Watson's Theory

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Watson's Theory of Human Caring
Carolyn Smith
January 10, 2011
Karen Benjamin

Watson's Theory of Human Caring
Jean Watson was born in West Virginia, a graduate from the University of Colorado with her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) as well as her Master’s in psychiatric mental health nursing and PhD in educational psychology and counseling. Watson founded the “caring Theory in nursing in 1979, and was revised in1985 and 1988. Her theory has served as a guide for the core of Nursing. Watson’s caring theory allows nurses to return to their professional roots and values. This theory represents one of the original models surrounding the ideal nurse. According to Sarah, Nursing Journey (2010), by using Watson’s Caring Theory, it endorses our professional identity within a context where humanistic values are constantly questioned, and challenged. “Jean Watson defines caring as a science. She states; “caring is a science that encompasses a humanitarian, human science orientation, human caring process, phenomena, and experiences” (RN Journal, 2009). The foundation of Jean Watson’s theory of Nursing was published in 1979 in Nursing: “The philosophy and science of caring.” Watson proposed seven assumptions about the science of caring, (1) Caring can be effectively demonstrated and practiced interpersonally, (2) Caring consists of carative factors that result in the satisfaction of certain human needs, (3) Effective caring promotes health and individual or family growth, (4) Caring responses accept a person as not only he or she is now but also what he or she may become, (5) A caring environment offers the development of potential while allowing the person to choose the best action for himself or herself at a given point in time, (6) Caring is more healthogenic than is curing. A science of caring is complimentary to the science of curing. Finally, (7) the practice of caring is central to nursing. Out of these assumptions, Watson developed her 10 carative factors that are still used in nursing today. Vance, T (2010) states Watson’s caring behaviors are defined as; behavior evidences by nurses in caring for patients. The top 10 caring behaviors are tentative listening, comforting, honesty, patient’s responsibility, providing information so the patient can make an informed decision, touch, sensitivity, respect, calling the patient by name. Using Watson’s theory with the goal of assisting the patient to achieve oneness with the mind body and soul by the act of caring. The nurse must treat the patient without judging the disease and connect with them through caring and healing to only the body but the mind as well. Love It (2010) and Nursing Theories (2010) defines Watson’s as follows: The first three carative factors form the, “Philosophical foundation” for the science of caring. The remaining seven carative factors spring from the foundation laid by these first three. 1. The formation of a humanistic-altruistic system of values     - begins developmentally at an early age with values shared with parents.     - sacrifice

2. Instillation of faith-hope
    - both carative and curative processes
    - transcend the push toward acceptance of medicine and have alternatives like meditation or the healing power of belief in self. 3. The cultivation of sensitivity to oneself and to others.
    - begin to feel an emotion as it presents itself.

4. The development of a helping-trust relationship
    - mode of communication that establishes rapport and caring

5. The expression of feelings, both positive and negative
- According to her such expression improves one’s level of awareness.

6. The systematic use of the scientific problem-solving method for decision-making - provides for control and prediction and that permits self-correction. 7. The promotion of interpersonal teaching learning

- The caring nurse must focus on the learning process as much as the teaching process....
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