The notion of care of the self and the concept of self-care in nursing

Maria Bettina Camargo Bub Carlos Medrano Cláudia Duarte da Silva Solange Wink Per-Erik Liss Evanguelia Kotzias Atherino dos Santos About the authors

Although nurses call themselves care professionals and believe that the essence of nursing is care, we have noticed that it is not yet sufficiently clear what care means; what its characteristics are; its objectives and so on. Thus, many conceptions of care co-exist and have influenced current nursing practices, which vary according to their respective theoretic-philosophical perspectives and practice environments. Based on this, we can say that one of the most influential nursing theories within Brazilian nursing is Dorothea Orem's theory of self-care. However, more recently, another perspective has emerged within the context of Brazilian nursing; Michel Foucault's Care of the self. The main purpose of this paper is to critically examine the Foucault notion of Care of the self and Orem's concept of Self-care in order to establish, if possible, a dialogue between one and the other notion within the context of care practice in Nursing.

Self-care; Nursing; Nursing care


Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Programa de Pós Graduação em Enfermagem Campus Universitário Trindade, 88040-970 Florianópolis - Santa Catarina - Brasil, Tel.: (55 48) 3721-4915 / (55 48) 3721-9043 - Florianópolis - SC - Brazil
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