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In the nursing theory of Hildegard Peplau, the nurse plays various roles, such as the stranger, teacher, resource, counsellor, surrogate, and leader. In the same way, the patient encounters a stranger every day, and the nurse treats the patient as a stranger. The nurse should provide a setting that fosters trust (Wasaya et al., 2021). The nurse acts as a teacher by sharing knowledge concerning the patient’s needs or interests. In this sense, the nurse serves as a patient’s resource by offering details the patient needs to comprehend a situation or a problem. Therefore, in their capacity as surrogate, nurses support patients by assisting them in comprehending and integrating the meaning of their current circumstances and offering support and encouragement as they attempt to make adjustments.
The nurse serves as a surrogate and works as the patient’s advocate while assisting the patient in defining the domains of reliance, interdependence, and independence. Nursing is therapeutic, according to Peplau, because it is a healing art that aids a patient who is ill or in need of medical attention (Jones & Beauvais, 2022). The interaction between two or more people who share a purpose also makes it an interpersonal process. Together, the nurse and patient develop maturity and expertise in providing care. Leading by example, the nurse encourages the patient to assume full accountability for achieving their treatment objectives. A nurse can also act as a technical expert, consultant, tutor, social worker, safety agent, environment manager, mediator, administrator, record watcher, and researcher. Therefore, the nurse should employ interviewing strategies when speaking with the patient to investigate, comprehend, and effectively address the underlying issue. Since the patient’s level of independence is likely to change, the nurse must also be familiar with the various communication phases.
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The resolution phase is the last stage of surrogacy. As a result of the nurse and patient working together to meet the patient’s requirements, the professional relationship has ended. They must end their relationship and cut the links that bind them together. However, this may be challenging for both parties if there is still psychological dependence. The nurse and patient’s connection are broken as the patient drifts away. Both develop more mature beings and find a better emotional equilibrium. Thus, this is how the nursing procedure is being evaluated. The nurse and patient assess the situation based on the objectives specified and whether they were achieved. However, Peplau’s theory has some drawbacks, such as a lack of emphasis on health promotion and maintenance, a lack of consideration for intra-family dynamics, personal space considerations, and local social service resources, the inability to be applied to patients who are unable to express their needs, and some areas that are too general to allow for hypothesis generation.
Jones, J. S., & Beauvais, A. M. (2022). The Education of Nurses During COVID-19—Using Nursing Theory to Help Us Regain Our True North. Journal of Nursing Education, 61(5), 227-228.
Wasaya, F., Zulfiqar, S., & Farhan, A. (2021). A Comparison and Integration of Two Nursing Theories into Clinical Practice: Betty Neuman and Hildegard Peplau. i-Manager’s Journal on Nursing, 11(3), 4.