Watson's Theory of Human Caring

Topics: Nursing theory, Nursing, Nursing practice Pages: 6 (2101 words) Published: September 3, 2012
Watson’s Theory

Watson’s Theory of Human Caring

Barbara Eisenach

University of Phoenix


Marilyn Moorhouse, RN, MSN

November 28, 2011

Watson’s Theory of Human Caring
This paper will explore Jean Watson’s theory of transpersonal human caring as well as a description of the major concepts of Watson’s theory. I will apply Watson’s theory to two nurse/ patient relationships and describe the caring moments that occurred. I will discuss Watson’s major assumptions and relate this to person, health, and nursing in the health care environment. I will also describe how Watson’s carative factors were utilized in a transpersonal relationship with the application of four carative factors. Lastly I will conclude with a reflection of myself in the carative moment and describe what I would have done differently to enhance the transpersonal relationship. Watson Carative Factors

Jean Watson formulated her theory based on her work to enhance nursing as a profession. Her background and work led her to formulate carative factors as opposed to the more traditional curative factors. According to Watson the major elements of her theory are “the caraticve factors, the transpersonal caring relationship and the caring moment” (Cara, 2003, p. 51). A caring moment occurs when the nurse and a patient come together in such a way that an occasion for human caring is created (Cara, 2003). Jean Watson’s work includes transpersonal caring relationships and caring moments or occasions. Mind, body, spirit connectedness of human beings, interpersonal commitment, and intentionality in caring are factors that provide an effective base for nursing practice. “Developed in 1979 and revised in 1985 Watson views the carative factors as a guide for the core of nursing” (Cara, C. 2003, p. 52). Watson’s 10 primary carative factors are:

1) The formation of a humanistic- altruistic system of values. 2) The installation of faith-hope.
3) The cultivation of sensitivity to one’s self and to others. 4) The development of a helping-trust relationship
5) The promotion and acceptance of the expression of positive and negative feelings. 6) The systematic use of the scientific problem-solving method for decision making 7) The promotion of interpersonal teaching-learning.

8) The provision for a supportive, protective and /or corrective mental, physical, socio-cultural and spiritual environment. 9) Assistance with the gratification of human needs.
10) The allowance for existential-phenomenological forces (Nursing theory, 2011). As development of her theory has evolved, Dr. Watson has added to her carative factors with an element of “caritas,” which is a Greek word meaning to cherish, to appreciate, or to give special attention, even loving attention to another. She adds a sense of spirituality, healing, and loving care to her ideas. Watson describes nursing as “a human science, with the major focus being the process of human care for individuals” (Boore, McCance & Mckenna, 1999, p. 1389). Jean Watson continues to edit her 10 carative factors, adding words such as spirituality, healing, genuineness, authentic caring relationship, and loving kindness. The basis of her 10 components have not changed and still uphold the importance of a caring relationship between the nurse and the patient to bring about healing and wholeness of the patient, and the ongoing professional growth of the nurse.

Besides Watson’s 10 carative factors in her theory, she has also added seven assumptions. According to dictionary.com assumption means “something taken for granted; a supposition: a correct assumption, the act of taking for granted or supposing, and/or the act of taking to or upon oneself.” Jean Watson’s seven assumptions are: 1) Caring can be effectively demonstrated and practiced only inter personally. 2) Caring consists of carative factors that result in the satisfaction of certain human needs....
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