A concept refers to the marvels occurring either in thought or the environment and may be either abstract or significantly concrete. Abstract concepts apply to those whose description is general, for instance, love, hope, and personality which cannot be defined by observation unlike concrete concepts which are more specific and can be seen, felt, or heard. Abstract concepts are therefore limited by time and space and have the characteristic of being observable in reality, thus enabling the measurement of abstractness of a concept to be dependent on how long it transcends time and geography. Sources of concepts in nursing include Naturalistic concepts, Research-based concepts, and existing concepts. Coming up with concepts is essential for every context in the nursing world, and it is therefore important to define the meaning intended by its use since the definition of this term may vary with specific circumstances (McEwen & Wills, 2002).
Statistical concepts involve the representation of a situation in defined numerical terms and need to be more defined for nursing. This is because of the advancement in Science and technology which has enabled development of many medical electronics thus allowing measurement of certain body conditions such as blood pressure, glucose levels, and heart rate. Statistical concepts also include the data and information collected in surveys such as those of HIV/AIDS prevalence hence enabling nurses and other medical practitioners to take preventive measures. It is common to have records of a patient being referred to with the aim of establishing a variation from the norm, especially when assessing the severity of diseases such as cancer and hypertension. It is evident that statistical concepts relate properties with numbers by mapping the distribution over a particular population or over a span of time (Beitz & Wolf, 1997).
The Walker and Avant method of concept analysis is the easiest to use in the nursing fraternity because it does not give a lot of requirements in implementation. This technique is dependent on the aims of the analysis and the uses of the concept to come up with a final synthesis which analyses the defining attributes. Once the model case is identified, there is need to synthesize the concepts qualitatively (sensory data is applied to identify trends and patterns), quantitatively (requires numerical data to determine the data attributes), or by literary synthesis (involves literature review of published writings from reliable sources). The applications of the Walker and Avant method include in the art of nursing, care dependency, dealing with grief, analyzing loneliness, patient advocacy, preserving dignity, and therapeutic relationships (Walker & Avant, 2005). In conclusion, this method is simple because it has only four steps: Familiarization with the literature, research on other fields of interest and new perceptions, selection of the central concept, and finally redefinition of concept regarding the topic of concern.
Beitz, J. M., & Wolf, Z. R. (1997). Creative strategies for teaching statistical concepts in nursing education. Nurse Educator, 22(1), 30-34.
McEwen, M., & Wills, E. M. (2002). The theoretical basis for nursing.
Walker, L. O., & Avant, K. C. (2005). Strategies for theory construction in nursing.
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