Humanistic Nursing Theory Discussion


Katy Palmer, a 32-year old woman diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Katy has been married for 8 years to Glenn, who stays at home with their daughters, Lila (4) and Iris (2). Katy has a very successful interior design business. Katy’s parents, George and Alice Montgomery live about 4 hours away and are at her bedside almost constantly as Katy undergoes inpatient chemotherapy. Both George and Alice have taken extended leaves of absence from their work to help their daughter.

Although Katy’s AML initially responded to chemotherapy, she suffered a relapse within a few weeks after going home. She had several subsequent hospitalizations for fevers, as is common in patients with leukemia. Katy also required frequent transfusions of blood products, including packed red blood cells and platelets. After her sixth admission in 3 months, Katy told her oncology nurse, Suzanne, that she was tired and was ready to stop treatment. She wanted to talk about how to help prepare her family for her death, and how to make her final days comfortable. Suzanne, an experienced oncology nurse, had had many conversations in the past with patients nearing the end-of-life; Katy’s situation, however, seemed especially tragic and heartbreaking for Suzanne and the rest of the unit’s nursing staff.

You have read about several philosophies conceptual frameworks, theories, and middle-range theories around which nurses shape their practice.

Consider these questions:

  • Which philosophical/theoretical approach to care do you subscribe to use?
  • How would you use this approach in providing care to Katy and her family?
  • Nursing has many frameworks or theories of care. Identify one or two theories not mentioned in the chapter and apply its principles to your care of Katy.