Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Wake-Up Call

When presenting comfort care to students a few years ago, one earnest young man who had some prior experience working in nursing homes raised his hand and asked, "Is this a new concept? I have never seen it being practiced!"
I think his question is a wake-up call to us in nursing practice and education to get back to the basics.
- Dr. Katharine Kolcaba (2003)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Comfort: A Fundamental Need

Long ago, the field of nursing was merely perceived as giving of care to sick individuals. Just like other things, nursing has also evolved as time passed. Its evolution greatly influenced the nursing profession. Decades of study, the traditional type of care given to patients has evolved holistically. 

Pioneered by Florence Nightingale, though was posthumously accredited as a nursing theorist, her nursing contributions had influenced the field of nursing far into holistic and professional level. At that juncture, the provision of care was reinvented which after her, other nursing theories has also been formulated and adapted into the practice of nursing. 
According to Tomey and Alligood, nursing theory is a set of concepts, definitions, relationships, and assumptions or propositions derived from nursing models or from other disciplines. This projects a purposive, systematic view of phenomena by designing specific interrelationships among concepts for the purposes of describing, explaining, predicting, and prescribing.

Interestingly, Kolcaba's comfort theory presents the very essence of nursing. Provision of care and comfort are the initial interventions that a nurse does for a sick person. The comfort theory was highly acknowledged because of its universality across all disciplines, widely an extension of other theories and was holistically given emphasis. 

Her theory was derived from her experience in the practice of nursing. In her quest to introduce the concept to students, one young man with previous experience in nursing homes raised one question, "Is this a new concept? I have never seen it being practiced?" Unknowingly, it has been practiced even before the conceptualization of theories but with the advent of advanced technology in treating patients, providing comfort has been set aside and has never been a priority. This serves as an eye opener to all nurses. After all, comfort is one of the fundamental needs of all individuals.

Kolcaba, K. (2003). Comfort theory and practice: A vision for holistic health care and research. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Nursing theory. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved July 07, 2010, from
Current Nursing. (2010, March 25). Application of theory in nursing process. Retrieved July 07, 2010, from

Friday, July 09, 2010

A Closer Look at Kolcaba's Conceptual Framework

“I hope that nurses will collectively move boldly into a future where knowing about, and doing something about human needs for comfort and relief from pain are clearly within nurses’ realm.” – P. Chinn (Kolcaba, 2003, p.19)

Providing comfort is definitely within the nurses’ realm today. Nurses are the ones in direct contact with their patients, providing relief from certain discomforts, continuously assessing, monitoring and providing care that will ensure the client is at ease. According to Kolcaba, “Comfort is the desirable state that nurses would want for their patients.” 

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Dr. K on Facebook!

Right, you read that right, Dr. Kolcaba is on Facebook! We tried to contact her regarding the theory and good thing she promptly responded.

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You may use this quick link to her Facebook's Comfort Theory in Health Care page.