Jean Watson's Theory of Caring
Dr. Jean Watson developed a theory of human caring that has become essential in nursing. Caring is at the core of nursing and is vital in providing positive patient outcomes. Watson’s theory of caring can be applied to patient situation and his or her environment. She based her theory upon human caring relationships and experiences of human life. She acknowledges a caring relationship and a caring environment preserve human dignity, wholeness, and integrity and to restore the person’s harmony it is the nurse’s responsibility to assist an individual to establish meaning in illness and suffering (Cara, 2003). Nurses have a responsibility to evaluate the patient’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Watson developed her theory in 1979 and revised it in 1985 and 1988. The majority of the revisions was made to her carative factors that she believes is the concept for the core of nursing (Cara, 2003, p. 52). According to Sulimann, Welmann, Omer, and Thomas, (2009), Watson’s theory suggests that, “Caring is a different way of being human, present, attentive, conscious, and intentional. Nursing is centered on helping the patient achieve a higher degree of harmony within mind, body, and soul, and this harmony is achieved through caring transactions involving a transpersonal caring relationship” (p. 294).
The major parts of Watson’s theory are the carative factors, the transpersonal caring relationship, and the caring occasion caring moment (Cara, 2003, p. 51). Watson has 10 carative factors, and she uses the word carative to contrast the word curative used in conventional medicine (Cara, 2003, p. 52). Watson believed that caring and curing were independent of each other (Bailey, 2009, p. 18). Cara (2003) indicates carative factors attempt to, “Honor the human dimensions of nursing’s work and the inner life world and subjective experiences of the people we serve (p. 52).
References: Bailey, D. (2009). Caring defined: a comparison and analysis. International Journal for Human Caring, 13(1), 16-31. Retrieves from CINTAHL Plus with Full Text database. Cara, C. (2003). A pragmatic view of Jean Watson’s caring theory. International Journal for Human Caring, 7(3), 51-61. Retrieved from CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Cohen, J. (1991). Two portraits of caring: a comparison of theorists, Leininger and Watson. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 16(8), 899-909. Retrieved from CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Suliman,W., Welmann, E., Omer, T., & Thomas, L. (2009). Applying Watson’s Nursing Theory to Assess Patient Perceptions of Being Cared for in a Multicultural Environment. Journal of Nursing Research (Taiwan Nurses Association). 17 (4), 293-300. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database