“Caring is the essence of nursing” (Chantal, 2003, p.57). Caring is the essence and core of my nursing background and why I chose to take the path towards a career as a professional nurse. The model of caring was developed around 1970, and established with the publication of the “postmodern transpersonal caring-healing paradigm, and has transformed the original caring model into one that is useful to practitioners from nursing and other disciplines to guide clinical practice” (Fitzpatrick & Whall, 2005, p. 297). In the following discussion Watson’s caring model will be critically reviewed for evidence to further knowledge development and the application of her theory into clinical practice; utilizing the criteria for evaluating a middle-range theory by metatheorist Whall.
The theory of caring is best defined within the nursing metaparadigm. According to Chantal (2003), “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 care transactions” ( p. 57). Watson describes the person as one being composed of three elements the mind, body, and spirit. The person is not viewed as an emanate object, rather a holistic being, one who has value and meaning. In describing health, Watson views health holistically. Health is being able to function mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially to one’s full capacity. Lastly Watson defines the environment in terms of being conducive to holistic healing. The environment of one is composed of …noise, privacy, light, access to nature, color, space and smells that can have and impact on the caring-healing process (Watson, 1999). “Metatheoretical assumptions are premises and prepositional statements that conceptualize the foundation of the caring-healing paradigm” (Fitzpatrick & Whall, 2005, p. 302). According to...