The Theory of Goal Attainment and Transactional process is a theory that guides nurses to practice nursing based on a personal approach. It is a Grand Theory based on Interactive Process. The purpose of this theory is to be able to achieve patients’ goals by forming a relationship with the client or patient. To be able to form a relationship with a patient/client there are several factors that have to be consider. One of the main factors that has to be consider is the fact that the patient is a unique individual and as such nurses must think how to approach this patient to form a therapeutic relationship that will involve the patient in his/her own healthcare goals.
The goal of attainment has impacted research, education, and the nursing. However, it has impacted nursing education in particular. “For example, it served as a frame work for the baccalaureate program at the Ohio State University School of Nursing where it determined the content and process taught at each level of the program” (McEwen & Wills,2023, p. 177).
The development of this theory was created by Imogene King in the 1960’s. “During this time nursing practice was not so much based on theory. Nursing practice was generally prescribed by others and highlighted by traditional, ritualistic tasks with little regard to rational” (McEwen & Wills, 2023, p.25).
It is interesting to know that this theory has been used not only for the purpose of education, research and nursing practice but it has also help to develop other theories. “In addition to application in practice and research described previously, King’s work has been the basis for development of several middle-range nursing theories. For example, was used by Rooda (1992) to develop a model for multicultural nursing practice” (McEwen & Wills, 2023, p. 117)>
Virginia Henderson was born in Missouri and raised in Virginia. She grew up to receive her diploma in nursing from the Amy School of Nursing located at Walter Reed Hospital. Within two years of working as a bedside nurse her passion for the profession grew immensely. She applied to and was offered a nurse educator position at a hospital in Virginia. From that day Henderson embarked on a lifelong mission to educate nurses on her concept of the nursing profession. Over a decade she had went on to obtain her Bachelors of Nursing degree in 1932 and her Master’s degree in 1934. Her concept and theories evolved and was imitative of her passion, practice and education.
The philosophical and structural components of her theory was focused on educating nurses and providing patient care in an encouraging environment. Henderson was introduced to physiologic principles during her graduate education. The study of these principles was the fundamental basis of her framework for patient care (Henderson, 1965, 1991). The physiologic principle implies that the patient’s biology, psychology and sociology (biopsychosocial) all had to be taken into consideration when providing care. As her studies and work experience progressed, she was also introduced to “Thorndike’s fundamental needs of a man” (McEwen, Grand Nursing Theories Based on Human Needs 2022), in which she gave credit to as having a direct influence on her beliefs. Another major concept of her theory is that nurses should assist patients with otherwise daily activities of life in times of illness until the patient is back to their optimistic level of health. Overall, helping the patient to regain independence by providing a supportive environment. Her concept of nursing included the nurse assisting the patient with 14 activities.
Henderson’s theory of nursing has immensely affected nursing education, nursing research and nursing practice. Lucier (2018), for example, described how Henderson’s model could be used to enhance the nurse−patient relationship to provide holistic care at the end of life. Similarly, Waller-Wise (2013) found that Henderson’s theory assisted nurses in attaining excellence in childbirth education, and Miranda et al. (2018) used Henderson’s assumptions and model in their analysis of the concept of “nursing care of overweight children.” (McEwen, Grand Nursing Theories Based on Human Needs 2022). Her contribution to nursing textbooks extended from 1930-1990’s. Her contributions to nursing had a global impact by strengthening the focus on nursing practice and confirming the value of tested interventions in assisting individuals to regain health (McEwen, Grand Nursing Theories Based on Human Needs 2022). Researchers internationally continue to be influenced by Henderson’s model as a framework.
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