Marianna threw me an irreverent glance. We were in for trouble, thirty-four-year-old nurses, wives, and moms, acting like junior-high girls in their first birds and bees lecture.
“The notion of theories explaining nursing practice—like those explaining behavior in psychology—is fairly new in our discipline,” the rounded-at-the-bottom, gray-haired teacher droned. “So those of you who are older diploma grads probably haven’t been exposed to theories of nursing.”
That described us. But as nurses who had practiced competently for years without theories, we, in 1976, doubted the usefulness of this course, my sixth nursing course at Governors State University. Marianna raised her eyebrows as if to say, “This is certainly ridiculous.”
“We will begin with Dorothea Orem’s self-care deficit theory of nursing. We’ll first talk about the concepts of self-care deficit, self-care agency, and therapeutic self-care demand.”
Deficit sounded like the national debt. Agency reminded us of insurance. Therapeutic did not fit with demand. Marianna started to giggle. I responded likewise. We didn’t come back to school to learn worthless information like this.