Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Assignment Prompt

Explore the influence of Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring on your future role as an APN. The student will explore the concepts and caritas processes from the Theory of Human Caring and present how these concepts may impact their future APN role. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay



The student will create a PowerPoint and include speaker notes that may be added to the speaker note section on each slide.
Presentation should be limited to no more than 10 slides. See suggested slides below.
If you are unfamiliar with Dr. Watson’s theory see this overview.

A suggested outline for the presentation may include the following slides:

Slide 1 – Previous experience with Watson’s Theory of Human Caring

Slide 2 – Core Concepts of the Theory Applicable to the APN role

Slide 3 – Core Concepts of the Theory Applicable to the APN role (as needed) Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Slide 4 – Five Carative Factors or Caritas Processes You Plan to Use in the APN Role

Slide 5 – Five Carative Factors or Caritas Processes You Plan to Use in the APN Role (as needed)

Slide 6 – What Does the Theory of Human Caring Mean to You

Slide 7 – APN Implications of Theory of Human Caring

Slide 8 – Summary/Main Points

Since its establishment as a profession more than a century ago, Nursing has been a source for numerous debates related to its course, methods and development of nursing knowledge. Many nursing definitions and theories have evolved over time. Furthermore it is in a constant process of been redefined. The purpose of this paper is an overview of Jean Watsons Theory of Caring. This theory can be taken into account as one of the most philosophicaly complicated of existent nursing theories. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

The Theory of Human Caring, which also has been reffered to as the Theory of Transpersonal Caring, is middle range explanatory theory. (Fawccett, 2000) The central point of which is on the human component of caring and actual encounter between the client and the caregiver. Jean Watson has stated that her work was motivated by her search of a new meaning to the world of nursing and patient care. I felt a dissonnance between nursings (meta) paradigm of caring-healing and health, and mediciness (meta) paradigm of diagnosis and treatment, and concentration on disease and pathology. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Watson, 1997,p. 49) Jean Watsons theory was first published in 1979. Later Watson explained that this work was an attempt to solve some conceptual and empirical problems, with no intention to create a theory. This theory was expanded and formalized in her next book in 1985. Since than Watson continued to refine her ideas through various publications. At his time, the major conceptual elements of the theory are ten Clinical Caritas Processes (originally Carative factors), Transpersonal Caring Relationship, Caring Moment/Occasion and Caring Consciousness.

According to Watsons theory, the human care process is performed through a Transpersonal Caring Relationship guided by the Carative factors, which are based on humanistic altruistic value system. The Theory of Human Caring was initialy based on data about variety of aspects of caring, collected through open ended quistionnaire. The purpose of this research was to evaluate different points of view, expressed by both the clients and registered nurses. In addition to this data, Watsons theory uses broadly recognized work from other disciplines. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Specific philosophers cited by Watson, as sources are Rogers, Whitehead, Gadow, Yalom etc. Furthermore, she also recognises the contribution of the eastern philosophy in her work. According toWatson (1985), her philosophical orientation is existential phemenological, spiritual and methaphysical. She is the first nursing theorist to support the idea of soul and to accentuate the spiritual dimension of human existence. Watson describes nursing as an art and a human science with the major focus being the process of a human care for individuals, families and groups.

According to her beliefs, body, mind and soul are distinquished from each other. Nevertheless, Watson also states that harmony is required among the three to be the highest form of health and that it is the nursing goal to help people to reach this equanimity. This goal can be accomplished through transpersonal relationship. Within the Theory of Human Caring, during transpersonal caring moment, the nurse and the patient gain entry into the lived knowledge of each other.

In order for transpersonal contact to occur both the caregiver and the one being cared for should experience a process of being and becoming, both are influenced by the nature of transaction. (Watson, 1985) Watson defines human caring as a moral ideal, that the nurse should carry during every transaction. According to her theory, that ideal will assure a certain needed behaviour at the time of the caring occasion. Another concepts in Watsons theory are person, health, illness and environment. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Watson defines person not only as a spiritual being, but also as a material physical being that is also a part of nature and the physical world. A person is experiencing and perceiving physiological individual that is able to find meaning and harmony in existence (Watson, 1979, p. 55). Watson beliefs that that the person is not limited by time and space and able to control his physical world. Consequently she refers to environment as the universal or cosmic level of existence and perceives person and environment as a field of connectedness.

Watson, 1985) Furthermore, Watson (1985) defined a connection between health and illness. As it was stated previously, health, according to the Theory of Human Caring is unity and harmony within the mind, body and soul. Moreover, health is also associated with the degree of congruence between the experienced and perceived self. Consequently illness is a disharmony within a persons mind, body and soul, which can lead to disease. Thus, nursing as a discipline has a role of helping a person to find meaning in illness and existence in general. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

According to Jean Watson, everything in the universe is connected. Humans cannot be separated from self, other, nature and the larger univers and should be treated as a whole. Watson (1997) is concerned that caring values of nursing and nurses have been submerged within contemporary medical systems, which are dominated by economics. She beliefs that nurses must continuosly question and be open to new possibilities, as well as form and reconsider ancient and new knowledge. There is a well – known gap between theory and practice in nursing.

Encorporating Watsons theory into practice requires an exclusive moral and spiritual pledge from a nurse towards herself and the patient. This writing process brings me to a question. Is every nurse capable to reach this level of commitment? Watson has stated in her publications that her theory framework is difficult to study concretely. However, a practice methology for the application of the theory in practise, has been extracted from Watsons publications. Since than, the number of published reports of the theory has grown. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

One of the concepts that received a wide coverage as a research issue in the several past years is caregiver. In 1995 Sandra Weeks made an attempt to investigate future family caregivers points of view regarding their needs. Watsons theory of Human Caring was used as a theoretical framework for this research, while Matthi Questionnaire was used as an assessable tool. The Questionnaire has provided a list of 45 tasks, devided to a several categories, with the major focus on assisting disabled adult and maintaining caregiver and family well being.

This article concentrates on two major ideas of Watsons theory caring as an obstract concept and caring moment as a measurable one. As a hypothesis to this study, Weeks defined a connection between nurses perception of caregivers needs and caring moment, based on the Theory of Human Caring. Caring parallels perceivingPerceiving can lead to an actual caring occasion when the prospective family caregivers educational wants are recognized and met by the nurse. (p. 257) The results of this research have shown that family members of newly disabled adults are faced with uncertainty and burdened with mixed feelings. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

The normalization of the daily routine of a disabled adult was acclaimed as the major concern by majority of the prospective family caregivers in the current study. The facts in this research stress out the importance of nurses awareness of the family needs. Moreover, it is essential that the assessment process will occur immediately upon the patients admission and will continue through the hospitalization process into the discharge planning. Furthermore, there is a need to recognize the extent of needs expressed by a patient and a caregiver together as a family and separetly.

As stated by Watson (1985), been sensitive to the feelings and needs of family members, the nurse can better learn the familys beliefs systems, values and worldview. Summing up, adressing the family members needs through a caring process will help them to deal with their loved one illness and achieve a better adaptation to a new role of caregivers. This conclusion is consistent with Watsons (1985,1996) definition of Human Caring Emphasis is placed on helping other(s),, to gain more self knowledge, self control, and even self healing potential, regardless of the health illness condition

In my opinion, this research is consistent with the Watsons theory, where the major focus is not only on individuals, but on families as well. Unquestionably this is a confirmation that the Theory of Human Caring can be incorporated within nursing practice. However, this particular article also rises another question. Do all family members caregivers have the same needs? What will be a predictor of this variance? Piccinato & Rosenbaum (1997) have tried to explore the caregiver personality characteristics in their article. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

The purpose of their research was a review of the literature regarding the concept of older caregiver hardiness within Watsons theory of Human Caring. The term of hardiness was said to be complex, existential phenomenological and almost as imposible to measure, as Theory of Human Caring. Nevertheless, the authors have decided to use Watsons theory as a framework for their investigation of the hardiness concept because of its consistency with phenomenological, existential concepts. Examination of various nursing studies, regarding caregiving experience of older adults, has revield its negative effect on the caregiver well being.

The core definition of hardiness used for the purposes of this article describes hardy persons: Hardy persons view change as a challenge and as beneficial to personal development and are considered to possess three interrelated attributes: control, commitment and challenge (p. 34). Hardiness, according to Piccinato & Rosenbaum article, is described as a gathering of personality characteristic that promotes withstanding during stressful life events, which resolves in a positive caregiving experience. There is no exact definition of hardiness in the Theory of Human Caring. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

However, the authors tried to extract the definition of self from Watsons terminology and compare it to the three components of hardiness – control, commitment and challenge. Piccinato & Rosenbaum suggestion to nurses is to help facilitate the caregiver hardiness through a transpersonal caring relationship, using Watsons ten Carative factors. According to their findings, caregivers needs should be incorporated into nursing care plans. Through this process the caregivers will be able to achieve spiritual well being and promote healing in their loved ones.

Incorporating Watsons theory in this research article is useful in terms of expanding knowledge about family members as caregivers. However, because this reserch was based on theory, my opinion is that it will require further research in order to determine its use. Two previous articles have explored Watsons theory of Human Caring in terms of family members as caregivers. The conclusions of both articles bring in a question about the carereceivers needs. This issue is explored in Donnas Strickland (1996) article.

The research was done in nursing home settings in order to receive feedback regarding nursing practice, using the Theory of Human Caring as a theoretical framework and as an evaluation tool. The study was conducted among six elderly women, using Lees Glickstein Laughing Spirit , format which is based on a group sessions where each member has an equial opportunity to be fully heard. Each group member, including the reserchers had an opportunity to tell their personal stories, receive a positive feedback and listen to others. Listening under this context was defined as enterning someones phemenological field. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

The whole settings were reffered to as Transpersonal Relationship. Several findings came out from the above interactions in the closing session. The subjects of this study have reported that reaching one to another had given them an opportunity to feel connected. Positive feedbacks were compared to reciprocal altruism, which may be compared to Watsons first Carative Factor. Another correspondence with Watsons theory was that the group found it difficult to express themselves because of the phemenological, spiritual context of the experience, which is related to the tens Carative factor.

Both the researchers and the participants felt positively affected by this experience. In spite all this, the group success provided some negative feedbacks as well. All group members felt that those caring moments usually missing in the retirment community between caregivers and elders. Strickland argues that if Watsons theory had been in use in these particular settings, these women would not report an isolation and lack of caring. One may dispute that the above research was applied to a specifically small, chosen group of people, but it is yet another translation of Theory of Human Caring into practice. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Will the results differ in a larger, younger or transcultural group of people? One of the Watsons guideline for the human care process is to consentrate intentionaly on caring, healing and wholeness, rather than on disease (Fawccett, 2000). The practice methodology for this procedure advises the nurse to stay within the others frame of reference, potentiate comfort measures and a sence of well being. The nurse, through a transpersonal caring, enters into patients phemenological field, allowing him to explore his deeper emotions.

Thus, in order to achieve a better understanding and a positive outcome, it is up to the nurse to gain knowledge about the subjective personal meanings of the patients experience before initiating a transpersonal caring occasion. The case study that I have selected for the interpretation of Watsons definitions is a story about Mrs. Chow. In Chinese medical tradition, illness is perceived as a state of disharmony between the individual and the environment. Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism constitute the essence of the traditional Chinese culture. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Chinese medicine combines both holistic and traditional knowledge. Patients do not express their concerns about prescribed interventions or treatments. Thoughts are expressed politely and with restraint through language that is indirect. Direct eye contact is used with the elderly. A display of emotions is considered a weakness of character. (Geissler, E. M, 1998, p. 53) In traditional Chinese patrilocal society, the elderly used to live with their sons. Daughters, however, moved in with their in laws. Both respect and obligation in Chinese culture require that children take care of their parents.

This paper examines Jean Watson’s theory of care and its application in the nursing practice environment. This topic will be examined in the following manner. First, by providing a definition of and discussion about Watson’s theory. Secondly, discussing the importance of a supportive care setting for patients. Third, by reviewing examples of Watson’s theory in the care setting. Finally, this paper will look at the implications for nursing education. The search terms used for this paper were as follows: ‘Jean Watson’; ‘CARITAS’; ‘theory of care patient setting’; and, ‘nursing practice Jean Watson’. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Definition: Watson’s Theory of Care
Jean Watson is a nursing theorist who formulated the theory of human caring and the ‘caritas’ processes in support of this theory. Watson’s background is in nursing and psychology. Through her practice, she observed the effect of authentic caring on patients and the resultant health outcomes. She has published many works on the “…philosophy and theory of human caring and the art and science of caring in nursing” (Watson Caring Science, 2017). Watson’s theories are taught in nursing schools around the world. Watson (2006) notes the absence or separation of caring from the care environment. “Caring and economics, and caring and administrative practices, are often considered in conflict with each other” (Watson, 2006, 48). In fact, Watson makes the point that the “…basic consid- erations of what it means to be human, to be vulnerable, to be ill, to be cured, to be cared for, to be healthy, and to be healed” (Watson, 2006, 48). While lengthly, the above quotations are worth rereading and being given due consideration because the traditional model of healthcare leans heavily on an economic/administrative model of caring, whereas Watson’s theory emphasizes the reason why nurses were attracted to the profession. That is, nurses are drawn to the human side of nursing and believe in the posiitve effect of human caring on health outcomes (Watson, 2006, 48). Stated plainly, Watson notes “Any profession that loses its values becomes heartless; any profession that becomes heartless becomes soulless. Any profession that becomes heartless and soulless, becomes [Worthless]” (Watson, 2006, 49). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Importance of Supportive Care for Positive Health Outcomes
Relationship management is integral to patient engagement and to engagement with a patient’s family. With the concerns about economics and the place that economics has in all areas of life, it is often difficult for healthcare providers to justify, from an economic standpoint, allowing staff to take the time to build caring relationships with patients. Qualis (2014) notes that “bio-psychosocial model” (Qualis, 2014, 1) is the next step in health interventions. This is supported by scientific evidence indicates that “social relationships affect a range of health outcomes” (Umberson & Montez, 2010, 11). Watson’s caring theory supports these principles through the core concepts of her theory. These core concepts are the following: relational caring of self and others; transpersonal caring relationships; having caring occasions or moments; recognition of multiple ways of knowing; a reflective/meditative approach to care; caring that is inclusive, circular, and expansive; the recognition that caring changes the self, others around the individual, as well as the culture of groups and their environment (Watson Caring Science, 2017, 1-2). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay


Application of Watson’s Theory in Care Settings
Watson’s theory is applied through what are called carative factors or caratas processes. There are ten carative factors and these are the following. Briefly, the application of the theory is demonstrated as the practice of loving-kindness, equanimity, authenticity, enabling, cultivating a spiritual practice; developing a relationship that is helping-trusting; enabling the expression of both positive and negative feelings; having a caring-healing practice; a willingness to learn for the caring experience; being able to engage in a teaching-learning experience that is genuine; enabling and creating environments that are healing; caring for basic needs, both spiritual and physical; and, being open to spirituality (Watson Caring Science, 2017, 2). In practice, this means that a nurse practitioner engages his/her own emotions in the caring relationship, not being closed to new spiritual and emotional experiences while looking after the physical and health needs of the patient.

Watson’s Theory & the Implications for Nursing Education
The workplace environment that nurses face can be frustrating and morally destroying as they face disrespect, anger, frustration and apathy from various areas in the healthcare workplace. To counter this experience, cultivating caring in nursing practice seems to be a pre-requisite for basic peace of mind for the nurse practitioner. This can be cultivated if the ability to cultivate caring is part of the curriculum in nursing education. Dyess, Boykin, & Rigg (2010), observe that when practice is guided by “values and beliefs” (Dyess, Boykin, & Rigg, 2010, 498), nurses use these values and beliefs as a lens to “view their practice … interact … and create an environment for nursing care to be delivered” (Dyess, Boykin, & Rigg, 2010, 498). In other words, nurses can determine the lens that will guide their practice. The researchers observed the impact of a dedicated education unit, in a Sotheast Florida enviornment, that was “…grounded in a theoretical frame- work of caring to both nursing practice and education” (Dyess, Boykin, & Rigg, 2010, 498). The results indicated that the project allowed for strengthening and reinforcing an understanding of living the theory of caring through practice. Another study found that nurses realized their essential value to the healthcare environment when caring theory was integrated into their daily practice (Ryan, n.d., 7). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

To conclude, Jean Watson’s theory of caring champions the traditional practices of caring and empathy, and encourages a more emotional and open approach to the care of patients in a healthcare practice. Nurses are encouraged to engage authentically and spiritually with their patients and their patient’s families, in order to allow a more positive experience of the healthcare environment for all parties. Research indicates that when patients are engaged in this manner, both the nurses and the patients benefit in the shared experience. When the caring theory is integrated into the nursing curriculum, nursing students learn from early on in their practice to include the theory in their own practice, thereby allowing a more authentic experience of nursing for themselves and their patients.

Different views of nursing gave rise to the formulation of various nursing theories that contribute greatly to the advancement and evolution of the nursing profession as a whole. Some focus on the curative nature of nursing, while others revolve around the social and ethical aspect of the profession that complements conventional medicine. Among the latter is Dr. Jean Watsons Theory of Transpersonal Caring, which this paper attempts to analyze and evaluate using J. Fawcetts Framework of Analysis and Evaluation of Conceptual Models of Nursing. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Dr. Watsons personal views of nursing brought about the conception of the theory in 1979, at the time when she was a professor of nursing at the University of Colorado. Her background in educational-clinical and social psychology influenced these views, along with her involvement in a nursing curriculum that sought to establish a standard to nursing that transcends settings, populations, specialty, subspecialty areas and so forth. It was an 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, 2006).

Originally, Watsons theory revolved around three major elements, namely the carative factors, the transpersonal caring relationship, and the caring moment. She stated ten carative factors that served as guidelines for the nursing practice and basically centered on the principles of caring. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

The transpersonal caring relationship describes how the nurse goes beyond an objective assessment, showing concerns toward the persons subjective and deeper meaning regarding their own health care situation, while the caring moment is defined as the moment (focal point in space and time) when the nurse and another person come together in such a way that an occasion for human caring is created (Cara, 2003).

In this context, the four essential concepts of nursing person, environment, health, and nursing are encompassed in the theory. Being holistic in nature, the theory presents its framework as a congregation of all these concepts, centering on the person.

Watson regards a person as an individual with unique qualities and unique needs. The person is recognized as a being capable of communicating with another beyond physical interaction. The person is viewed as whole and complete, regardless of illness of disease (Watson, 2006). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

The environment is regarded as a healing space, where the persons awareness and consciousness can expand and promote mindbodyspirit wholeness and healing (Watson, 1999). Inevitably, the state of a patients environment can influence an individuals state of health. The physical environment can affect how the person can connect and exist in the spiritual environment created by transpersonal caring relationships, and could affect the effectiveness of the science of caring.

Health is referred to as the unity and harmony within the mind, body and soul. It is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and functioning (Hagopian, 2007). The theory establishes that caring can promote a persons health better than the curative means of conventional medicine. Through caring, the care giver recognizes the condition of the recipient at a deeper level, enabling him/her to sympathize as needed, and provide the appropriate care needed by the patient. With this means of understanding the patient better, there is greater chance of addressing the patients needs, creating the needed balance in his/her physical, mental, and social well-being. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Watson defines nursing as a human science of persons and human health illness experiences that are mediated by professional, personal, scientific, esthetic, and ethical human care transactions (Watson, 1988). The theory also emphasizes caring as central to nursing, and is essentially what the theory wishes to achieve. Nursing is not just about curing an illness or disease it is beyond that.

It is about the nurse being able to center consciousness on the entire being of the other in order to detect his/her inner condition, and impart genuine concern through caring moments communicated through movements, gestures, facial expressions, procedures, information, touch, sound, verbal expressions and other scientific, technical, aesthetic, and human means of communication. The role of consciousness is deemed greatly important, because then the nurse exhibits commitment and sincere intention to connect with the patient at a deeper level, thus becoming an effective aid in nursing the patient back to health, physically, emotionally, and spiritually (Watson, 2006). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

As can be derived from what has been discussed, the theory is concerned with establishing nursing as a profession distinct from the curative nature of conventional medicine, to which it has been originally strongly associated with the original role of the nurse being to primarily care for the patient as dictated and required by disease or illness. The theory places emphasis on the transcendent and healing quality of a caring relationship shared by nurse and patient. It describes how transpersonal caring goes beyond physical reality and ventures into the spiritual, opening greater possibilities of healing and well-being, as opposed to disease-based medication and regard to patient.

Watsons theory has guided nursing practices in different areas, including rehabilitation centers, hospices, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. Watsons model proved to be socially significant, as well. It has served as a conceptual framework for guiding community health nursing practice, and has been described as philosophically congruent with contemporary global approaches to community health and health promotion (Rafael, 2000). However, this model can both lead to nursing activities that meet social expectations, and create expectations that require societal change. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

In this time when people think twice before trusting, nursing professionals may have to exert more conscious effort in making the connection and creating transpersonal caring relationships because beyond the hesitation, society expects the nursing community to be sympathetic, concerned, and genuinely caring of their patient. On the other hand, as transpersonal caring becomes increasingly successful in the improvement of the patients well-being, higher expectations of nurses are created. This may lead to society being increasingly dependent on nurses, and less on medical technology.

The effectiveness of Watsons theory has been validated with its use as a guide in several studies centering on caring science. It has been recommended as a guide to nursing patients with hypertension, as one means of decreasing blood pressure and increase in quality of life, in a study made on its effectiveness on the quality of life and blood pressure of patients with hypertension in Turkey (Erci, Sayan, Tortumluoglu, Kilic, Sahin, & Gungormus, 2003). In another study on caring for old adults, it was established that the theory was effective in improving the quality of life and peace of mind, body, and soul of the older people, just by caring and listening attentively to what they have to say (Bernick, 2004).

Through the years since the conception of the theory, Watsons work continues to evolve. In recent updates, she had offered the concept of clinical caritas processes over the original carative factors. It basically injects more spirituality and love into the framework. Such a perspective ironically places nursing within its most mature framework, consistent with the Nightingale model of nursing, yet to be actualized, but awaiting its evolution within a caring-healing theory.  Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay