Ray’s theory of Bureaucratic Caring August 17, 2018 – Posted in: Essay Help Online, Free Essay Help Online

Ray’s theory of Bureaucratic Caring

Internal Criticism

Introduction:Ray’s theory of Bureaucratic Caring links nursing to various day-to-day aspects of life, such as the spiritual, political, economic, legal, education, technology, social,  and cultural factors in a clear manner. The theory postulates that nurses have a difficulty in caring for patients while at the same time serving the corporate-related needs of bureaucracy (Turkel, 2007). In other words, healthcare professionals, like nurses are having a difficult time merging morality with care and economics. However, when these factors are properly harnessed in an organizational setting, they have an impact on the health outcomes of patients (Turkel, 2007).

Adequacy: The theory revolves around many topics as identified above. The theory’s adequacy is commendable. Throughout the mapping and explanation of the theory, the theorists are keen to remind the reader the various topics applicable to it.  For instance, technology is associated with nurses from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) while nurses concerned with oncology often take a humanistic or spiritual approach towards their job(Turkel, 2007). Further, staff nurses are concerned with moral care while administrators would administer care in terms of ensuring the economic stability of the facility. The authors also draw the reader’s attention to the validity of the theory by mentioning that care should remain a priority regardless of the economics and profit-making endeavors involved in nursing(Turkel, 2007). Therefore, the theory is relevant because it integrates knowledge of human caring in a complex corporate health organization. Despite the fact that the author holds that the bureaucratic environment poses a challenge to the nursing practice, the perspective acknowledges the fact that hospitals are not only places of the caring for the sick,  but they are also integrated technical, social, political, and legal institutions.  It is factual that modern health care decisions are made in reference to political, economic, legal, and technological contexts.  Additionally, it based on real-life situations and occurrences.

Clarity:The theory is clear because it explicitly describes the issues that are associated with contemporary healthcare practice. Through the use of day to day experiences, the author manages to convince the researchers and experts on the need for applying Ray’s theory of Bureaucratic Caring in understanding contemporary challenges in nursing practice. However, when these factors are properly harnessed in an organizational setting, they have an impact on the health outcomes of patients (Turkel, 2007). This hypothesis is clearly defined and is presented in simple terms.

Consistency: The perspective is consistent throughout and does not involve any mix-up or contradictions. For example, caring is defined as a concept that has ethical-spiritual grounding and relates to charity and morality. On the same vein, a case is presented of one Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) who helped an elderly cancer patient (Marie) secure Medicaid, find a local daycare for her grandchildren, develop work flexibility, access free transport and secure a quick appointment for breast cancer surgery. Through Marie’s case, the description of care is well illustrated.  The theory is also based on scientific research that follows a logical approach in finding its conclusions.

Logical Development:The theory’s definition of terms is consistent throughout and does not involve any mix-ups. For example, caring is defined as a concept that has ethical-spiritual grounding and relates to charity and morality. The theory states its hypothesis on a logical flow; it begins by accepting a health centre is a bureaucratic organization. It also appreciates the fact that hierarchy may pose a challenge in decision making, especially when it comes to a point of emergencies. Besides, it is clear that technology, ethics, spirituality, education, culture, politics, and the law heavily influence health outcomes (Turkel, 2007). However, the perspective holds that nurses need education on how to balance care with the bureaucracies involved in the field.

Level of Theory Development:The theory encourages research in nursing as a means of helping professionals meet the outstanding demand and also develop resilience for the future. This necessitates research to gain a deeper understanding of how the mentioned concepts are entwined and the development of strategies for educating professionals in this respect. The theory also has diversified possible results which a theory such as Virginia Henderson’s Need Theory cannot provide.

External Criticism

Complexity:  The language is also simple and straightforward, hence eroding any chances of complexity within the theory

Discrimination:The theory is unique because it is capable of arriving results that cannot be arrived at from other perspectives. Unlike other theories that put emphasis on medical research, the Bureaucratic Caring Theory incorporates management skills and knowledge in addressing nursing issues.

Reality Convergence: The theory addresses real-life situations since it gives nursing problems, a holistic approach. The perspective addresses emerging issues in health care, such as morality, religion, and economics. Besides, the theory is relevant to the many different aspects of nursing practice since the diverse issues raised within the theory through real-life situations enlighten the reader on many things.

Pragmatic: The theory is useful because it addresses practical issues that are of concern in day to day medical decisions.

Scope: The study holds a wider connotation in its attempt to find solutions to medical problems. It addresses both medical and managerial challenges in a health organization, hence giving a holistic view of health problems.

Significance: The theory can be used in healthcare, hospitals, and medical training hospitals.  It can also be applied in research centers to understand the complexities that surround health care.

Utility: The theory is useful since it can help in reducing contemporary healthcare challenges. It can help in addressing conflicts that can emerge among nurses, administrators, and doctors.






















Turkel, M. C. (2007). Dr. Marilyn Ray’s theory of Bureaucratic Caring. International Journal for Human Caring.57-74