Every human being has needs. And these needs are an integral part of human existence. But what are the basic needs of a human being? It is a requirement for the human being, coming from nature or from social life.

According to Wikipedia, needs cover the whole of everything that appears to be “necessary” to a being, whether this need is conscious or not. Many needs classifications have been proposed. They are often disputed on the grounds that they postulate that the needs are the same for all human beings.

This postulate is in particular relativized if not disputed by the existence of the desire, the project or the vocation, which – for psychologists and psychoanalysts – constitute the major fact of the person as a subject. What are the basic needs of a human being? How to prioritize needs?

I – The Fourteen (14) Basic Needs of a Human Being According to Virginia HendersonWhat are The Basic Needs of Human Being?

The fourteen basic needs of human being represent a conceptual model in the human sciences and especially in nursing. They are part of nursing currents of thought and have been offered by Virginia Henderson since 1947.

The vision of the interdependence of human needs and their satisfaction, stemming from Virginia Henderson’s practice, is strongly marked by the behaviorist current. Taught during nursing studies, the concept of the fourteen basic needs is based in particular on personal experimentation.

According to Virginia Henderson’s model, the basic needs of a human being can be classified according to an ordered list that health professionals use when caring for a sick or healthy person.

Virginia Henderson establishes her classification based on a paradigmatic vision, by a biological and physiological approach (primary needs, homeostasis), psychological and social (secondary needs), and even spiritual (well-being, tertiary needs, and development staff).

The model presented includes the notion of need satisfaction, that is, the ability and motivation to fill a loss, maintain or improve a state.

This schematic view of the functioning and human needs is a guide for the caregiver. The grid of fourteen needs is also used to establish the history of a person or a collection of nursing data, when seeking care, including nursing. These needs are also used in psychiatry, where patients are not necessarily seeking care. The use of these needs should be adapted to the patients we met, as Henderson wanted.

1. The Need to Breathe

It is the ability of a person to maintain a sufficient level of gas exchange and good oxygenation.

Indeed, it is when we breathe that we know that we are alive.

2. The Need to Drink and Eat

The ability of a person to drink or eat, chew and swallow. Also to be hungry and absorb enough nutrients to capitalize the energy needed for its activity.

Indeed, we all need the energy to go about our business and keep us that long. Our organs need energies, forces to work better. And these energies we have them in the eating and the wood.

3. The Need to Eliminate

Ability of a person to be autonomous to eliminate stools and urine and to ensure their personal hygiene. Also eliminate waste from the body’s operation.

Indeed, man needs for his health to eliminate waste in the functioning of our organs. Thus, this need for elimination helps to promote the maintenance of our organs and their regeneration.

4. The Need to Move and Maintain Good Posture

The ability of a person to move alone or with mechanical means, to arrange his home adequately and to feel comfortable. Also to know the limits of his body.

In fact, man has been endowed with the faculty and the ability to move: mobility. Yes, without movement, there is no life.

5. The Need to Sleep, Rest

Ability of a person to sleep and feel rested. Also to manage his fatigue and his energy potential.

Indeed, the physical body, like the spiritual body, needs rest. Rest allows us to recover strength. Because in moving man is spending energy. And by rest, we recover forces and energies.

6. The Need to Dress and Undress

A person’s ability to dress and undress, to buy clothes. Also to build his physical and mental identity.

Unlike animals, man feels the need to dress and undress.

7. the Need to Maintain Body Temperature Within the Limit of Normal (37.2 ° C)

Ability of a person to equip himself according to his environment and to appreciate the limits.

In truth, it is in our interest to consider our environment in order to preserve our health by ensuring that body temperature is maintained according to time and place.

8. The Need to Be Clean and to Protect One’s Skin

A person’s ability to wash, maintain hygiene, take care of themselves and use products to maintain their skin, feel good and feel good. Also to be perceived through the eyes of others.

It is the duty of the man to watch over his hygiene in every respect for his health and his survival, as well as his well-being.

9. The Need to Avoid the Dangers

The ability of a person to maintain and promote their physical and mental integrity, knowing the potential dangers of their environment.

Indeed, it is the need for security. Every man always feels the need to feel safe and protected.

10. The Need to Communicate with One’s Fellowmen

A person’s ability to be understood and understood through attitude, speech, or code. Also to be part of a social group, to live fully its affective relationships and sexuality.

In truth, men are sociable beings. They need to live in community, with family, to have an entourage or to belong to a group, or to have friends. Without the other, the life of the man would have no meaning. Imagine if you were alone on this earth, what would your existence look like?

11. The Need to Act According to One’s Beliefs and Values

The ability of a person to know and promote their own principles, beliefs, and values. Also to involve them in the sense that she wishes to give to her life.

Indeed, whether we want it or not, our beliefs influence our lives and determine the direction we give to our lives.

12. The Need to Care for Oneself

The ability of a person to have playful or creative activities, recreation, to involve them in self-realization and to maintain their self-esteem. Also to take a role in a social organization.

Indeed, every man feels the need to assert himself in life, to become someone in life, one way or another.

13. The Need to Recreate

The ability of a person to relax and cultivate. Also to invest in an activity that does not focus on a personal problem and to experience a personal satisfaction.

14. The Need to Learn

The ability of a person to learn from others or an event and to be able to evolve. Also to adapt to change, to become resilient and to be able to transmit knowledge.

Indeed, no one knows to the absolute. The man never stops learning. This is why man is always in search of knowledge.

Note: According to this model, all needs are to be considered with the same attention. Each individual may at one time or another have a gap in one or more needs.

However, these needs seem to be categorized and prioritized by a theory called the Pyramid of Needs. We will try to comment on the pyramid theory of needs. 

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II – Categorization and Prioritization of Basic Needs of Human Being

Our life is organized on the research and satisfaction of a certain number of needs.

The satisfaction of needs can only be done according to an order that is more or less instinctive for men and depends on the urgency of satisfaction. At each level of needs a priority is attached. We have 5 levels of needs in the pyramid of needs.

*** 1st Level of Needs:

The first level of priority and the first urgency is to keep us alive and it is the survival instinct that will react first if danger arises.

If I lean from the top of a building, then I can feel dizzy and warn me of the risk of falling.

*** The 2nd Level of Needs:

The second level of priority is to satisfy physiological needs with the ability to:

– to breathe

– to drink

to eat

– to sleep

– to maintain its temperature (neither too hot nor too cold)

– to move, to move

– urinate

– go to the stool

*** The 3rd Level of Needs:

The third level concerns emotional, sentimental and sexual needs

If the first 2 levels are satisfied then people will actively seek through their relationships (family, friends, work, hobbies …) to satisfy their emotional needs.

*** The 4th Level of Needs:

The fourth level is the level of openness and understanding of the world

We are in the mental domain, observation, concentration, reflection, logic, intellectual conclusions.

*** 5th Level of Needs

The fifth level opens the individual to areas that are no longer directly within his reach: abstraction, intuition, spirituality, love …

Note on Categorization and Prioritization of Human Being Needs

– It is therefore for the individual to act in the world to try to meet all these needs knowing that if he does not eat, for example, he will tend to focus on this need at the expense of the higher needs of the levels three to five.

– We can also understand that if emotional needs are not met then levels four and five will be disrupted:

– A child, for example, will have academic difficulties in mathematics (mental field) if his emotional balance is not achieved.

– A man will not really be interested in spirituality (level five) if the lower levels are not satisfied.

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