This paper will talk about Dr. Jean Watson, her theory background, and will provide the concepts of her theory. Furthermore, I will connect the theory to person, health, nursing, and environment of the caring moment and apply a transpersonal relationship and relate these issues within my Practice, skills and experience. Dr. Jean Watson was born in a small town in West Virginia in 1940s. She began her career as a diploma nurse, and received her baccalaureate in nursing in the 1960s.
Dr.Jean continued her education and earned her master’s degree in psychiatric-mental health, and received her doctorate in education in the 1970s.
Dr. Jean Watson has written several books discussing about her philosophy and her theory of human caring. Watson’s theory of caring was developed in between 1975 and 1979, when she was teaching at the University of Colorado, the theory was first published in 1979, and is focused on human caring. Watson defines her theory to be developed by her own opinions of nursing experience, and as a grouping of materials she established throughout her upper education years.
It was also influenced by her involvement with the nursing curriculum at the University of Colorado. “It was my initial attempt to bring meaning and focus to nursing as an emerging discipline and distinct health profession with its own unique values, knowledge and practices, with its own ethic and mission to society” (Watson, 2004). Watson’s Theory of Human Care is focused towards personal inner healing and an individual life’s experiences. The theory involves three major conceptual elements.
The 10 carative factors, the development and utilization of transpersonal caring relationship, and the caring occasion or caring event 1. The carative factors. These factors were developed in 1979 and reviewed in 1985 and 1988. Dr. Jean Watson regarded the carative factors as the monitor for the essential of nursing and the nursing profession. She uses the term carative to differentiate with conventional medicine’s curative factors. Her carative factors attempt to “honor the human dimensions of nursing’s work and the nner life world and subjective experiences of the people we serve” (Watson, 1997b, p. 50). The 10 carative factors are. 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-trusting 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. 7.
The promotion of interpersonal teaching-learning. 8. The provision for a supportive, protective, and (or) corrective mental, physical, sociocultural, and spiritual environment. 9. Assistance with the gratification of human needs. 10. The allowance for existential-phenomenological forces. (Watson, 1985, p. 9-10) 2. The development and utilization of transpersonal caring relationship. This idea focuses that the nurse must refer to a patient by trying to study his or her inner feelings. The concept touches beyond the physical needs of the patient.
It defines the skills of the nurse to see outside the objective needs and to demonstrate concern towards the patient’s inner sense. 3. The caring occasion or caring event. “An event, such as an actual occasion of human care, is a focal point in space and time from which experience and perception are taking place, but the actual occasion of caring has a field of its own that is greater than the occasion itself” (Watson, 1985) each meeting has the chance to be a caring event, and a caring moment.
The caring moment includes hard decisions that have to be decided by the patient and the nurse. Theory application related to actual Nurse-patient interaction: In this section I will enhance an understanding of Watson’s theory over my experience that I have encounter with one of my patient in my clinical setting. I will number the caritas process (CP) according to the 10 caritas. This will speed the understanding connected to the main concept. Before becoming a registered nurse I was working as a volunteer with hospice patients for an agency in Woodland Hills.
As a full time employee at a plasma center and a student, currently I have very little time to put on my volunteering work, but I still make a point to help whenever I have the time. My job is to relieve the primary caregivers (family members) of the patients, and give them a little time for themselves to do whatever they want outside the house, while I stay with the patient at home. Few months ago I had to stay with a 28- years-old woman with end stage breast cancer. At first I was a little worried about the fact that she is so young and was facing death.
I was not sure if I was able, and ready to face this situation, because most of the patients I care for in this field are older adults. I said to myself, I will give it a try and if it does not work I will not return. One Saturday morning I prepared myself to take this challenge. When I arrived at the house, her mother opened the door, greeted me, and walked me into her room, as we opened the door she sat up on her bed, the first thing she said was “Thank God she is young, someone I can finally talk to” (CP#4). Her mother smiled and left the room.
As I approached her bed she moved and asked me to sit next to her. Right away I took the chance to ask how she was feeling, her priorities for the time I will spend with her, and what kind of help she would like from me while her parents were out (CP#5). She gave me a weak smile, and said “at this point the only thing that runs through my mind is pain medication, to be honest I just want to lay here and do nothing” I held her hand, and sat next to her in silence. Later that morning I offered to arrange and tide up her room, which she was very excited.
I cleaned her room with directions from her on how to place things (CP#8), and helped her with medications. She then requested a shower, and I assisted her (CP#9). We spent about two hours talking about different things she wanted to do in life before she got sick. When it was time for me to leave, she asked me if I would come again, and said “Today I felt so alive and well, that I did not have to think about my pain and things that worries me, Please come back and see me again” (CP#2). She thanked me for my help, and I left. Caring moment
As I left the house millions of thoughts were running through my head. I was asking myself all kind of questions about my patient, and how to help her if I get to see her again. I left the house feeling sad on this situation, but was somehow pleased to know that I have made her happy, and gave her some kind of hope even for one day. Viewing and applying the person, health, nursing and environment according to Watson’s Caring moment theory. “The person is viewed as “a being-in-the-world” and is the locus of human existence. The person exists as a living, growing gestalt.
The person possesses three spheres of being—mind, body, and soul—that are influenced by the concept of self” (Watson, 1999. p 54), my application of person to Watson’s theory is the ability of making my patient recognizes her existence and be able to focus in the moment, and forget her pain and worries. She was able to attain peace within the soul, mind, and body. Health: Watson’s definition of health does not agree as to absence of disease only. In her work earlier, she describes health as a personal experience, and believes that health is the person’s harmony, or balance, within the mind, body, and soul (Watson, 1999).
Asking questions can help the nurse to assess the perception of patient’s point of view. in my caring moment with my patient, I have received enough information about what she thinks of health by asking a single open ended question. Tell me how are you feeling today? This question opened a door for the patient to vent and express her concern about the whole situation she is facing. Nursing: Nursing is the profession that has an ethical and social responsibility of both individuals and society to be the caretaker of care and the vanguard of society’s human care needs now and in the future” (Watson, 1999, p. 2). It is preventing illness and promoting health.
In my clinical carative I have performed the nursing duty by helping my patient in maintaining her activity of daily living (shower), medication assistance, and make her comfortable. Environment: Environment is important in the process of healing; it should be supportive to holistic healing (physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially). Maintaining acceptable environment is critical to the patient’s wellbeing. After organizing my patient’s room she seemed more comfortable and more relaxed being in a clean environment.
Throughout this paper, I was able to learn the vital features of Watson’s caring theory and connect examples of my own clinical experience through her theory of caring. Watson’s theory delivers countless valuable concepts for the nursing practice. The descriptions of her 10 carative factors can provide guidance to nurses who wish to apply them to their practice. “Nursing can expand its existing role, continuing to make contributions to health care within the modern model by developing its foundational caring-healing and health strengths that have always been present on the margin. ” (Watson, 1999, p. 45)
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