A Brief Introduction to Science of Unitary Human Beings
The concept of Unitary Health Care emerged from the revolutionary work of the nursing academic Professor Martha E. Rogers during the 1950s in New York. She created the conceptual health care system that became known throughout the world as the Science of Unitary Human Beings, drawing knowledge from a variety of disciplines in the sciences, arts and humanities. This holistic view focused on treating the whole patient, and not just the illness. The Science of Unitary Human Beings provides an alternate approach to evaluating patients beyond the traditional scope of nursing care. It provides a framework for nursing practice, education and research. The basis for the concept of Unitary Health Care rests in the four postulates consisting of energy fields, open systems, pattern, and pandimensionality. From these postulates, Dr. Martha Roger’s as well derived three hemodynamic principles those being resonancy, helicy, and integrality as a basis for structure of her theory. In the following script, I will focus on the postulate of Energy Fields, which describes human and environmental fields as one entity in constant interaction not as two separate wholes (Thomas, 2000).
A Brief History on M. D.
M. D. is a 93 year-old female admitted to Lawrence General on 3/14/2006 with chief complaint of chest pain/ CHF. The patient has a history of cardiovascular disease with risk factors significant for hypertension, family history of CAD, AF, recurrent pneumonia, and COPD. Patient had a permanent pacemaker inserted on 3/01/2004 for sick sinus syndrome with a cardiac echo revealing LVEF of 55% with aortic sclerosis. The patient has undergone numerous procedures including a cholecystectomy, umbilical hernia repair, exploratory laparotomy, and appendectomy. At 0600 3/28/2006, the patient coded and was placed on a ventilator but has since been unresponsive. Labs at 0800 revealed a Troponin I level of 0.49, a marked confirmation of unstable angina. The patient’s condition continued to deteriorate with labs at 1608 revealing an elevation in the Troponin I level of 0.74. Throughout my care, M. D. remained in a semi-comatose state without use of any medical sedation, pupils were sluggish, and extremities remained flaccid with periods of rigidity. M. D.’s labs revealed an improvement in ABG values so weaning from CMV to CPAP was initiated and being adequately tolerated. Unexpectedly, the patient became a full DNR/DNI per family wishes post consult with the physician. In view of that, I found that the patient in all probability would not survive being extubated from the ventilator.
The Energy Fields
Energy is irreducible, indivisible and has a recognizable pattern. It’s a continouse fusion between a person and the environment. Each individual has their own level of uniqueness and intensity of interaction with the environment. The main focus rests in the theory that combined energy between individual and environment is inseparable and integrated completely (Thomas, 2000). In the case of M.D. despite the fact of being in a semi-comatose state, energy was undoubtedly being disrupted and bound into many factors including but not limited to the crisis of the situation, anxiety (of patient, family, and staff), and the environmental stressors and condition. The family was noticeably present, extremely anxious and overly vigilant with the care family member had been receiving. Many issues arose given all the dominant personalities within the family attempting to take control of the situation. There was questionable action as to whether the patient was physically harmed by a family member during a visit and questioning as to why the family became increasingly unhappy with the physicians care and consequently wanting to file a formal complaint. Tensions between family members and staff were at an incredible high all throughout the patient’s stay. Family was present from morning to night questioning and prodding all staff that came into contact with the patient. Of course, it is only normal to show concern for a family member but the continuous and repetitive barrage of questions made properly caring for the patient difficult so for that reason care had to be established around family visits and it became unfeasible to establish a nurse to patient relationship in such a stressful situation. Considering energy as a continuous and integrated dynamic, fields were continuously and considerably disrupted daily. The patient’s field was being inundated not only by the daily on-going and restless environment of a CCU setting but by chaos and struggle between family and staff. A tense and volatile air lingered in the patient’s room until her passing only to be replaced and consumed with grief.
Restructuring Energy Fields
With the belief of the interconnectedness of everything, the nurse should think of herself as part of the patient’s environment. By doing so, the nurse can focus her role as a nurse to be a bright, energized field, connected with the patient’s environment. In understanding this theory, the nurse can then aid in the restructuring of the human energy field. An initial approach would be in assuming a non-judgmental mind-set towards the patient and the family, especially if thoughts of a negative attitude toward the family members and patient as nuisances have developed into a state of consensus amongst the staff, as with M.D. Going into a situation with a clear mind, setting aside earlier experiences and expecting the best soothes not only the nurse’s tensions but the family’s and patient’s as well. Certain energy whether it is positive or negative are given off and picked up with adjustments in attitudes. Therapeutic touch can help by restructuring the patient’s consciousness by applying a strong rhythm to the energy field of the patient. In this manner, localizing and focusing on an area of unsteady energy aids in drawing it out without physical contact and further disruption to the patient. Other forms of freeing bound energy include listening and being listened to, recognizing and responding to emotions of happiness, crying, laughing and acknowledging relationships with other people. Another unique way requires the use of a nurse’s “sixth sense,” which involves being intoned with a patient’s underlying thoughts, feeling, and rhythms as essential parts within the patient’s environment. An example of this would be, a nurse coming onto rounds and getting a verbal report from the night staff on the patient in room one as being comfortable and stable post a 5 minute assessment so, the nurse coming on rounds decides to review the chart and make out orders. Then for no reasonable explanation she feels the need to check on the patient whom was stable just 15 minutes ago. On entering the patient’s room, the nurse finds that the patient has bleed out as a result of the chest tube falling out. Here, the nurse through a “sixth sense” was able to be in tune with the patient in some unexplicable way. The opportunity to build a trusting nurse to patient relationship is part of the nurse’s job in order to aid strengthening the bond between energy fields of the patient to energy fields of the nurse.
The nurse can also have an effect on energy by restructuring the environmental fields using light, sound, imagery, and color. Keeping talking to a minimum when in the patient’s room is a big issue in nursing care. Even though patients are medically sedated or in M.D.’s case semi-comatose, the patient can presumably still hear as the nurse gabs about irrelevant issues while standing over the patient doing care. Not knowing whether the patient can hear is a major motive to keep conversation to a minimum and censored when in a patient’s room. As a nurse, you do not want negative energy to be reflecting in the open system. It is very difficult to control an on going CCU or ICU environment, but simple things such as lighting control to the patient’s preference can aid in reducing environmental field disturbances. Relaxation can as well be elicited through guided imagery or even by softly playing some of the patient’s favorite music in order to reconstruct a patient’s environmental field.
In conclusion, energy field nursing provides a framework for the nurse and patient to work together at creating unity amongst the intertwining fields. Energy is continuous free flowing throughout all dimensions, so as nurses we play a major role in the balance of our patient’s energy fields since we are constantly interacting within these fields to provide the best care possible. Nurses need to think outside the box and move away from the mechanistic prehistoric era of the traditional view of nursing care and think of herself moreover as part of the patient’s environment not simply working outside of it.
Thomas, C. L., (Ed.). (2000). Taber’s cyclopedic medical dictionary (18th ed.).
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