determined to provide comfort to their patients who seem to have lost their hope of living. This [process involves identifying a need ,and going ahead to address it and even coming up with intervening variables that would be implemented in this situation(Wilson & Kolcaba 2004) . After a while, an assessment will be carried out to determine if the goals that were earlier west have been achieved or not and also reaffirming the healthy behaviors that are learned by the clients. This development is mainly a nursing process that specifically helps to enhance the theory of comfort in the nursing field.
This theory of comfort did not also miss some assumptions that were incorporated in trying to bring some developments in the nursing practice. All human beings have holistic responses to complex stimuli. The second assumption was that comfort was seen as desirable holistic outcomes that are vital in the field of nursing (Ann 2006). The third assumption was that all human beings strive so hard to achieve their comfort needs which were not the cases in all individuals. The fourth assumption was that once the human beings achieved their needs, then their patients were strengthened.
Most of these assumptions seemed to be based on philosophical beliefs about their patients, their environments and their health. It is true that comfort is desired by all and even the evidence based assumptions support this believes. Kolcaba developed several questionnaires to measure out the patients comfort and also get to know if they were experiencing any problems in their effort was to get comfort (Kolkaba 2003). For the nurses, Kolcaba created a 12-cell grid which helped the nurses to visualize comfort in a more holistic manner. This grid helped the nurse to be able to compare the comfort scores of the patients, before and after the interventions were implemented. The results findings indicated tremendous improvement in most of the patients. This thus confirms that this theory of comfort can be better utilized by the nurses where they can make their patients more comfortable and as a result translate to improved recovery by the patients from their medical conditions.
In conclusion, Katherine Kolcaba’s Comfort theory has been proved to be universally holistic. It has been used across the globe in assisting patients suffering from a wide range of ailments. It has become very popular and it is good to confirm that empirical studies have confirmed the benefits associated by use of Kolcabas theory and most patients have responded positively to its application. It is applicable in all nursing aspects and in all industries and business. This is because its main focus is on the client’s needs and relief, ease and transcendence which is met in all the four contexts that are discusses above (Kolkaba 1994). It provides the nurses with a major process those results in a higher level of standardized practice in all health care practices and institutions. It is paramount for nurses to deal with patients in a friendly manner, which is believed to contribute towards better understanding and recovery time, when well administered.
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