Sister Callista Roy Nursing Theory



Sister Callista Roy Nursing Theory

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The grand theory that is selected for this assignment is the Sister Callista Roy- Adaptation Theory. Harnegie (2015) asserts that it was advanced by a renowned nurse, Sister Callista Roy. It is considered one of the most used theories in modern nursing practice. As a pediatric complex nurse manager working with fragile children and coordinating their health needs, this theory is the most appropriate one for my practice setting.

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Who is Sister Callista Roy

Sister Callista Roy is one of the most respected nurse theorists of the modern age. Her groundbreaking work in the development of the adaptation model of nursing made the woman popular. Moreover, she is also known as a talented author, researcher, professor, and teacher. According to Butts and Rich (2015), Roy’s early life began in Los Angeles, California where she was born in 1939 and named after the Christian Martyr, Saint Callistus. After graduation from high school, the woman joined the Sisters of Joseph of Carondelet. Here, she has started learning about nursing. Harnegie (2015) notes that she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mount Saint Mary’s College in 1963.

Her other educational accomplishments include a Master's Degree in Pediatric Nursing, as well as a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Psychology. In her personal and professional work, Sister Roy has always emphasized that her family and religious commitment have the main influence on her. For instance, her mother that was a vocational nurse installed in the daughter the spirit of helping people under any circumstances and caring about the needs of others. Sister Roy has been known as an accomplished speaker, as well. She picked up several awards and was named a living legend.

Sister Roy’s experience has defined the development of the adaptation theory to a large extent. It can be supported by the sister’s own experience as she went through two diseases in her life. Butts and Rich (2015) mention that first, she developed encephalomyelitis, which confined her to bed and caused the removal of an acoustic neuroma. Later, she suffered from several neurological diseases. Nevertheless, these illnesses enhanced the woman’s interest in the holistic person and inspired her to develop the adaptation theory.

Furthermore, her working experience as a pediatric nurse was also crucial. In this regard, while working as a pediatric nurse, Sister Callista observed that children were very resilient. They were able to adapt to various physical and psychological changes, through which they were going. This observation and her experience were the vital driving forces in the development of Sister Callista’s theory.

Crucial References

A close analysis of crucial references to the original and current work of this nursing theorist and other authors concerning the theory at hand reveals the following. Bhanji (2012) points out that this theory was developed from Harry Helson’s adaptation theory. Sister Callista’s theory advanced the notion; now, adaptive responses could be described as a function of incoming stimulus at the existing adaptive level. Another crucial reference is Rapport’s work, specifically, the definition of a system and perception of a person as an adaptive system. This viewpoint on the person can be traced throughout Sister Callista’s work on the adaptation theory. An additional crucial reference for the original work of this theorist is Abraham Maslow’s work as Shosha and Al Kalaldeh assert (2012).

In this regard, an evaluation of this theory reveals that it makes use of several concepts that were offered by Maslow. Nevertheless, her theory goes deeper into the exploration of the beliefs and values of a person. For instance, Sister Callista’s holistic approach to nursing practice is heavily based on the concept of humanism. It is essential to note that following the development of this theory, Sister Callista fitted it into the shape of a framework that could be applied in various nursing practices, as well as research and education. The further theoretical development of this theory has been facilitated by many other faculties and nursing students.

Phenomena of the Concern Addressed by the Adaptation Theory

The phenomenon of concern that is addressed by this theory is a holistic person. In this sense, in her theory, Sister Callista tries to establish a way, through which a human being can survive through adaptation. In such a manner, adaptation facilitates growth, survival, reproduction, and mastery, which allows people to overcome various conditions, from which they are suffering. Peterson and Bredow (2013) point out that any person can achieve this aim because they have various coping mechanisms that are categorized as a regulator or cognate system. In this regard, adaptation can be implemented via these coping mechanisms, which are perceived as being innate to all human beings.

Theory Description

Sister Callista Roy’s Adaptation Theory uses both deductive and inductive reasoning. It can be evidenced as follows. Deductive reasoning is best illustrated by the fact that a significant number of concepts have been developed from Helson’s theory. For instance, Helson designed the concepts of contextual, focal, and residual stimuli. According to Shosha and Al Kalaldeh (2012), in her work, Sister Callista defines these concepts in nursing; thus, she sets a typology of factors that are related to the adaptation of a person’s levels.

This deductive reasoning in Sister Callista’s adaptation theory is further illustrated by the observation of her use of other concepts and theories from outside the nursing discipline. She goes on to relate these concepts and theories to her work; in such a manner, she constantly develops her adaptation theory. On the other hand, inductive reasoning in Sister Callista’s work on the development of the adaptive theory is illustrated by the following. In her theory, Sister Callista develops four adaptive modes from her research and practice experiences, as well as those of colleagues and students she teaches (Bhanji, 2012).

Consequently, the researcher can build on the conceptual framework of adaptation. In such a manner, she can develop a kind of step-by-step model, which will allow nurses to make use of the created nursing process to administer quality care. In addition, it also allows the promotion of adaptation in various situations involving one’s health and illnesses.

Major Concepts of the Theory

Some of the major concepts of Sister Callista’s Adaptation Theory include the following:

  1. The first major concept in the system. Butts and Rich (2015) assert that the system refers to a set of units that are related and interconnected in such a way that they form a kind of unity. This system is usually characterized by such elements as inputs, outputs, control, and feedback.
  2. Another major concept that can be identified from this theory is the adaptation level. Peterson and Bredow (2013) observe that this notion refers to a constantly changing point, which is followed by focal, contextual, and residual stimuli. Usually, it means an own personal standard of the array stimuli, to which one responds through the use of usual adaptive responses.
  3. Adaptation problems are another major concept of this theory. Bhanji (2012) asserts that this notion refers to situations of insufficient responses that may include a need deficit or certain excesses. As a rule, it is not considered a nursing diagnosis. Rather, it is perceived as an area of concern for a nurse that is linked to a patient or a group of people that are adopting.
  4. The final major concept of this theory is the stimulus. In theory, it is divided into three parts: focal, contextual, and residual stimuli.

From this discussion of the major concepts of the adaptive theory as developed by Sister Callista, it can be noted that the concepts have been operationally defined. In this sense, these concepts have been defined by the way that they are measured. Sister Callista as the developer and author of the adaptation theory demonstrates consistency in the use of these concepts and other related terms. It is evidenced by the sequence of concepts in the developed model, which follows a peculiar logic. Furthermore, this consistency can also be demonstrated by the concepts in that there is a recurring idea of the adaptation with the intent of maintaining integrity.

Interpretation of the Definition of the Concepts

An interpretation of how the concepts mentioned above are defined reveals the following. These concepts have been defined mainly implicitly as opposed to the explicit approach. In this regard, in her works, Sister Callista implied clear definitions of these concepts. It further means that the concepts were not plainly expressed; this point is heavily emphasized by Shosha and Al Kalaldeh (2012). The use of this kind of definition is supported by the fact that most of these concepts had to be operationalized to be measured. It is the reason why direct definitions of the terms could not be easily developed.

Existing Relationship among the Major Concepts

The identified major concepts have various forms of relationships. To begin with, a system is a concept that is related to all other concepts. It is so because the rest of the elements depend on the system given that they are a part of the system as is emphasized by Bhanji (2012). The concepts of the adaptation level and adaptation problems have a significantly strong bond, as well. It can be explained by the fact that adaptation problems arise following the failure of a person to reach a recommended adaptation level. At the same time, the adaptation level and the major concept of stimuli share specific relationships that can best be described as dependence. It is a result of the fact that stimuli are the controlling factors that facilitate the achievement of an adaptation level.

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Explicit and Implicit Assumptions Underlying the Theory

The adaptation theory by Sister Callista Roy contains a number of both explicit and implicit assumptions. They refer to the values and beliefs that are underlying the theory. To begin with, explicit assumptions include the following. According to Bhanji (2012), the first assumption made is a person that is perceived in the theory as a bio-psycho-social being. Furthermore, the person is also perceived as being in perpetual interaction with the environment, which is in constant change. These assumptions made about the person also reiterate that to be able to cope with the ever-changing world, a person tends to make use of both innate and acquired mechanisms, the origin of which may be either biological, psychological, or social.

In addition, another explicit assumption that relates to the person is healthy and illnesses that are considered inescapable dimensions of the life of any human being. According to other explicit assumptions, for the person to be able to respond adequately to the changing environment, it is critical to adapt. Peterson and Bredow (2013) explain that this adaptation is considered a function of the stimulus, to which they are exposed in addition to their adaptation level. An additional explicit assumption is the idea that a person can only muster four modes of adaptation that include physiologic needs, inter-dependence, self-concept, and role function. The final explicit assumption that underlines this theory asserts that there exists a dynamic objective for existence. This objective targets the achievement of dignity and integrity.

In this adaptation theory, four main underlying implicit assumptions exist.

  1. The first implicit assumption asserts that a person can be reduced to parts for the sake of the study and care. This idea brings out the concept of the system.
  2. The next implicit assumption states that the nursing profession is mainly based on the concept of causality.
  3. The third implicit assumption made by this theory asserts that the values and opinions of patients are to be considered and respected. This point is reiterated by Harnegie (2015).
  4. The final implicit assumption that underlies this theory is a person’s state of adaptation that allows freeing an individuals’ energy so that they can respond to other stimuli.

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The Theory Integration of the Concepts of Nursing Metaparadigm

This theory contains a description of some out of four concepts of the nursing metaparadigm, namely a person, health, environment, and nursing. These notions were explained in the theory in the following way. First, about a person, the theory asserts that human beings are holistic and adaptive systems. The theory further goes on to describe the human system as a unity, parts of which function as one for some purpose as Shosha and Al Kalaldeh assert (2012).

Consequently, human systems include people: individuals and groups such as families, organizations, communities, and general society. Therefore, in this regard, the person is the main focus of nursing care. In particular, the theory defines a person as a kind of adaptive system with a cognate and various regulator subsystems. Secondly, in the theory, health is described as a state and process of being or becoming integrated and reflecting the mutual characteristic of a person and environment. In her initial theory, Sister Callista considered health as a concept that existed in the continuum. Later, it was named a simplistic and unrealistic approach because it does not accommodate the element of co-existence of wellness and illness.

Butts and Rich (2015) affirm that in this adaptive theory, the environment is defined as the world that is within and around the person as an adaptive system. A further description of the environment asserts that it stands for all conditions, influences, and circumstances that affect the development and behavior of individuals. It functions to stimulate a person to undertake adaptive responses. Finally, in this theory, the metaparadigm of nursing is the healthcare profession that focuses on human life processes and patterns. It is done to promote the health and full life potential of both people and society. Furthermore, nursing is also perceived as a science and practice according to this theory.

Clarity of the Theory

In discussing the clarity of this theory, this paper looks into how well it can be understood, as well as the extent of lucidity and consistency of ideas that are conceptualized in it. First of all, Sister Callista’s arrangement of concepts in the theory’s framework is quite plausible. Moreover, it is essential to mention that the development of definitions within this framework is inadequate. This fact has adversely affected the clarity of the theory to a large extent. In her recent works on the adaptation theory, Sister Callista has acknowledged the holistic nature of a person. In this regard, a person is viewed as existing in a universe that is characterized by a progressing structure and complexity. In this sense, the emphasis on the definition of the person has shifted toward the purposefulness of human existence in a creative world as Carnegie states (2015). Thus, this redefinition has enhanced the consistency of the theory and has made it more lucid. In such a manner, the theory can be easily explained and comprehended.


The Role of the Theory in Guiding Nursing Actions

The theory of adaptation as developed by Sister Callista Roy can be used for guiding nursing actions in the following ways. One way of using this theory can is the facilitation of the development of different programs and interventions. For instance, these programs and interventions can be used for guiding the nursing practice toward the promotion of health. It is so because the theory provides healthcare professionals with various ways of using its framework in guiding the development of certain physical activities. Another way that this theory can be utilized is by increasing people’s understanding of nurses when it comes to the identification of approaches that work in health interventions and those that do not. Bhanji (2012) asserts that based on this theory, these elements can be carefully detailed.

Furthermore, this theory can be used to guide nursing action in that it can be used for facilitating individualized care. It is supported by the fact that this theory is essential in the formulation of individualized plans for the care of patients. In addition, another relevant way that it can be used for guiding the nursing action relates to the process of making the diagnosis. With the help of the theory’s concept of stimuli, a nurse can be able to develop specific nursing processes that are involved in the diagnosis of conditions as is asserted by Shosha and Al Kalaldeh (2012).

It includes the formulation of relevant statements of the data interpretation concerning the adaptation of a person. A final and essential way that this theory can be used in guiding the nursing action is through promoting the assessment of behavior. It is so due to the theory’s emphasis on data gathering as it relates to the behavior of people. Therefore, a nurse can use such data to gain a better understanding of the behavior of patients and be able to take appropriate actions toward their effective treatment.

Role of the Theory in My Area of Nursing

This theory can also be useful in my current area of nursing. Currently, I am practicing as a pediatric complex nurse case manager and working with fragile children, specifically in coordinating their health needs. Some of the ways that this theory can prove useful in my nursing practice include the following. The first is helping me take these children through various change processes that they undergo as a part of the health conditions that they undergo, as well as treatment. Given that this theory emphasizes that the goal of nursing is helping a person adapt to a change, I can use this goal in my practice and help these children adapt to the changes that their ailments bring about in their lives.

These changes take place in terms of physiological needs, self-concept, and perception, as well as interdependent relations. It can be essential in helping these children cope with the circumstances. Another way that this theory will help me in my practice area of nursing is by learning about various issues and demands that are problematic for my children-patients and the cases that I have to handle. It is possible through a comprehensive assessment of how children are adapting to these problems. Consequently, this information will be vital in helping me care for them by structuring my help in helping them adapt.

This theory can also be useful in guiding my nursing practice as a pediatric nurse in that it can adequately help me meet the psychological needs of the children, for whom I care. It is so because the model, on which this theory is based, is extremely beneficial in settings with converted psychological needs. This kind of need is usually more sensitive when it comes to children due to their fragile nature. It is the reason why this theory will be even more effective in this kind of care.

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