Human to Human Relationship Model

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Human to Human Relationship Model

Human to Human Relationship Model


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Assignment: Human to Human Relationship Model

Yaumara Cano


D. Martin


Human to Human Relationship Model

The Human-to-Human Relationship Model was developed by Joyce Travelbee (1926-1973). The theorist dealt with interpersonal relationship aspects in the nursing profession. In the theory, she sought to explain the human-to-human relationship as a means for fulfilling the purpose of nursing. The theorist was a psychiatric nurse and an educator who completed her BSN degree a Master of Science Degree in Nursing. She worked as a Psychiatric Nursing Instructor in New Orleans at the DePaul Hospital Affiliate School (Author(s), date). This discussion considers the processes that the theory has gone through from its inception to the current application in the field of nursing. Comment by Martin, Deanna: Good introduction.

Theorizing Comment by Martin, Deanna: This section should have defined what nursing is and what it is not using three concepts. You do define existentialism and logotherapy but not in regards to what nursing is or is not.

The Human to Human Relationship Model looks into the interpersonal aspects of the nursing profession. It specifically focuses on the mental health aspect of nursing. According to Joyce Travelbee, a human-to-human relationship forms the foundation of fulfilling the very purpose of nursing. The theorist based her assumptions on the existentialism and logotherapy concepts developed by Kierkegaard and Frankl respectively (Stasková, &Tóthová, 2015). From the existentialism concept, the theory asserts that humans are continually faced with alternatives and disagreements and that they are responsible for every choice made in their lives. According to Noviana et al. (2016), the logotherapy in the theory follows a meaning-centered psychotherapy whose basis is the assumption that fulfillment of meaning in life is the sure way to assure protection of an individual against challenges of emotional instability.

With these in mind, the Model of Nursing was developed to offer several important concepts applicable to the nursing practice and profession. First, it is considered that suffering in an individual is an experience varying widely in terms of its intensity, the duration, and the depth. Therefore, it is a feeling that makes one uneasy to the extent of causing discomfort mentally, physically, or emotionally. Further, the theory considers meaning in relationship building as a person-specific reason (Haugan, 2014). The conception of the theory was the need for a personal relationship between the patient and the nurse as a therapeutic approach to emotional, mental and physical relief of pain.

Syntax developmentDevelopment Comment by Martin, Deanna: Good job defining terms.

The theory offers key definitions of health: the subjective and objective definitions. According to the theory, an individual subjectively defines health in terms of his/her state of well-being depending on self-appraisal of one’s status physically, emotionally, and spiritually. On the other hand, objective health is considered in the theory as the absence of any discernible disease of disability as determined by a physical examination, a test in the laboratory, or an assessment by a psychological counselor or a spiritual director. This means that the perception of patients about their well-being is a function of their individual judgment about their situation. This is largely motivated by the relationship between the patients and the nurse attending to them (Haugan, 2014).

It is also from the theory that we get the definition of nursing as an interpersonal process, in which the professional nurse practitioner plays the assistive role to individual patients, family members of the patients or members of the community. This makes the role of the nurse to be primary in the prevention as well assisting patients and their families to cope with an experience of pain or illness. According to Haugan (2014), through the relationships built, the nurse should be in a position to help the patients and their families to find possible meanings of their experiences.

Theory Testing Comment by Martin, Deanna: Application of two studies discussed.

Overall, the model emphasizes that nursing is to be accomplished through the building of relationships among humans (nurses and patients). This begins with the first encounter to the emerging identities, development of empathetic and sympathetic feelings. The theory has been helpful in the understanding of suffering as a human experience that requires external motivation to help the patients as well as their families to cope with the varying intensities, durations of the experience and its depth. Through the establishment of relationships, it has been possible to alleviate feelings of unease among patients in long-term care (Burack et al., 2012). This includes patients with mild or transient mental discomfort to those faced with extreme pain experience. Comment by Martin, Deanna: All four authors should be listed in the first citation.

It has also helped in redefining nursing practice as an assistive role in patient care. For instance, nurses have lately been required to assist patients to find meaning in their illness and suffering experiences. They also have the responsibility of helping individuals as well as their immediate families to find such meanings. This means that the spiritual and ethical choices of the nurses and the perceptions they have about the illness and suffering of patients they are handling play a crucial role in helping the patients find meaning they need about the pain and suffering they are experiencing (Haugan, 2013).

Further, from the advances of the theory, the nurse has been positioned as a hope giver in patient care. In this regard, it is the role of the nurse to assist patients in maintaining hope while avoiding hopelessness. The theory considers hope’s core as a fundamental trust that outlays the world of the patient in pain or suffering by making them believe that others are available to help them when they need such assistance. This means that in such conditions, the patient is strongly dependent on the people around him or her (Haugan, 2013). The theory has enabled emphasis on the hope of patients as possessing courage that would enable them to acknowledge possible shortcomings and outlay any fears of pain or suffering while forging ahead towards the goal of healing.

Theory Evaluation Comment by Martin, Deanna: Three applications to EBP

Although there is little testing of the theory, there is substantial evidence of its application in nursing practice. At the hospital level, the theory is functionally applied in self-actualizing of the life experience of patients and their families through an understanding they get the meaning of life, sickness, and death. In nursing education, the theory can be applied to teach nurses how to understand and communicate meanings of illness and suffering to patients they are attending to. Last, it can be applied in research as a methodological approach to the theory of long-term patient care such as cancer patients (Burack et al, 2012).

Conclusion Comment by Martin, Deanna: Good conclusion

In conclusion, the human-to-human relationship model is founded on derivable consequences in developing quality care. It offers a description, explanation, prediction, and control of patient care phenomena. Fundamentally, it offers an explanation of variables affecting the development of therapeutic relationships between a nurse and her patients in a caring environment.


Burack, O.R., Weiner, A.S., Reinhardt, J.P., & Annunziato, R.A. (2012). What matters most to nursing home elders: Quality of life in the nursing home. J Am Med Dir Assoc .13(1), 48–53. Comment by Martin, Deanna: The journal title should be spelled out in its entirety.

Haugan, G. (2013). Nurse–patient interaction is a resource for hope, meaning in life and self-transcendence in nursing home patients. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 28(1),1–211

Haugan, G. (2014). Relationship between nurse–patient interaction and meaning-in-life in cognitively intact nursing home patients. Journal of American Nursing, 70(1), 107–120. DOI: 10.1111/jan.12173

Stasková, V., & Tóthová, V. (December 2015, December). Conception of the human-to-human relationship in nursing.Kontakt, 17(4), e184-e189

Noviana, U. et al. (2016). Meaning in life: A conceptual model for disaster nursing practice. The Journal of Nursing & Human Sciences (JNHS), 22(S1), 65–75. Comment by Martin, Deanna: Et al is not used in the reference.

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