Stephanie M. Collins
August 4, 2014
Esther Van Baren, MSN
Watson 's Theory of Human Caring
Caring and nursing are deeply interwoven. Caring in the nursing profession can be expressed in many forms such as when a nurse performs a careful assessment, provides education to patients and their families, answers their questions or is just simply provides a therapeutic presence. Jean Watson is a well-known nursing scholar who has developed her own theory on caring and its definition and role in the nursing profession. The Human Caring Theory puts the profession of nursing in a different light and views it as a nontraditional science because it includes human compassion. Watson states when human caring …show more content…
Nurses are able to achieve this goal when the major concepts behind the Theory of Human Caring are utilized and put into practice by nurses. The major concepts of Watson’s Theory are the caring moment, carative factors and the transpersonal relationship (McCance, McKenna, & Boore, 1999).
A caring moment is stated by Watson to be a heart-centered encounter with another person. A heart-centered encounter is defined as two people with their own phenomenal fields coming together for a human-to-human interaction that is meaningful, genuine, deliberate and honoring to one another. This interaction should expand each other’s world view and spirit and lead to a new self-discovery (Wagner, …show more content…
Watson has chosen to use the word carative versus curative in order to differentiate nursing from medicine. The goal of curative medicine is to cure the patient of illness whereas the objective of the carative aspects of the nursing profession is to help a person achieve and/or maintain their health or die a peaceful and dignified death (Watson, 2007). There are ten carative factors; formation of a humanistic-altruistic value system, instillation of faith-hope, sensitivity to one’s self and to others, development of a helping-trusting, human caring relationship, encouragement and acceptance of the expression of positive and negative feelings, use of a creative problem-solving process, transpersonal teaching-learning, assistance with gratification of human needs, allowance for existential-phenomenological-spiritual forces and protective and/or corrective mental, physical, societal and spiritual involvement (Watson, 2007).
Transpersonal Caring is an important component of Watson’s theory. This type of caring occurs when the nurse senses the patient’s personal view of what is happening in their situation and the world around them. This experience allows for the blending of the nurses background and the patient’s experience and frees them both from isolation. Transpersonal Caring is meant to be a spiritual unification of both patient and nurse that allows them to transcend time, self and the life history