Sister Callista Roy’s Adaptation Model Essay

Sister Callista Roy was born in Los Angeles in 1939 (Tomey, 2005). Roy is a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondvet (Tomey, 2005). She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at Mount ST. Mary’s College (Tomey, 2005). She later earned two Masters Degrees in Pediatric Nursing and Sociology (Tomey, 2005). In 1977, Roy completed a Doctoral Degree in Sociology (Tomey, 2005).

Sister Callista Roy during her career has held different positions in healthcare. She worked as a staff nurse, held administrative positions, and as faculty of St.

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Mary’s College (Tomey, 2005). Roy served as Department Chair at St. Mary’s College in 1971 thru 1982 (Tomey, 2005).

Roy has also done work in developing Nursing Programs. At the University of Portland, she helped in creating a Nurses Master’s Program (Tomey, 2005). She helped with the development of a PhD Nursing Program at Connell School of Nursing (Tomey, 2005). Roy has also visited schools around the world as a visiting Professor (Tomey, 2005). In 2003, Roy was on the board of International Network for Doctorial Education (Tomey, 2005).

Besides her achievements in education, Roy has published over 100 publications (Tomey, 2005). Many of her books have been translated into several different languages (Tomey, 2005). She has four Honorary Doctoral Degrees, and several teaching awards (Tomey, 2005). Roy has won national awards from the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association and the National League of Nursing (Tomey, 2005). Roy was named Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing (Tomey, 2005). She was inducted to Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, Inaugural Class of Sigma Theta Tau International (Barone, 2011).

Sister Callista Roy began developing her Adaptation Model in 1964, based on the encouragement of Dorothy Johnson (Ross, 1990). Dorothy Johnson challenged Roy to develop a conceptual model for practicing nursing (Ross, 1990). Roy’s Model is influenced greatly by Harry Helson, physiologic psychiatrist (Roy, 1990). The Roy Adaptation Model was first published in 1970 (Phillips, 2010). Since that time, the Model has been continuously refined by Roy (Phillips, 2010).

The Roy Adaptation Model is based on the person being a holistic adaptive system that constantly interacts with the environment internally and externally (Phillips, 2010).The human being is viewed as a biophysicosocial being (Roy, 1999). According to Roy, adaptation is a process and outcome where individuals use conscious awareness and choice to create human and environmental integrations (Roy, 1999).This Model of Adaptation concentrates on adaptation leading to excellent health, well-being, and a dignified death (Roy, 1999).

Roy’s Model has three concepts, the human being, adaptation, and nursing (Ross, 1990). The person is viewed as continually interacting with the environment with the goal being adaptation (Ross, 1990). Roy describes the human as a whole with parts that function as a unit (Roy, 1999). The environment refers to all conditions, circumstances, and influences that affect the development of a person (Roy, 1999). Some factors that influence the development of a person are family, education, religious background, mentors, and clinical experiences (Ross, 1990).

The environment has three components: focal stimuli, contextual stimuli, and residual stimuli (Ross, 1990). Focal stimuli are those that immediately occur in a certain situation (Ross, 1990). Contextual stimuli influence the situation (Ross, 1990). Residual stimuli are the beliefs or attitude that might influence the situation (Ross, 1990).

Health and nursing are important to adaptation. Health is a process or state of being and becoming an integrated whole (Roy, 1999). Adaption and nursing occurs by nurses having the goal of promoting adaptation for individuals (Roy, 1999).

Adaptation happens when the total stimuli are within the person’s capability or zone of adaptation (Ross, 1990). Adaptation occurs through the processing of stimuli (Ross, 1990). A person has two subsystems that internally process the stimuli (Ross, 1990). The two subsystems are the cognator mechanism and regulator mechanism (Ross, 1990). The regulator mechanism works by using the autonomic nervous system, endocrine, neural, and perceptional pathways (Ross, 1990). The cognator mechanisms are the emotions, learning process, judgments, and perceptional information a person uses (Ross, 1990).

Roy perceived adaptation as occurring in four modes. The four modes are physiologic mode, self-concept mode, role function mode, and interdependence mode (Ross, 1990). The physiologic mode is the maintaining of physical integrity (Ross, 1990). This mode includes basic needs such as food, water, and air. The regulator mechanism plays a large role in this mode (Ross, 1990). The cognator mechanism plays a large role in the self-concept mode, role function mode, and interdependence mode (Ross, 1990).

The self-concept mode is the need for psychic integrity (Ross, 1990). A person’s perception of their physical self and personal self are included in this mode (Ross, 1990). Roy describes this as being the need to know who one is, so they can exist with a sense of unity (Roy, 1999).

The role function mode is the roles of a person in society (Ross, 1990). This is how a person adapts to different roles throughout their lifetime (Ross, 1990). Since roles change during a person’s life this mode is continually being used (Ross, 1990).

The interdependence mode is social integrity (Roy, 1999). This mode is associated with the balance between independence and dependence of relationships (Ross, 1990). There are two specific relationships in this mode, significant others and support systems (Ross, 1990).

Roy’s Adaptation Model is used in healthcare in many ways. The Adaptation Model contains a six step nursing process (Fawcett, 2005). The first step is to assess behaviors that may come from the four modes (Fawcett, 2005). The second step is to assess and categorize the stimuli of those behaviors (Fawcett, 2005). The third step is to make a nursing diagnosis based on the person’s adaptive state (Fawcett, 2005). The fourth step is to set goals and promote adaptation (Fawcett, 2005). Step five is to implement the interventions that are aimed at managing stimuli and promote adaptation (Fawcett, 2005). The sixth step is to evaluate the obtainment of the goals (Fawcett, 2005).

The Adaptation Model can be used in other ways and not only healthcare. The television show that I choose to apply this model to is Little House on the Prairie. All throughout the series the characters are continuously adapting to maintain their health and ability to live comfortably. The character of Mary is the best example of Roy’s model.

Mary’s regulator mechanism was in use when she first became blind. She was sweaty, difficulty breathing and portrayed being nervous. The cognator mechanism was the emotions she had about the situation. Mary was scared and crying a lot during this time. Her two subsystems were internally processing that she was blind.

The stimuli that affected her ability to cope were all three forms of environmental stimuli. The focal stimuli were her immediate need to be able to function without seeing. The contextual stimuli were how others were trying to help her. The residual stimuli were the feeling Mary had about the situation. At first Mary was scared but eventually adapted and overcome being frightened.

Mary’s situation began in the physiologic mode. Her first concerns were how she looked and how she would be able to walk around or feed herself. She then adapted through the self-concept mode. Mary at first had seen herself as useless and as worthless but overcome these thoughts. Mary adapted in the role function mode by realizing that she may not be able to teach children who could see but she could teach those who are blind. By learning to take care of herself and not depending on others, she adapted through the interdependence mode.

Roy’s Adaptation Model’s best feature is that it describes and provides evidence how a person adapts to situations can affect their health. The model displays how the environment can affect a person’s ability to cope. The model is also useful in helping nurses discover the main cause of a person’s lack of adaptation and how to help them achieve adaptations. This makes for more caring nurses and better patient relationships.

The model does lack in describing on what if the patient does not adapt and what to do next. There is no explanation of situations or mechanisms if the person does not overcome their situation. The model does not have a concept of not being able to achieve adaptation. There is no process for someone who is at a standstill, other than promoting adaptation. This may not work if the person cannot cope with the situation.

Roy’s Adaptation Model is widely used in many nursing schools and by nurses because of the model views a person as holistic and contributes to the knowledge of nursing (Fawcett, 2005).

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