Watson's Theory of Transpersonal Care

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Analysis of Jean Watson's Theory of Transpersonal
Carey Grall, RN, BSN
Concordia
Nursing Theory
MSN 834
Dr. Pam Koob
September 27, 2012

Analysis of Jean Watson's Theory of Transpersonal
Nursing has in the last century made a lot of progress thus it has become recognized as a profession as well as an academic discipline. One of these accomplishments was the development, articulation, and testing of various nursing theories. It has been made more meaningful and significant by the theory based practice which has shifted the focus of nursing from vocational to an organized profession. With the development of these theories, nursing has emerged as an independent practice still working closely with the medical profession but no longer dependent upon it. There has been a realization of a knowledge base which has assisted in guiding professional nursing practice. Not only does the theory guide the nursing practice, but research and education as well, resulting in a continually evolving body of knowledge. Most of the theoretical works done by nurses have the intention of making nursing a recognized profession; profession in the sense that nurses should professionally deliver care to their patients. As nurses, we may choose to use one particular theory in our practice but more frequently we use a combination of several different theorists in our practice. Jean Watson refers to the human being as “a valued person in and of him or herself to be cared for, respected, nutured, understood and assisted; in general a philosophical view of a person as a fully functional integrated self. Human is viewed as greater than and different from the sum of his or her parts” (Watson, 1979). Her theory and concepts focus on the relationship between patient and nurse and the promotion of unity and harmony within the mind, body, and soul. According to Watson, caring which is manifested in nursing has existed in every society. However a caring attitude is not transmitted from generation to generation. Instead it’s transmitted by the culture of the nursing profession as a unique way of coping with its environment. Jean Watson grew up during the 1940’s and 1950s in the small town of Welch, West Virginia. Watson graduated from the Lewis Gale School of Nursing in 1961, and then continued her nursing studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1964, a Master’s degree in psychiatric and mental health nursing in 1966, and a Ph.D in educational psychology and counseling in 1973. She served as Dean of Nursing at the University Health Science Center and was the President of the National League for Nursing. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Her books include The Philosophy and Science of Caring which was published in 2008. She currently holds an endowed chair at the University of Colorado, and in 2008, she created the Watson Caring Science Institute to help spread her nursing theory and ideas. The center has impacted nurses and colleges around the world and continues to serve doctoral students today. She established the doctoral program at the University of Colorado and in 1998; she was recognized as a Distinguished Nurse Scholar by New York University (Alligood &Tomey, 2010). The theory of human caring was developed in 1979, and includes three major elements. They are the the carative factors, the transpersonal caring relationship, and the caring occasion/caring moment. These elements are listed below. Carative Factors (Watson, 1988, p.97).

1. Formation of humanistic-altruistic system of values
2. Instillation of faith-hope
3. Cultivation of sensitivity to self and others
4. Helping-trusting, human care relationship
5. Expressing positive and negative feelings
6. Creative problem-solving process
7. Promotion of transpersonal teaching-learning
8. Supportive, protective, and/or corrective, mental, physical, societal, and...
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