The Helping Art of Clinical Nursing
open access articles on Nursing
theories and models
The Helping Art of Clinical Nursing
- B.A. from Wellesley College in 1922
- R.N. from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 1925
- M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1934
- Certificate in nurse-midwifery from the Maternity Center
Association School for Nurse-Midwives in New York in
- Wiedenbach joined the Yale faculty in 1952 as an
instructor in maternity nursing.
- Assistant professor of obstetric nursing in 1954 and an
associate professor in 1956.
- She wrote Family-Centered Maternity Nursing in
- She was influenced by Ida Orlando in her works on the
- She died on March 8, 1998.
- Wiedenbach defined key terms commonly used in
"Any individual who is recieving help of
some kind, be it care, instruction or advice from a member
of the health profession or from a worker in the field of
The patient is any
person who has entered the healthcare system and is
receiving help of some kind, such as care, teaching, or
The patient need not be
ill since someone receiving health-related education would
qualify as a patient.
- A need-for-help is defined as "any
measure desired by the patient that has the potential to
restore or extend the ability to cope with various life
situations that affect health and wellness.
- It is crucial to nursing profession that a need-for-help be
based on the individual perception of his own situation.
- The nurse is functioning human being.
- The nurse no only acts, but thinks and feels as well.
- Knowledge encompasses all that has been percieved and
grasped by the human mind.
- Knowledge may be :
- speculative or
- Clinical Judgment represents the
nurse’s likeliness to make sound decisions.
- Sound decisions are based on differentiating fact from
assumption and relating them to cause and effect.
- Sound Judgment is the result of
disciplined functioning of mind and emotions, and improves
with expanded knowledge and increased clarity of professional
- Nursing Skills are carried out to achieve a specific
patient-centered purpose rather than completion of the skill
itself being the end goal.
- Skills are made up of a variety of actions,
and characterized by harmony of movement, precision, and
effective use of self.
- Each Person (whether nurse or patient),
is endowed with a unique potential to develop self-sustaining
- People generally tend towards independence and fulfillment
- Self-awareness and self-acceptance are essential to
personal integrity and self-worth.
- Whatever an individual does at any given moment represents
the best available judgment for that person at the time.
- Wiedenbach proposes 4 main elements to clinical
- a philosophy
- a purpose
- a practice and
- the art.
- The nurses' philosophy is their attitude and belief about
life and how that effected reality for them.
- Wiedenbach believed that there were 3 essential components
associated with a nursing philosophy:
- Reverence for life
- Respect for the dignity, worth, autonomy and
individuality of each human being and
- resolution to act on personally and professionally held
- Nurses purpose is that which the nurse wants to accomplish
through what she does.
- It is all of the activities directed towards the overall
good of the patient.
- Practice are those observable nursing actions that are
affected by beliefs and feelings about meeting the patient’s
need for help.
- The Art of nursing includes
- understanding patients needs and concerns
- developing goals and actions intended to enhance
patients ability and
- directing the activities related to the medical plan to
improve the patients condition.
- The nurses also focuses on prevention of complications
related to reoccurrence or development of new concerns.
Wiedenbach's prescriptive theory is based on three factors:
- The central purpose which the practitioner recognizes as
essential to the particular discipline.
- The prescription for the fullfillment of central purpose.
- The realities in the immediate situation that influence the
- Nursing is the practice of identification of a patient’s
need for help through
- observation of presenting behaviors and symptoms
- exploration of the meaning of those symptoms with the
- determining the cause(s) of discomfort, and
- determining the patient’s ability to resolve the
discomfort or if the patient has a need for help from the
nurse or other healthcare professionals.
- Nursing primarily consists of identifying a patient’s need
Wiedenbach, E. (1963). The helping art of
nursing. American Journal of Nursing, 63,
Weidenbach, E. (1964). Clinical
nursing: A helping art. New York:
Wiedenbach, E. (1965). Family nurse
practitioner for maternal and child care. Nursing
Outlook, 13, 50.
Wiedenbach, E. (1968). The nurse’s role in
family planning: A conceptual base for practice. Nursing
Clinics of North America, 3, 355-365.
Wiedenbach, E. (1970). Nurses’ wisdom in
nursing theory. American Journal of Nursing,
- Nickel S, Gesse T, MacLaren A. Ernestine Wiedenbach. Her
professional legacy. J Nurse Midwifery. 1992
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