Personal identity and meeting personal needs are the most important things in satisfying ones desire and promoting quick recovery of a patient. Erik Erikson's theory of psychological development and Maslow's hierarchy of needs can be applied in planning care for a patient. Each of the stages in the two theories can occur before a patient can progress to the next stage. Nurses should bear these important stages in mind when developing a care plan for their patient.
Nurses use a holistic approach in planning care for their patients due to differences in patients' ages. Each of the eight stages of development in Erik Erikson's theory requires a different care to produce the desired result. An infant, same as an adult is seeking care from a nurse he can trust. If the proper care is not provided to the infant or the adult, then there is a state of mistrust. According to Erikson (1980/1984), "Basic trust is an attitude toward self and the world " (p. 57), whereas a mistrustful individual will find conflict with others. Similarly, Maslow's theory seeks to provide psychological needs of patients by providing food, water, and sleep. Nurses should care for the patients to build trust in people and the environment.
Part of the patients' care plan should include Maslow's second stage of safety. Nurses should provide a safe environment for the patients and assure them security of their body, resources, morality, health and their property. In Erikson's second stage of development: autonomy vs. shame and doubt, Erickson (1980/1994) stated that, "Individuals may feel comfortable when trying new things or may be reluctant to engage in new tasks". If nurses do not make the patients feel comfortable with the services they are providing, the environment will not be safe or suitable for them and there would be shame and doubt in the patients' minds. .
When a nurse resorts to using a holistic approach, the plan should seek to provide love and sense of belonging (Maslow 1954) to the patient.