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Betty Neuman's System Model
This page was last updated on January 28, 2012
• Theorist - Betty Neuman - born in 1924, in Lowel, Ohio.
• BS in nursing in 1957; MS in Mental Health Public health consultation, from UCLA in 1966; Ph.D. in clinical psychology
• Theory was publlished in:
o “A Model for Teaching Total Person Approach to Patient Problems” in Nursing Research - 1972.
o "Conceptual Models for Nursing Practice", first edition in 1974, and second edition in 1980.
• Betty Neuman’s system model provides a comprehensive flexible holistic and system based perspective for nursing.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE MODEL
Neuman’s model was influenced by:
• The philosophy writers deChardin and Cornu (on wholeness in system).
• Von Bertalanfy, and Lazlo on general system theory.
• Selye on stress theory.
• Lararus on stress and coping.
• Each client system is unique, a composite of factors and characteristics within a given range of responses contained within a basic structure.
• Many known, unknown, and universal stressors exist. Each differ in it’s potential for disturbing a client’s usual stability level or normal LOD (Line of Defence).
• The particular inter-relationships of client variables at any point in time can affect the degree to which a client is protected by the flexible LOD against possible reaction to stressors.
• Each client/ client system has evolved a normal range of responses to the environment that is referred to as a normal LOD. The normal LOD can be used as a standard from which to measure health deviation.
• When the flexible LOD is no longer capable of protecting the client/ client system against an environmental stressor, the stressor breaks through the normal LOD
• The client whether in a state of wellness or illness, is a dynamic composite of the inter-relationships of the variables. Wellness is on a continuum of available energy to support the system in an optimal state of system stability.
• Implicit within each client system are internal resistance factors known as LOR, which function to stabilize and realign the client to the usual wellness state.
• Primary prevention relates to G.K. that is applied in client assessment and intervention, in identification and reduction of possible or actual risk factors.
• Secondary prevention relates to symptomatology following a reaction to stressor, appropriate ranking of intervention priorities and treatment to reduce their noxious effects.
• Tertiary prevention relates to adjustive processes taking place as reconstitution begins and maintenance factors move the back in circular manner toward primary prevention.
• The client as a system is in dynamic, constant energy exchange with the environment.
MAJOR CONCEPTS (Neuman, 2002)
• the variables of the person in interaction with the internal and external environment comprise the whole client system
Basic structure/Central core
• The common client survival factors in unique individual characteristics representing basic system energy resources.
• The basis structure, or central core, is made up of the basic survival factors which include: normal temp. range, genetic structure.- response pattern. organ strength or weakness, ego structure.
• Stability, or homeostasis, occurs when the amount of energy that is available exceeds that being used by the system.
• A homeostatic body system is constantly in a dynamic process of input, output, feedback, and compensation, which leads to a state of balance.
Degree to reaction
• the amount of system instability resulting from stressor invasion of the normal LOD.
• a process of energy depletion and disorganization moving the system toward illness or possible death.
• a protective, accordion like mechanism that surrounds and protects the normal LOD from invasion by stressors.
• It represents what the client has become over time, or the usual state of wellness. It is considered dynamic because it can expand or contract over time.
Line of Resistance-LOR
• The series of concentric circles that surrounds the basic structure.
• Protection factors activated when stressors have penetrated the normal LOD, causing a reaction symptomatology. E.g. mobilization of WBC and activation of immune system mechanism
• The matter, energy, and information exchanged between client and environment that is entering or leaving the system at any point in time.
• A process of energy conservation that increase organization and complexity, moving the system toward stability or a higher degree of wellness.
• A system in which there is continuous flow of input and process, output and feedback. It is a system of organized complexity where all elements are in interaction.
Prevention as intervention
• Interventions modes for nursing action and determinants for entry of both client and nurse in to health care system.
• The return and maintenance of system stability, following treatment for stressor reaction, which may result in a higher or lower level of wellness.
• A state of balance of harmony requiring energy exchanges as the client
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