Watson's Theory

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Watson’s Theory of Human Caring
Alicia Davis
NUR 403
April 5, 2010
Kimberly Frommel

Theories contain concepts, definitions, models, propositions, and are being based on assumptions (Nursing Theories, 2010). The nursing profession uses nursing theories as the framework and foundation for practice. Many people find nursing theories to be meaningless and of no use to the profession, as this student did before she knew what the history and meaning behind nursing theories. Nursing theories aid nurses by improving patient care and enhancing communication between members (Nursing Theories). Various nursing theorists have theories available for nursing practice. This paper will focus on Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, including the history and concepts of the theory. History

Jean Watson began her work in the nursing profession after completion of a bachelor in science of nursing in 1964, then a master’s degree in 1966, and finally a PhD in 1973 (Nursing Theories, 2010). Watson has received numerous honors and awards for her work. A large amount of Watson’s research has been in the vicinity of human caring and the loss of someone. The philosophy and science of caring received the publishing of Watson’s theory as a foundation for nursing in 1979 (Nursing Theories). Nursing: human science and human care received Watson’s theory for publishing in 1988 (Nursing Theories). Watson’s belief is for nursing to place his or her center of attention on the carative factors and establish a value system. Concepts

Watson’s Theory of Human Caring has four main concepts: person, health, nursing, and environment. According to Cara (nd), the person is a being in the world. The person is distinctive of mind, body, and soul. The person should be viewed as a whole. According to Sitzman (2002), the concept of the person is elemental to wholistic nursing practice, addressing the patient with regard to mind, body, and soul. One way to look at is, the person is the patient and an assessment needs done. Assess everything about the patient: mentally, physically, and spiritually. Watson’s concept of health goes beyond the absence of the disease process. Watson’s concept of health focuses on how the person perceives the illness or disease. Health is the process in which the person uses to cope, adapt, and grow through life (Alligood & Tomey, 2006). Experiences may play a role in how a person perceives his or her health. Health also communicates to the synchronization of mind, body, and soul of the person. The health of the person may be altered if the person has had a previous experience with a surgery that was bad. The body may accept the surgery, but if the mind does not due to experiences, the synchronization will be off. Nursing is being viewed as a science and an art (Cara, nd). Watson described nursing as the human science and human health of a person- illness experiences that are mediating personal, professional, ethical, scientific, and esthetic human care (Cara). Nursing is to prevent and promote illness with a caring approach. The nurse provides care, but also promotes health by listening. The environment is what surrounds the person. Watson put special consideration on helping a person while preserving his or her dignity and worth despite his or her environment (Alligood & Tomey, 2006). A quiet, spiritual, and protected environment allows the person to feel at ease. Caring Moment

Transpersonal caring moments aid in the healing process (Watson, 2009). A caring moment occurs when human to human interaction occurs, such as the nurse interacting with the patient and leading to choices within the interaction. This student nurse will share an example of a caring moment:

I received a 70yo female for a transfusion of two units packed red blood cells, diagnosis: anemia and liver cirrhosis, and hgb- 6.8. She arrived at approximately 2:30 p.m. and was just being typed and crossed. Depending on how...
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