Jean Watson was born in West Virginia US and obtained her first degree of BSN in 1964 from the University of Colorado, MS in 1966 and PhD in 1973 from the same university. She is the Dean of Nursing at the University Health Sciences Center and President of the National League for Nursing. Jean Watson also has a PhD in educational psychology and counseling with research based in the area of human caring and loss. Jean Watson’s first book, “Nursing: the philosophy and science of caring”, was published in 1979 where the Theory of Human Caring was presented. The theory of caring was published in 1988 in “nursing: human science and human care”. She founded the theory of human caring which revolves around 10 Carative Factors that are essential for nursing and caring (Alligood 2010).
Watson challenges nurses to search within themselves and ask the question “what is the meaning of our own life and death” The basics of true nursing is a genuine caring for another human being and doing it with dignity. This is the transpersonal caring relationship that is the center of Watson’s theory as well as the caring moment.
When nurse and patient meet, the transpersonal relationship commences. This permits growth in human sharing. The patient is a greater being than one who is ill, he/she has a soul and on this level there is communication. The nurse immerses herself into the caring of this being bringing into play past experiences and knowledge into the caring moment. The use of all the senses occurs as well as body language, inner feelings and thoughts occur. In caring there is a commitment to enhance and promote human dignity and with this tool an assessment of the patient’s condition is made which includes mind, body and soul. Transpersonal caring enhances a higher sense of harmony for the patient and leads to better healing.
When Watson refers to person the person is viewed as a one who has value, and one that should be cared for and respected as well as assisted with their needs. As a human being “ he, human is viewed as greater than and different from, the sum of his or her parts”.
When Watson refers to health it does not mean the absence of illness but of how the individual responds to illness and balances them using mind body and spirit. The person attempts to find harmony within them to achieve better health.
Nursing to Watson is the promotion of health, the prevention of illness, the caring of the sick and the restoration of health, the same words that are used by the nurse practice act. Nursing according to Watson is “ a human science of persons and human health-illness experiences that are mediated by professional, personal, scientific ,esthetic and ethical transactions”.
Environment to Watson relates to society and states that caring and nursing has existed in all societies however a caring attitude is not transmitted from generation to generation. Caring is transmitted by the culture of the nursing profession as a means to cope with the environment.( currentnursing.com) A Clinical Application of Watsons Theory
The nurse arrives to her busy forty five bed rehabilitation floor to start day one of her twelve hour weekend AM shift anticipating the usual post op geriatric knee or hip replacement patient about to commence a rigorous rehab program but is given quite a shock when the patient is a 20 year old girl with congenital birth defect.
The hospital has chosen to treat a young South American girl as part of catholic missionary service to fit her with bilateral arm...