Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Alicia Davis NUR 403 April 5, 2010 Kimberly Frommel Theories contain concepts, definitions, models, propositions, and are being based on assumptions (Nursing Theories, 2010). The nursing profession uses nursing theories as the framework and foundation for practice. Many people find nursing theories to be meaningless and of no use to the profession, as this student did before she knew what the history and meaning behind nursing theories. Nursing theories aid nurses by improving patient care and enhancing communication between members (Nursing Theories).
Various nursing theorists have theories available for nursing practice. This paper will focus on Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, including the history and concepts of the theory. History Jean Watson began her work in the nursing profession after completion of a bachelor in science of nursing in 1964, then a master’s degree in 1966, and finally a PhD in 1973 (Nursing Theories, 2010). Watson has received numerous honors and awards for her work. A large amount of Watson’s research has been in the vicinity of human caring and the loss of someone.
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The philosophy and science of caring received the publishing of Watson’s theory as a foundation for nursing in 1979 (Nursing Theories). Nursing: human science and human care received Watson’s theory for publishing in 1988 (Nursing Theories). Watson’s belief is for nursing to place his or her center of attention on the carative factors and establish a value system. Concepts Watson’s Theory of Human Caring has four main concepts: person, health, nursing, and environment. According to Cara (nd), the person is a being in the world.
The person is distinctive of mind, body, and soul. The person should be viewed as a whole. According to Sitzman (2002), the concept of the person is elemental to wholistic nursing practice, addressing the patient with regard to mind, body, and soul. One way to look at is, the person is the patient and an assessment needs done. Assess everything about the patient: mentally, physically, and spiritually. Watson’s concept of health goes beyond the absence of the disease process. Watson’s concept of health focuses on how the person perceives the illness or disease.
Health is the process in which the person uses to cope, adapt, and grow through life (Alligood & Tomey, 2006). Experiences may play a role in how a person perceives his or her health. Health also communicates to the synchronization of mind, body, and soul of the person. The health of the person may be altered if the person has had a previous experience with a surgery that was bad. The body may accept the surgery, but if the mind does not due to experiences, the synchronization will be off. Nursing is being viewed as a science and an art (Cara, nd).
Watson described nursing as the human science and human health of a person- illness experiences that are mediating personal, professional, ethical, scientific, and esthetic human care (Cara). Nursing is to prevent and promote illness with a caring approach. The nurse provides care, but also promotes health by listening. The environment is what surrounds the person. Watson put special consideration on helping a person while preserving his or her dignity and worth despite his or her environment (Alligood & Tomey, 2006). A quiet, spiritual, and protected environment allows the person to feel at ease.
Caring Moment Transpersonal caring moments aid in the healing process (Watson, 2009). A caring moment occurs when human to human interaction occurs, such as the nurse interacting with the patient and leading to choices within the interaction. This student nurse will share an example of a caring moment: I received a 70yo female for a transfusion of two units packed red blood cells, diagnosis: anemia and liver cirrhosis, and hgb- 6. 8. She arrived at approximately 2:30 p. m. and was just being typed and crossed. Depending on how long it takes lab to run the type and cross, but generally a minimum of one hour, Ms.
A. would be here for six-eight hours. I had calculated her to be done between 8:30-10:30 p. m. and my department closes at 8 p. m. I explained the process to Ms. A. , which she was aware of because she had to do this before. If she would be there past 8 p. m. , I would move her to the floor for a nurse there to finish. I finally was able to start the transfusion around 4pm, so Ms. A. was looking at finishing up around 9 p. m. I had left the room and when I came back I found Ms. A. crying. She was alone; her daughter had dropped her off and would be back later.
I had asked her if everything was ok and she said yes. I told her it didn’t look like everything was ok. I pulled up a chair and asked if there was something she wanted to talk about. We then talked. Ms. A. did not want to burden her children with her feelings and did not have any one else to talk to. She only has one daughter that lives locally, the other lives out of state and she is divorced. She began to tell me that the Dr. had told her there were no other options and she only had three months to live. That was the start of her bad day, and then she had to come here and sit for eight hours.
I just sat there and held her hand. Her children knew this, but they did not know how she felt. I continued to hold her hand and asked her how she felt about it. She was obviously upset. Ms. A. appeared to be healthy and could get around on her own, so this was upsetting to me as well. She continued to tell me she was not ready to go. I could not leave her. We just sat there talking and crying. I was glad I did not have any other patients. The more we talked, it was not that Ms. A. was not ready to go, it was more the way the Dr. had told her. She said he just walked in told her and walked out.
I could not believe this, so I sat there as long as she wanted me to. The time had come, 8 p. m. , to move Ms. A. to the floor. I had an assignment I was going to finish when I got home. I decided I would just stay over and let her stay where she was. I would just stay up late or get up early and finish the assignment. When I discharged Ms. A. at 9:30 p. m. , she was so grateful for taking the time to listen to her and then work overtime so that she didn’t have to be moved. Then she gave me a hug and said thanks again for listening to her ramble.
Assumptions Assumptions refer to being taken for granted or assuming. The caring moment provided, analyzes several of Watson’s assumptions relating to person, health, nursing, and environment. The person is being viewed as a whole, considering mind, body, and spirit while interpersonal communication is occurring. This caring moment provides the person with a perception of her health at a level she can accept. The nursing is the promotion of the health of the person and the environment. The current environment is quiet and has very few patients.
The nurse feels the current environment to be more beneficial to this person’s health. Carative Factors According to Alligood & Tomey (2006), Watson’s following carative factors are the framework and foundation for nursing practice: 1. The formation of a humanistic-altruistic system of values. 2. The instillation 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. . The promotion of interpersonal teaching-learning. 8. The provision for a supportive, protective, and corrective mental, physical, sociocultural, and spiritual environment. 9. Assistance with the gratification of human needs. 10. The allowance of existential-phenomenological forces (p. 104). Many of Watson’s carative factors are utilized during the caring moment provided in this paper. The formation of a humanistic-altruistic system of values is felt to have been accomplished when the nurse made the decision to work over and not move the patient to another floor.
The nurse, having the patient’s health and well being as a first priority, put the needs of the patient above her own. Faith and hope were instilled during the interpersonal relationship as the nurse reinforced the fact that Ms. A. is otherwise healthy. During the interpersonal relationship trust was built. Ms. A. opened up and began to talk more freely. The promotion and acceptance of the expression of positive and negative feelings continued to occur throughout the transpersonal communication with the nurse asking questions and Ms. A. responding. The nurse continued accepting the responses in a aring manner. The nurse never responded with an opinion. The environment remained supportive, protective, and spiritual. Summary Vance (2000-2010) states, Watson’s theory focuses the objective within nursing to help the patient obtain an advanced level harmony throughout the mind, body, and soul. Watson’s theory uses the concepts of person, health, nursing, and environment together with her assumptions to form a foundation for the nursing practice known today. An adequate environment is essential in order for nursing to promote the health of the person.
The use of the concepts, assumptions, and carative factors form a caring moment, as the shared in this paper. The caring moment provided was well appreciated by the patient, as witnessed by her gratitude. Ms. A. commented that she was rambling, but I don’t see that was the case. I believe this lady was hurting inside and needed to synchronize her mind, body, and soul. This nurse found that she continues to put the needs of her patients above her own, even if just in a caring manner. References Alligood, M. , R. ; Tomey, A. , M. Nursing theory: utilization and application. (3rd ed).
St. Louis, Mo: Mosby, Inc. Alligood, M. , R. ; Tomey, A. , M. Nursing theory: utilization and application. (3rd ed). (p. 104). St. Louis, Mo: Mosby, Inc. Cara, C. (nd). A pragmatic view of Jean Watson’s caring theory. Retrieved April 9, 2010, from http://www. humancaring. org/conted/Pragmatic%20View. pdf Kathleen L Sitzman. (2002). Interbeing and mindfulness: A bridge to understanding Jean Watson’s theory of human caring. Nursing Education Perspectives, 23(3), 118. Retrieved April 10, 2010, from ProQuest Health and Medical Complete. (Document ID: 282815121). Nursing Theories. (2010).
Nursing theories: an overview. Retrieved April 9, 2010, from http://currentnursing. com/nursing_theory/nursing_theories_overview. html Nursing Theories. (2010). Jean Watson’s philosophy of nursing. Retrieved April 10, 2010, from http://currentnursing. com/nursing_theory/Watson. html Watson, J. (2009). Watson Caring Science Institute: International caritas consortium. Retrieved April 10, 2010, from http://www. watsoncaringscience. org/ Vance, T. (2000-2010). Caring and the professional practice of nursing. RN Journal. Retrieved April 10, 2010, from http://www. rnjournal. com/journal_of_nursing/caring. htm