Theory Application Paper_ Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory FINAL.docx

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Running head: KOLCABA’S COMFORT THEORY 1 Theory Application Paper: Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory Megan Powell NU 500-8: Theoretical Foundations for Nursing Professor Usama Saleh Herzing University
KOLCABA’S COMFORT THEORY 2 Theory Application Paper: Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory The emergency department in the time of a pandemic has become a setting that hosts more last moments for a more significant number of patients than ever before. The department now houses more than just victims of violent crimes, car accidents, and the expected clientele. It is now home to some very critical ICU hold patients who may be in their last moments of life. More people are spending their final days in the emergency department, receiving comfort measures than ever before. Prior to COVID-19, when end of life situations would occur in the ED, it would be a quicker paced event where comfort was not the top priority but trying to save their lives was as the situation was emergent. Now, in addition to those emergent type situations, the slower-paced, inevitable types of death are occurring. The nurses in the ED may be the last faces some of these people see during such a terrifying time, so now more than ever, comfort is becoming a specialty of ED nurses. Theory Description Kolcaba specialized in gerontology and saw many patients nearing the end of life throughout her career. A patient that is nearing the end of life cannot be treated with medicine because they are shutting down; it is merely their time. This realization, especially for the patient and their families, can be traumatizing. However, there are ways to help ease the client’s suffering and fears through comfort. The comfort theory’s unique focus is not medicinal or scientifically based, but it’s purely based on the human experience. The way nurses and providers care for their patients, especially in times of death, can provide the greatest impact. The focus of Kolcaba’s theory primarily comes from a philosophical viewpoint. Kolcaba’s theory of comfort consists of three forms of comfort: relief, ease, and transcendence. Her purpose is to comfort a patient by providing them with support directed at all
KOLCABA’S COMFORT THEORY 3 aspects of their wellbeing (physical, psychospiritual, sociocultural, and environmental, which are the four contexts laid out by Kolcaba). These forms and contexts work together to fit many situations in which comfort is a necessary service to provide to patients or their families. These four forms and contexts are addressed in the significant concepts laid out by this theory; those concepts include healthcare needs, comfort, nursing interventions, health-seeking behavior, intervening factors, institutional integrity, best policies, and best practices (Kolcaba, 2019).

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