September 5th, 2011
Jean Watson's Caring Theory
Jean Watson’s theory is the basis of nursing. She looks at caring separately from curing. She developed the 10 carative factors. The four discussed in this paper focus on the aspect of how hospice nurses care for their patients. Watson’s theory looks at the relationship between the patient and the nurse with her interpersonal caring. Interpersonal caring is a spiritual interaction between patient and nurse. She theorizes the need for the patient and nurse to have a “caring moment.” In some fields of nursing it is hard to find time to have a caring moment, but it can be done. In hospice, nurses are fortunate enough to have many opportunities to have that time with the patient. Her assumptions of person, health, environment, and nursing focus on need for an individual’s health to be free of illness and the nurse caring enough to promote good health. The caring aspect of nursing has been seen in most societies but not all generations. The Theory
Jean Watson was born in West Virginia. She earned her undergraduate degree in nursing and psychology from the University of Colorado. She also earned her master’s degree in psychiatric-mental health nursing, and her PhD in educational psychology and counseling at the University of Colorado. She is a Distinguished Professor of Nursing and endowed Murchinson-Scoville Chair in Caring Science at the University of Colorado, School of Nursing. She is the founder of the Center for Human Caring in Colorado and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (Cara, 2003).
Watson’s theory not only emphasizes the humanistic aspects of nursing along with scientific knowledge. ”Watson considered caring to be independent of curing. The knowledge and practice necessary for a discipline encompassing a caring-healing framework, require a syntheses of components from the arts and humanities, along with an expanding human science that takes into account the convergence of both” (Bailey, 2009, pg 18.) She developed the Theory of Transpersonal Caring also called Theory of Human Caring in 1979. Watson has three key components of her theory. First is the 10 carative factors, the second is the transpersonal caring relationship, and the last is the caring occasion and caring moment. Watson believes that “caring” is part of the professional nurses identity (Cara, 2003). Her theory of Human caring expanded, and she added onto to her carative factors to include her clinical caritas processes (Bailey, 2009).
Watson looks at the carative factors as a guide for nursing. Instead of focusing on curing, nurses focus on caring. Hospice nurses know there will be no cure for our patients, so focusing on caring is the core to our nursing practice. Transpersonal caring includes both the nurse and the patient. Transpersonal caring is demonstrated in an event or caring occasion (McCance, McKenna, & Boore, 1999). Watson believes that transpersonal caring is a spiritual union between the nurse and the patient (Cohen, 1991). In hospice nursing the concept of interpersonal caring and the caring moment can go hand in hand. Sitting at the bedside of a dying patient can transcend time and place. It feels like the nurse and the patient are the only ones in the room, even when the room is filled with people. Caring for the patient can be as small as a smile, the touch of holding their hand, or the whisper in their ear. Many times patients will tell the nurse his or her deepest fear and his or her deepest secret. There becomes a bond, a different kind of bond than what the family members have with that patient. Caring is the framework of hospice nursing. End of life care is not high tech for nurses, it goes back to the days of Florence Nightingale, when just sitting with the patient gives him or her the most comfort.
Watson believes nurses care for the sick,...