Watson’s Theory of Caring
NUR/403 Theories and Models of Nursing Practice
University of Phoenix
Watson’s Carative Theory
Jean Watson’s Carative Nursing Theory is a balance of developing a caring relationship between nurse and patient, and the curative factor of the medical aspect of nursing. Watson’s theory is based on ten clinical caritas processes of mindful and genuine caring activities. As a registered nurse, I have had the pleasure and honor to use Jean Watson’s Carative Theory with patients in my care. One caring moment in particular has remained in my mind and in my heart. It will always be a precious moment to reflect on, and continues to reinforce the brilliance and necessity of Jean Watson’s Carative Theory in my nursing profession. Background and Concepts of Watson’s Theory
In the latter part of the 1970’s Jean Watson had an idea to create a universal interconnectedness goal that supports healing, to include nurses of all disciplines. Her idea would include a common awareness and connection between nurse and patient. This connection incorporated healing from physical, philosophical, spiritual, and scientific perspectives. Establishing a relationship between nurse and patient would bring deeper conversations, create trusting and tighter bonds, and aid in a more rapid healing process for the patient (Sitzman, 2007). Theory of Nurse and Patient Interaction
To fully engage with my patients, I incorporate Watson’s first and second caritas into my regular nursing routine. Her first caring process is, “practicing loving-kindness within the context of an intentional caring consciousness” and the second, “being fully present in the moment and acknowledging the deep belief system and subjective life world of self and other” (Sitzman, 2007, p. 9). As I enter the room for the first time, I make eye contact as I introduce myself with a touch on their hand and a warm smile. This action lets the patient know that I genuinely care, am approachable, and open to establishing a relationship. After my introduction, I ask my patient some questions to evaluate their mental capacity, level of orientation, and education level. Listening carefully to my patient’s answers and acknowledging their situation demonstrates to my patients that I truly care about their wellbeing. Setting the tone for a nurse-patient relationship is what helps to form what Watson calls a transpersonal caring relationship. By being authentic and in the moment, I am striving to create a deeper connection with my patients. Context of Nurse and Patient Interaction
As a brand-new nursing school graduate I started my nursing career in a progressive care unit. My skill level was at it’s lowest, as was my collection of nurse-patient interactions. There was so much to learn, but I didn’t expect that my education would necessarily come from my patients.
In my fourth week of working as an interim practicing nurse, I was assigned an 86 year old female patient I will call Mary Clark. She came to our unit with respiratory distress, stage-four lung cancer, and end stage renal disease. She was quiet, depressed, and very ill. Mary was an only child, her husband of 50 years had died 10 years prior, and all of her friends had already passed. She had no other living relatives and no visitors. She was sad and alone. When she did talk to the staff, her responses were snappy and abrupt. That drove most of them away, except for the care they were obligated to provide. Each day I tried to interact with Ms. Clark without prying or irritating her. Unfortunately, I received the same negative response as the others. One day Ms. Clark decided to open up to me. She started out by thanking me for my unrelenting kindness and apologized for her distant behavior. She admitted she was having some deep thoughts, but didn’t know how to talk to anyone about them. She said she noticed the cross I wear on my badge holder and asked me if I...
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