Profile of Faye Glenn Abdellah in Nursing

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Profile of Faye Glenn Abdellah in Nursing Essay

Faye Glenn Abdellah was a true leader in the field of nursing. Her theory provided a basis for determining and organizing nursing care for the patient. Her theory also provided a way to organize appropriate nursing strategies. Ms. Abdellah’s patient centered care approach to nursing was created from her practice and is considered a human needs theory. The theory was created to help with the education of young nurses. Her theory not only aids in providing care in the hospital setting, it also has many uses in the community setting as well.

Faye Glenn Abdellah was born March 13, 1919 in New York City. When she was 18 years old, she watched as the German Airship named the Hindenburg plummeted to the ground in New Jersey in 1937, where she and her brother ran to help people on the ground, although she did not know how to help them. Profile of Faye Glenn Abdellah in Nursing Essay.From this experience, she knew that she wanted to become a nurse to be able to help people. In 1940 she graduated from the Fitkin Memorial Hospital’s School of Nursing with her diploma in nursing. Because she believed that nursing care should be about research and not on how many hours of care given, Ms. Abdellah went on to obtain three degrees from Columbia University, her Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing, a Masters of Arts degree in Physiology, and lastly, a Doctor of Education degree.


With her degree, Ms. Abdellah went in to teaching. Her first role as a professor landed her in Yale University School of Nursing where she taught the class “120 principles of nursing practice”, using a standard textbook from the National League of Nursing. Unfortunately, most of the 120 principles from the book had no scientific reasoning behind them. The students in her class demanded answers and challenged Ms. Abdellah to its reasoning. After a year, she decided to rid the students of the book. She burned them all in the courtyard of the school. This led to the creation of her theory, 21 Nursing Problems.

Faye Glenn Abdellah believed that nursing should be research based, and pushed for higher education in nurses. In 1957, she headed a research team that would later lay the ground work for progressive patient care. In this, the patient went through three steps, the intensive care unit, followed by an intermediate care unit, followed by home care. She believed that the hospital or health care facility should provide patient specific health care to each individual patient. Although the first two ideas of this approach were very popular with health care professionals, the last segment, homecare, was not as easily accepted. Although she tried desperately to show people that teaching self care would help the patient gain their independence back and possibly prevent the return of the patient to the health care center, still many people thought that having home care meant having a maid on a full time basis. Profile of Faye Glenn Abdellah in Nursing Essay.

Although Ms. Abdellah spoke of the patient-centered approaches, she wrote of nurses identifying and solving specific problems. This identification and classification of problems was called the typology of 21 nursing problems. (Tomey & Alligood, Nursing theorists and their work 4th ed., p. 115). This typology was then divided into three areas of patient care. The first area dealt with the physical, sociological, and emotional needs of the patient. How was their illness affecting them in their daily lives, where they able to care for themselves or do they need help? Did they have support from family and friends or were they alone? The second area of her focus was the different types of interpersonal relationships between the nurse and the patient. How did each interact with the other? Where there things that could be done to facilitate a more meaningful interaction with the patient and their nurse? The last area dealt with the common elements of patient care. Was pain controlled, were the patients comfortable? Ms. Adbellah and some of her fellow colleagues at the time thought that the typology could provide a good method to evaluate a nursing student’s experiences and it could also be used as a method to evaluate a nurse’s strengths and weaknesses based on the outcome measures.

Faye Glenn Abdullah’s 21 Nursing problems still hold true today. The care that is given in today’s health care system is a patient centered approach. The needs of the patient always come first. Nurses are taking more time to know their patients, and in turn are able to provide more of a “tailored” approach to care. Patients are allowed and encouraged to do what they can for themselves. Patients are not the only ones taken care of in the hospital or any other health care setting. Families of the patient are also cared for right along with the patient. Home health care was laughed at just 40 years ago, is now a very important part of healthcare. Home health nursing is helping individuals to be able to live at their homes for a longer period of time. Nursing homes are there for patients who cannot stay home with the help of a nurse.

With all that has changed in the nursing profession, many of the ideas of Faye Glen Abdullah still hold true today. Whether it is something as a patient with a long term illness or an emergent health issue, many of Ms. Abdullah’s ideals are found in every aspect of nursing. Her theory will guide future nurses in creating an even more patient centered health care approach. More and more nurses are furthering their education, and the percentage of higher degree nurses continue to climb. Profile of Faye Glenn Abdellah in Nursing Essay.


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Women are changing the nation through their hard work and dedication. In the nursing profession, Faye Glenn Abdellah transformed the career as a nursing researcher through nursing theory, nursing care, and nursing education. Faye Abdellah is a woman who is not afraid to cross boundaries if it was for the welfare a patient. When she used to teach at Yale University, she was forced to educate from a textbook that had no scientific background to nursing principles. Being the activist that she is, Abdellah decided to take matters into her own hands. The educator burned the books in a fire at the Yale University courtyard (McAuliffe, 1998, p. 215). Needless to say, Abdellah is a captivating woman as she is a leader in the nurse research…show more content…
She became the first nurse officer to obtain the rank of a two-star rear admiral. That achievement led her to becoming the first female to serve as Deputy Surgeon General (“Faye Glenn Abdellah, 2011). With her background, she was able to contribute to nursing more than she could ever envision. Contributions to Nursing Faye Abdellah used her degrees to further the nursing profession. While she was the active Deputy Surgeon General, the Maryland Nurses Association (2012) states, “Abdellah worked tirelessly to protect the elderly by influencing policy on nursing home standards. She educated the public on issues such as AIDS, drug addiction, violence, smoking, and alcoholism”. Faye Abdellah educated and contributed to the public health systems and became an advocate to the elderly and to the entire public. She had used those advocacy issues to further her career in nursing research. As a nurse researcher, she developed a theory of nursing called Twenty-One Nursing Problems. Profile of Faye Glenn Abdellah in Nursing Essay. The Twenty-One Nursing Problems theory included ten steps to identify a patient’s problem and eleven essential nursing skills. The nursing problems are divided in three categories: physical, sociological, and emotional needs of a patient. These categories were designed to help guide care in hospitals, but is also applied to community health problems (“Abdellah’s Twenty-One Nursing Problems”, 2013). With the research she had done for the nursing
“A nurse is a person who nourishes, fosters, and protects—a person who is prepared to care for the sick, injured, and aged.”(Nursing in Today’s World—Challenges, Issues, and Trends, 2) UNSELFISHNESS, though essential, is not enough to make a proficient nurse. Good nurses also need extensive training and a breadth of experience. One essential requirement is from one to four years or more of study and practical training.

But what qualities make a good nurse? Faye Glenn Abdellah’s book on “Patient-Centered Approach to Nursing” (1960) answers those queries basing from real life experiences and practical application of the said nursing theory.

As reported in a survey made by the Awake magazine regarding the real qualities making up a good nurse, many answered almost the same ideas about the issue. Carmen Gilmartín, of Spain puts it this way: “The doctor heals, but the nurse cares for the patient.

This often requires building up patients that have been damaged both inside and outside when, for example, they are informed that they have a chronic disease or will face imminent death. You have to be a mother to the sick person.” It is really true that aside from Abdellah , many nurses around the world believes that being able to empathize with the patients that the nurses are caring for. How is this so? This paper will analyze the proofs on the effectivity of the said theory on patient-centered nursing to the real nursing world. In the paragraphs to follow, the practicality of the application of the said process or attitude on dealing with patients will be closely observed.



The theory’s or the idealism of Abdellah’s scope includes the nurses working with kids and other older patients dealing with either patients slightly affected with illnesses or those who are already dealing with terminal cases.

The whole idea of the theory lies on how nurse- patient relationship should always be given attention to. Not only because it’s a protocol by the hospital or whosoever but also because it should be an innate character of a nurse to feel what the patient feels. Profile of Faye Glenn Abdellah in Nursing Essay.

It’s content includes the process and application of the nurses’ empathizing with their patients to be able to give them not only the kind of medication or cure they need as said by the doctor but also the kind of cure they want.

B. Evaluation

The said approach on patient-centered service in and out of the hospital services is much significant especially to those patients who are usually ill or to those who have terminal diseases who at times need to stay in the hospitals for long times. It is very true that the patient-nurse relationship must be mutual and peaceful to be able to gain best results for both parties.

Internal Consistency
This approach has been amazingly working well for the hospitals and health organizations that apply it. Doctors and nurses who are able to coordinate well with each other and thus able to attend to their patient’s needs and wants are the ones who usually gets the best result. One encyclopedia defines nursing as “the process by which a patient


is helped by a nurse to recover from an illness or injury, or to regain as much independence as possible.”(Encarta) Of course, much is involved in that process. It is more than just the performance of routine tests, such as checking the pulse and the blood pressure. The nurse plays an integral role in the patient’s recovery. According to The American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine, “the nurse is more concerned with the patient’s overall reaction to the disorder than with the disorder itself, and is devoted to the control of physical pain, the relief of mental suffering, and, when possible, the avoidance of complications.” In addition, the nurse offers “understanding care, which involves listening with patience to anxieties and fears, and providing emotional support and comfort.” And when a patient is dying, this source notes, the nurse’s role is “to help the patient meet death with as little distress and as much dignity as possible.”(145)

This approach doesn’t require much of the funds. Instead, investing on the nurse’s desirable traits has been the key to reaching the goals of giving the patients an A+ service during their recovery.

This approach has been widely tested by different hospitals and health organizations. Some had even made extra steps to achieve perfection in application. Some went to the homes of possible patients to take not of their medical preferences with regards to their religious and cultural beliefs. It also included health statistics of the patients in order to modify their medical records. These steps had been proven effective


and stress reducing for the nurses when the time comes when they already need to attend to the said patients.

Empirical Adequacy
Every organization and hospital who tries to apply this approach to patients would agree that everything is perfect with it. It relieves both the pain of the patient and gives the nurses a better work environment, as they are able to meet the expectations of both their patients and the doctors they assist.


Pragmatic Adequacy
Record shows that actual results from the application of this approach are rather desirable and convincing to be successful. It made everything and everyone workable with and every patient satisfied with the medications they receive.Profile of Faye Glenn Abdellah in Nursing Essay.


As with other jobs, considerable education and training are required to be a good nurse. It also takes courage, and a real desire to help fellow humans. Keeping physically fit, too, is important, due to one’s being exposed to communicable diseases. But a good nurse will especially have sympathy for patients, and give of herself to furnish their needs.

Abdellah’s book on Patient-Centered approach has been truly proven by herself by being a nurse and an aid to many that suffer from different illness. Making it more practical and approval worthy that this approach to patients is indeed effective. However it may be, nurses are always reminded to continue having a good heart for their patients… IT ALWAYS WORKS!


Encarta Encyclopedia 98. Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

“Nursing in today’s world-challenges, issues and trends”. Vol. 3 No. 2.

Brooklyn New York. 2.

“The vital role of nurses”. (June 22, 1998). AWAKE!. Watchtower Bible and Tract

Society. Brooklyn New York.13.

American Medical Association, Encyclopedia of Medicine. (1998).California. 145.

Abdellah, F.G., Beland, I.L., Martin, A., & Matheney, R.V. (1960). Patient-centered approaches to nursing. New York: Macmillan. Profile of Faye Glenn Abdellah in Nursing Essay.