Jean Watson's Theory of Caring

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Jean Watson’s Theory of Caring
Analaura Rodriguez
NUR 403
September 12, 2011
Kimberly Frommel

For years caring and nursing have been interconnected. Most people choose nursing because of their passion to care for others and that is why this has led to caring being a central part of nursing and has opened the doors to the development of several caring theories. One well known caring theory was developed in the 1970’s by an American nursing scholar and nursing theorist named Dr. Jean Watson. Her theory is called “The Theory of Human Caring”. Dr. Jean Watson was born in West Virginia, but currently resides in Boulder, Colorado since 1962. She attended the University of Colorado where she completed her undergraduate degree in nursing and psychology. Shortly after that, Dr. Watson continues her studies and earned a master’s degree in psychiatric –mental health nursing. Dr. Watson ultimately received her PHD degree in educational psychology and counseling. She is currently a Professor of Nursing and the Murchinson-Scoville Chair in Caring Sciences at the University of Colorado, School of Nursing and is the founder of the Center for Human Caring in Colorado (Cara, 1999). Dr. Watson has received many recognitions including national, international, and doctoral degrees. There are many books that she has published explaining her philosophy and theory of human caring. Jean Watson’s theory states that nurses should view the patient as both a physical and spiritual being. She continues to say that nurses should also focus on the physical and non-physical needs of the patient in order for them to render the best possible care. Dr. Watson also views caring as a science which encompasses a humanitarian, human science orientation, human caring processes, phenomena, and experiences (Vance, 2003). A caring science perspective is grounded in a relational ontology of being-in-relation and a world view of unity and connected ness of all (Vance, 2003). Dr. Watson further explains the definition of caring behaviors. She defines them as behaviors as seen by nurses in caring for patients. Some caring behaviors include honesty, comforting, patience, respect, and touch. Art and science are both included in Dr. Watson’s Model of Caring. It is the backbone that embraces and intersects with art, science, humanities, spiritually, and new dimensions of mindbodyspirit medicine (Watson, 2003). Caring can help patients by saving their lives, letting them die with dignity, showing love and commitment to them and their families. This is why Dr. Watson included the humanistic nature of nursing in her caring model. In addition to this, she came up with the 10 Carative Factors. Faith-hope, sensitivity to self and others, transpersonal teaching and learning, and human needs assistance are just some of the ones that nurses should be incorporating in their field of practice. Dr. Watson also believes that when nurses care for patients, they could actually heal or improve their wellbeing. This is the main reason why she states that the one caring and the one being cared for are interconnected (Watson, 2003). The goal of nursing as per Watson’s theory is focused on helping the patient acquire a higher level of harmony within the mind, soul, and body. This could be accomplished through caring interactions which are listed in Watson’s 10 Carative Factors (considered as interventions of the theory). Dr. Watson also included the transpersonal caring relationship which is referred to as an actual caring moment. Transpersonal is centered on interest for the inner life. The patient is viewed as a whole and complete, regardless of illness or disease (Watson, 2003). Dr. Watson also states that the transpersonal nurse seeks to connect with, embrace the spirit, or soul of the patient though processes of caring and healing (Watson, 2003). This action centers on the nurse to patient relationship. Dr. Watson stresses the...
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