Application of Human Becoming Theory in Nursing

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Theory of Human Becoming

The theory of human become defines humans as open beings with different forms which are different from the whole. It posits that the environment is the person and his/her own experiences, thus, very inseparable from the person (Olney, 2017). As such, it recognizes the freedom of choosing personal meanings; the person (patient in the nursing context) has the right to language, image, and value a particular situation. This is usually accompanied by rhythmic patterns that are synchronized and cotranscended in a multidimensional perspective (Olney, 2017). As such, the theory is relevant to the nursing context as healthcare providers are expected to witness individuals (patients) define priorities in their own words and cultural beliefs. As the patients narrate stories and interpret phenomena as favorable to them, the nurses are expected to encourage these interpretations to exhibit positive embracement.

Application of the Theory in a Case Study

In the case study, the nurse could apply the Parse's theory in consoling Anne's husband. Because of his beliefs, Ben miraculously observes the Jessie in the sky as a sign that she was waiting for her in "heaven." He has witnessed that in the past when Jessie and Abe passed on. Although this might not clinically explain why Anne died in the hospital, the nurse should encourage this thought in order to ease pain for grieving Ben. This can be done by assisting Ben to identify where his thoughts and the wife's soul are as well as his next moves through his adopted life patterns. Through encouragement, Ben can have an easy grieving process as he has already developed acceptance of the loss.

Characteristics of Human Becoming Nurses

Human becoming nurses should be understanding. Based on the first principle of 'structuring meaning,' nurses should be willing to let the patients interpret their own experiences into reality. By imaging, they are able to interpret the meaning, possibility, and consequences of a particular phenomenon (Olney, 2017). Thus, nurses have the role of respecting and bearing witness the struggle the patient make towards exploring, shaping, rejecting, and integrating a situation. In some instances, individuals may want to change their perception regarding a choice as soon as they make a decision. This freedom of choice is associated with the 'conforming-non conforming' perception which allows everyone to choose their own values in accordance with how they feel, think, or act (Olney, 2017). Thus, nurses should be willing to listen to the patients and accept their choices in every aspect of care.

Nurses should also have empathy towards patients. The second principle of human becoming theory proposes rhythmical patterns through which individuals relate their personal values and means. The principle suggests that humans are controlled by the paradox of enabling-limiting; they make choices that have potentials and restrictions (Olney, 2017). Due to lack of awareness of the possible impacts, the nurse should be helpful in contemplating the best option of care; this can be achieved when the nurse possesses empathy. In addition, a nurse should be nonjudgmental as required by the third principle (Olney, 2017). Every human, as posited by the theory, has the tendency of changing views and values. Nurses must, therefore, help in identifying and clarifying hopes, dreams, or any desired choice without judging the patient.

Strengths and weaknesses of human becoming theory

One advantage of the theory is that it aids research towards exploring various life experiences including laughter, grief, confidence, joy, fear, hope, sorrow, and contemplation. Using Parse's approach enables a researcher to understand present, past, and future experiences all at once. A sample of study may, for instance, be asked to explain his/her feelings regarding grief. This aids in the understanding of a lived experience. The theory is also useful in education as it helps in developing various dialogues and comparisons between scholars in the guide to professional activities (Olney, 2017). In various academic journals, particularly the Nursing Science Quarterly, human becoming theory has spurred debates about the role, limitations, and contributions of the model as well as the scope of mistakes in a clinical setting and community-based nursing (Olney, 2017). The model provides clear guidelines to nursing which separates the field from other disciplines. Thus, nurses have used the principles to create nursing framework which is patient-based.

Amidst the strengths, the theory has various limitations. Frist, it is considered to be a 'closed-circle" theory as it only restricts the dimensions of life and the environment to reflect a single phenomenon. It ignores the various aspects of the environment (social, political, economic) that may impact values and life decisions (Olney, 2017). The theory also fails to acknowledge nursing diagnoses to interpret clinical scenarios. This may result in the misunderstanding of phenomenon, particularly in the instance that patients are emotionally led towards making choices.

Challenges of implementing Human Becoming theory

Various challenges have hindered adoption of the theory by nurses including nursing shortage, financial crises, and excess biomedical expectations. Hospitals are working towards reducing the expenses of healthcare by downsizing the ratio of nurses to patients in the hospital (Olney, 2017). This increases the workload for available nurses making it impossible to always be by the side of the patient. Thus, nurses are unable to get enough time to explore and interpret the perceptions of patients and apply them to nursing practice.

Applying cotranscending concept in the case study

According to Parse, cotranscending involves the continuous changes about being, the approach to embrace, and whom to relate with. Through powering, an individual may being to conceptualize the meaning of life struggles as well as develop the will to continue living amidst the challenges such as threat, harm, or death (Olney, 2017). Therefore, it involves living with possibilities and purpose while simultaneously accepting the possible threat or loss of nonbeing. This persistent conflict presents the chance of clarifying values and meaning of life. The nurse could use this principle to console Ben as she will attempt to help him explore the conflicts he is experiencing at the moment (Olney, 2017). The nurse would encourage Ben by confirming to him that death is part of living, and that he could still have a happy life after the wife is gone.

Theory Application

The environmental theory greatly applies to the case study. According to Florence Nightingale, the model is based on patient-based as it focuses on the care of the patient instead of a nursing process (Mughal & Ali, 2017). The model aims at altering the environment of the patient to cause change in his/her life. Key environmental factors that may be altered include pure water, enough food supplies, fresh air, cleanliness, and light (Mughal & Ali, 2017). Lack of these favorable factors may mean that the life of the patient diminishes. It is, therefore, the role of the nurse to enhance the recovery process by altering the environment with optimal conditions for better health. In the case study, the nurse can enhance Ben's environment which would enable him remember his wife for the good things.

Using the environmental theory, a key plan for Ben would be to take him to a place of horse riding where he could remember his wife. The nurse would also place pictures and memory photos of the past events Ben had with his wife. These would encourage fast recovery. Alternatively, in the implementation of a human becoming theory, the nurse will have to be there beside Ben throughout so that she can listen to his sentiments and perception of the wife's death. This could promote quick recovery.


Mughal, F. B., & Ali, B. H. I. (2017). Enhancing Patient Well-Being: Applying Environmental Theory in Nursing Practice. Ann Nurs Pract, 4(3), 1085.

Olney, T. L. (2017). Merging human becoming theory and health coaching principles into the role of the family nurse practitioner.

October 13, 2023

Health Science

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