Watson's Theory of Human Caring

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Watson's Theory of Human Caring
University of Phoenix
Theories and Models of Nursing Practice
June 21, 2010

Watson's Theory of Human Caring
Jean Watson’s theory of human caring is about nursing and caring being side by side. According to Watson, a person can not completely heal from a disease/condition if only the disease is treated and the person is not(Watson, 1999). Meaning, nursing should focus on providing more care and connecting on a deeper level with their patient’s to promote faster and more effective healing. Because of nursing shortages and increased demand on nursing, there is sometimes little time to none to sit down with a patient and have a heart to heart conversation. Watson’s theory, not only helps incorporate care back into nursing, but emphasizes it as a necessity to better allow the patient to heal(Watson, 1999). Dr. Jean Watson is an American nursing scholar. She earned her undergraduate degree in nursing her master’s degree in psychiatric-mental health nursing, and continued to earn her Ph.D. in educational psychology and counseling from the University of Colorado(Sitzman, 2007). Watson proposed that professional nurses in all areas, have an awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings and share the common, intentional goal of attending to and supporting healing from both scientific and philosophical perspectives(Sitzman, 2007). This common goal is referred to as the caring-healing consciousness(Sitzman, 2007). Watson’s theory took shape around 1970, as a reaction to wide gap she witnessed in respect of science of medicine, which was technology oriented and merely concentrating on diagnosis and cure of disease overlooking the art of healing recognizing humanity as a whole and scope of personal relation between the suffering person and health care providing person("Jean Watson’s theory of Human Care", 2010). The major concepts of Watson’s theory are organized around ten carative factors that later evolved into the 10 clinical caring caritas processes that form the basis of the theory at the present time and can be applied in any nursing area(Sitzman, 2007). Practice love, kindness, and caring in nursing and be open to treating your patient’s mind and body(Sitzman, 2007). The theory speaks of focusing on the patients as a whole and getting in tune with their inner being. An article in The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice, conducted a study of patients with life threatening and terminal illnesses and Watson’s theory was used. The results showed nursing knowledge of palliative care improved significantly and families reported higher levels of satisfaction with the care their loved ones received. The staff reported that palliative care made a positive impact on patient and family outcomes. Conclusion: The structure, processes, and outcomes of care were positively impacted during the implementation of Watson’s theory(Mahler, 2010). This occurred through activities such as direct consultation, educational initiatives, mentoring, and disseminating assessment and care planning tools and staff taking a whole interest in patients and families, both physically and spiritually(Mahler, 2010). Another study was held at a hospital, where this theory was adopted as the framework to support nursing. As the nurses became more familiar with the theory, deep caring was shown in their day to day interactions with their patients and their narratives(Norman & Rutledge, 2010). Eighteen clinical narratives were included in this study. These were submitted by nurses across the hospital. The narratives ranged from a breast feeding encounter between and nurse and young mother to a dying mother of 12 whose daughter was not coping well(Norman & Rutledge, 2010). All outcomes showed that once Watson’s theory was used, the nurses took a more active and caring approach in the care they gave each patient. Another study conducted by Fraser Health Renal Program in 2004,...
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