Jean Watson’s Caring Theory

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Jean Watson’s Caring Theory
Angelica Casados
Nur/403 Theories and Models of Nursing Practice
August 27, 2012
Kimberly Frommel

Jean Watson is a Nursing Theorist born in West Virgina, she received her nursing degree, as well as her PhD from the University of Colorado. Watson has completed most of her work in human caring and loss. According to "Nursing Theories" (2012), “In 1988, her theory was published in “nursing human science and human care”.” Watson began her work on the caring theory and the 10 carative factors between 1975-1979, this was the start of the framework for the science and practice of nursing. She began working on this theory while teaching at the University of Colorado. According to "College Of Nursing University Of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus" (2012), Watson states her reasoning for working on the caring theory, “It was my initial attempt to bring meaning and focus to nursing as an emerging discipline and distinct health profession with its own unique values, knowledge and practices, with its own ethic and mission to society. The work also was influenced by my involvement with an integrated academic nursing curriculum and efforts to find common meaning and order to nursing that transcended settings, populations, specialty, subspecialty areas, and so forth.” Alligood (2010) stated the 10 carative factors are as follows: “ The formation of a humanistic altruistic system of values, instillation of faith-hope, cultivation of sensitivity to one’s self and to others, development of a helping-trusting relationship, promotion and acceptance of the expression of positive and negative feelings, systematic use of the scientific problem solving method for decision making, promotion of interpersonal teaching learning, provision for a supportive, protective, and corrective mental, physical, sociocultural, and spiritual environment, assistance with the gratification of human needs and the allowance of existential phenomenological forces.” These factors have laid down the foundation and basic framework for nursing and the future of nursing practice. In order to understand nursing and the practice of nursing in relation to Watson’s theory, Watson’s definitions of person, health, nursing and environment must be understood. Watson defines person as a valued being to be understood, respected, nurtured, loved, cared for, and assisted ("Nursing Theories", 2012). According to Alligood (2010), Watson viewed a person holistically; with the body, mind, soul being combined into a whole, but the whole is seen as greater and or different then the separate parts. Alligood (2010) stated, “Watson defined health as a subjective experience and a process of adapting, coping, and growing throughout life that is associated with the degree of congruence between self as perceived and self as experienced.” Watson has worked on the definition of health for WHO and she listed three elements to add to their definition of health. The three elements she listed are; lack of illness, an adaptive and maintaining level of daily functioning, and a high level of physical, mental and social functioning. According to "Nursing Theories" (2012), “Watson defines nursing as “a human science of persons and human health-illness experiences that are mediated by professional, personal, scientific, esthetic and ethical human transactions”.” She saw nursing as being concerned with preventing illness, health promotion, and getting back to health from being ill. Last concept needing to be defined is environment, Environment is the reality that surrounds an individual, such as emotions, sounds, sights, smells, lighting, people, etc. Watson felt as though the environment had a great effect on the healing process of a patient. In Watson’s work she discussed what is known as the caring moment, this is a relationship between patient and nurse. According to "College Of Nursing University Of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus" (2012), "A caring moment involves...
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