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Maslow Hierarchy

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  • Category: Nursing

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A Quality nursing is a back bone for any health organization. In delivering a quality care to the patient the nurses should be efficient and must be skillful in prioritizing the care according the needs of the patient. A priority is something that is important than anything else at a given time. On a busy nursing unit, priorities may include patient, team or organizational needs. For this reason setting priorities is unique to each patient or situation. On a daily basis in the clinical area, nurses work in a complex, dynamic and uncertain situation in attending to their patient needs.

Throughout 24 hours of daily cycle of shift work, the nurses has task to hand over of patient status and progress to another nurse and attend to the patients immediate if the patient called. Each nurse will look after several patients for the duration of the shift that there might be new unfinished, competing or conflicting patients’ needs for care occurring simultaneously. In order to deliver and excellent care to the patient nurses should be competent to prioritize the needs of patient by assessing the most important and necessary care to the patient. Priority setting based on assessment is highlighted as a skill that many nurses may lack (Hendry and Walker, 2004).

An effective good nurse will understand the importance of prioritizing their patients care by understanding what responsibilities need to be taken care of, and which patients come first in the order of care. An effective method has been identify and been helpful in prioritize the patients that is called as Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, this tools provides each nurses with a priority of client care needs organized to provide the best care to your client directed toward preventing any type of harm. Maslow Hierarchy of Need is ranked based on the highest and lowest priorities..

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory of motivation and personality developed by the psychologist Abraham H. Maslow (1908-1970).Maslow indentified five levels of needs and arranged them in a pyramid form. Physiologic needs ,including sleep, food and water are the lowest level of needs which located at the base of the pyramid .Above physiologic needs on the pyramid are psychological needs including safety and security, and love and belongings. The remaining level is self esteem and self actualization. The aim of this paper is to identify the technique and method of prioritizing in order to deliver good care to the patients and appreciate the help of Maslow Hierarchy need in nursing.

2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs In Nursing

Nurses can use Maslow’s Hierrachcy of needs to prioritize patient needs. This list of needs assists the nurses in selecting nursing diagnoses and determining the prioritizing patients need. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a useful organizational framework that can be applied to the various nursing models for assessment of a patient’s strengths, limitations, and need for nursing interventions. (Smeltzer SC, Bare BG, 2004). By using Maslow hierarchy pyramid the nurses able to identify the level of care required for the patient.

Nurses working in a clinical setting will not need to attend to the need for food and water, but do need to protect the safety and privacy for their patients. Confirming what setting the patient will receive care can help the nurses to understand which patient needs must be met first. Adjusting should be done by the nurses towards the patients behavior to show acknowledgement of those needs. Nurses should express concern to patients who need assistant and care. The nurses also should peak intelligently and respectfully to patients whose behavior indicates a desire for respect. Understand that patients may feel like they are at the mercy of their health and at the medical staff to restore them.


Effective nursing prioritization is key of success for nurses in order to care the needs of the patients. Prioritization implies choice of crucial among options, also understand an ability to recognize these option .In daily nursing practice ,nursing prioritization is the decision by a nurse as which patients problem should indentified first.Priorization in nursing is essential and need to applied in all aspect of care delivery by using various approaches.

When the nurses prioritizing care for a group of patients she will identify the problem of each patient, review the patients nursing diagnoses, determine which of the patients problems are most urgent based on the basic needs, clients change in status, complexity of clients problem, anticipate the time that will be needed to properly care for client, combine activities when possible to use time wisely, and involve the patient as much as possible in their care. It is important for the nurse to always ensure their clients safety, by ensuring their client’s safety they are not only ensuring proper care, they are making sure that everything following their care is done properly. For instance, the right tasks are being delegated to the proper person, proper care is given at proper times and they are always acting as the patient advocate.

4. EMPHASIZING THE SIGNIFICANCES OF UTILIZING THE THEORY OF MASLOW IN PRIORIZATION THE NEEDS OF PATIENTS Maslow Hierarchy is important while caring for patient in the hospital setting, Its play a crucial role in addressing the patients individual needs. Needs must be met in a hierarchical structure where meeting one need propels the individual to seek meeting their higher needs. Nurses can apply Maslow’s theory to their practice of patient care. Each person’s needs must be met individually in order for them to feel satisfied, cared for and cooperative. Since Maslow’s hierarchy of needs rank the basic human needs by their importance.

Therefore, physiology needs will take priority over safety and security,love,affection and belonging,seif esteem, and self actualization .This theory is applicable in caring patients and the health care centre .The basic physiology needs are the lower level of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy and should be met first before moving onto the next higher. Rosdahl and Kowalski (2008) state that once the basic survival needs are met progress to more complex needs can happen afterwards. Therefore, nurses will assist the patient physiology needs such as oxygen, meals, elimination and rest before any other needs .The psychosocial needs is second highest rank in the Maslow hierarchy. Nursing staff can also help in meeting these needs by showing sincere interest and compassionate to their patients.

Maslow’s understanding of human motivation has had an important influence in the fields of nursing and allied health. The needs hierarchy provides a useful framework for understanding patients, and this framework has been incorporated into several important theories of medical and nursing care. One major approach to nursing theory has been described as a “needs” approach and it relies on Maslow’s need hierarchy. This theory also emphasizes the nurse’s role in helping the patient to meet his or her physiological and psychosocial needs. Although more recent theories have moved away from this position, the needs hierarchy has been useful in helping care providers look for the special and higher need the patients.


Nursing can be a difficult and hectic job, particularly when large numbers of patients depend upon a limited number of nurses for basic assistance and care. There are dozens of different jobs that nurses attend to with specific responsibilities for each. Still, there are certain general methods that all nurses can use to priorities the patient care. The Maslow hierarchy of needs is playing a crucial role in priorization nursing care to the patients, while planning nursing care for patients few element should be consider in the planning in order to deliver tn an excellent care for the patient. The most basic needs of the patients should be meet before working to meet higher level of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. These requirements, or needs, are arranged according to their importance for survival and their power to motivate the individual.

The most basic physical requirements, such as food, water, or oxygen, constitute the lowest level of the need hierarchy. These needs must be satisfied before other, higher needs become important to individuals. Needs at the higher levels of the hierarchy are less oriented towards physical survival and more toward psychological well-being and growth. These needs have less power to motivate persons, and they are more influenced by formal education and life experiences. Nurses can deliver a quality and excellent care if they are able to prioritize their patient’s problem, with the best identification of patient problem a holistic care will be provided to the patient which increases the quality of life of patients.

1. Health Care Delivery and Nursing Practice. In Brunner & Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing, (Edtrs. Smeltzer SC, Bare BG.) 10th Edition. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Philadelphia. 2003. 2. Maslow, A (1954). Motivation and personality. New York, NY: Harper. pp. 236. 3. Patient needs can be priorities by using Maslow’s Hierrachy of Needs

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