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Jean Watsons 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.



The student will create a PowerPoint and include speaker notes that may be added to the speaker note section on each slide. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay
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)

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 Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

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).  Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay
Watson believed that practice and knowledge are essential for building a caring-healing framework (Bailey, 2009, p. 18). If we just do one without the other, I personally do not think we will obtain the same results. We need to be caring toward our patients and show them we care; but we also need to do medical interventions that will bring the caring and healing together, Watson’s seven basic assumptions of the science of caring as follows: 1) Caring can only be effectively demonstrated and practiced interpersonally. 2) Caring consists of carative factors that lead to the satisfaction of certain human needs. 3) Effective caring health and growth for the individual and family. 4) Caring responses accept a person the way he or she is no matter how he or she may change in the future. 5) A caring environment allows the patient to choose the best action for him that offers the development of potential at any time. 6) Caring is more healthogenic than curing. Caring is complimentary to the science of curing. 7) The practice of nursing is central to nursing (Bailey, 2009, p. 18). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Jean Watson is a highly educated woman (having graduate degrees in nursing and mental health nursing as well as a PhD in educational psychology and counselling) who has devoted the better part of her professional career to developing her theory of human caring. She is currently a Professor of Nursing at the University of Colorado, has been involved in numerous organizations, and has authored/co-authored over 20 books on caring. (website). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring emphasizes the value of nurses forming a relationship with their clients and treating them as individuals rather than objects. The first part of the theory is called the human care process, which is made of up three sub concepts. The second part of the theory incorporates three concepts that come together to for the human care transactions. Watson’s Theory of Human Caring has developed gradually throughout her career and has been critiqued and used in research by many scholars. I am confident that I will apply all aspects of Watson’s Theory of Human Caring to my own practice, but I will focus on how I will use several of Watson’s carative factors in my practice. Watson’s …show more content…
(21-Century). Although Watson considered the contents of the book to be a “perspective on nursing and caring rather than a theory… [it] fits with Hardy’s (1978) description of a theory in the early stages of development”(an analysis and evaluation). Her theory of human caring continued to evolve as Watson looked deeper into other conceptual and philosophical problems in nursing. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Nursing theories are undeniably being taken for granted because they are not yet facts. Little do these people know that without nursing theories, health care would not be as efficient and effective as it is today. Because of this, this paper is designed to appreciate the theory with Jean Watson as proponent. Her theory on caring will prove how important it is for nurses to show concern to their patients. The relationship of the nurse and the patient is crucial in the recovery and healing stage of the patient, and this theory explains all the reasons why. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Nursing theories are important in health care, and not a lot of nurses and other medical practitioners know that. Some of them think that nursing theories are only for school, in which student nurses review these for a long exam or a simple class recitation. Nursing theories are as important as nursing facts because without these theories, nurses would not be able to fully apply what they have learned in school. One of the most effective theorists of all times is Jean Watson. She is known for her Theory of Caring.

Before Jean Watson’s Caring Theory is discussed, it will help to know the theorist’s background first. Watson is a nursing scholar who now resides in Boulder, Colorado but was born and raised in West Virginia (McEwen and Willis, 2007, p. 191).

She had her undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado where she finished psychology and nursing. Her hunger for knowledge manifested when she finished her master’s degree. She had psychiatric-mental health nursing as her MA, and educational psychology and counseling as her Ph.D (McEwen and Willis, 2007, p. 191). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

“At the School of Nursing in University of Colorado, Watson is the Murchinson-Scoville Chair in Caring Science and also a Distinguished Professor in Nursing. She is the founder of the Colorado’s Center for Human Caring (McEwen and Willis, 2007, p. 191).” She is also affiliated to the American Academy of Nursing and it is no surprise that she has received numerous honorary doctoral degrees and other honors both from the national and the international scene (McEwen and Willis, 2007, p. 191).

Because of her theory of human caring, and her philosophies that shaped her opinions and insights, Jean Watson was able to publish a book explaining her theory. Today, her theory is being taught in schools. Nurses from the different parts of the globe study her thoughts and insights (McEwen and Willis, 2007, p. 191).

According to Jean Watson, her theory is bound by three basic elements. The first element is the carative factor. “When it comes to ‘caractive’ factor, Watson includes ten steps in her theoretical framework (McEwen and Willis, 2007, p. 191).” The “Caractive” Factor Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

These ten steps include altruistic and humanistic system of values, presence of hope and love, being sensitive not only to the self but also to other people, fostering relationships that are trustworthy and helpful, expressing feelings which can either be positive or negative, being able to know how to solve problems and be caring at the same time, how to learn and how to teach in a transpersonal manner, developing a supportive environment, being able to assist the needs of fellow humans and lastly, being sensitive to forces that are spiritual, phenomenological and existential (Johnson and Bayliss, 2004, p. 173).

As Watson developed her theory, she made it known the idea of “clinical caritas process” which is now what people study in lieu of her “caractive” factors. With these new processes, it can be seen that there is a larger and more enormous spiritual dimension involved. Caritas is a Greek word that means to give attention, to treasure or to cherish. Now, below are some ways in which Watson applies the caractive factors in caring for clinical patients (Johnson and Bayliss, 2004, p. 173).

Caritas can be applied when practicing love, equanimity and kindness as long as a nurse is under conscious caring. A nurse should also be present because the one being taken care of has to have his or her subjective world and belief system supported and enabled. Patients must be taught how to sustain and develop their transpersonal selves, their spiritual practices, compassion and the way they are sensitive with other people (Johnson and Bayliss, 2004, p. 173). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Caring relationship must be developed at all times, and must be sustained with trust and a helping environment. It is also important to support and be aware of how a patient expresses feelings, be it negative or positive, in order for the patient to be closer with his or her inner self (Johnson and Bayliss, 2004, p. 173). Of course, this way, the bonding between the nurse and the patient is also cultivated.

To properly care for the patient, it is important to be creative, too, because this way, the nurse will surely have to find ways to know how to care for the patient in a better way. “Creativity is important when it comes to healing and caring practices” (Johnson and Bayliss, 2004, p. 173). Of course, caring is an art, so creativity is needed in this theory.

It is also important to engage in a real experience bound by teaching and learning. In a real teaching-learning experience, the nurse must be able to let the patient know how to unite meaning and being and at the same time, the nurse should also be able to teach the patient to stay inside the frame of reference of other people (Johnson and Bayliss, 2004, p. 173).

A healing environment is also important for a patient, be it a physical or a non-physical environment. The healing environment must be characterized by peace, dignity, comfort, beauty, wholeness, consciousness and of course, energy (Johnson and Bayliss, 2004, p. 173). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Assisting the patient with his or her basic needs is also crucial, because this is where a nurse administers the essentials of human care. When these essentials are employed, it automatically means that the mind, body and spirit of the patient are all united. He or she has to understand the unity of being and wholeness (Marriner-Tomey and Alligood, 2006, p. 105).

This way, the nurse is able to evolve the emergence of the spirit, and attend to the embodied spirit in a patient. Human care in Watson’s theory is therefore not just all about caring for the sick, but for showing kindness and concern for the soul (Marriner-Tomey and Alligood, 2006, p. 105).

The Transpersonal Caring Relationship

The second element of Watson’s theory is the “transpersonal caring relationship”.

Transpersonal caring relationship, according to Watson, “focuses not on ordinary care, but on a special one that relies on the following: the moral commitment of the nurse when it comes to shielding human dignity and spiritual self, and that is just one” (Marriner-Tomey and Alligood, 2006, p. 105). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

The caring consciousness of the nurse which he or she expresses in order to honor and preserve the self and the soul, thereby not decreasing the perspective for a person into someone with a moral status of a material thing is another. The caring consciousness of the nurse is also needed when it comes to healing because with this process, what takes place are connection that’s intentional along with perception and experience (Marriner-Tomey and Alligood, 2006, p. 105).

Transpersonal relationship is about how a nurse does not only administer objective assessment but beyond it as well. A nurse should care about the deeper meaning of the patient’s health care. He or she should understand the subjective part of the patient’s personality.

A nurse does not only assist the doctor or assist the patient when taking in medicine. A nurse is also responsible for helping the patient understand his or her perspective and in this way, the mutuality between the patient and the nurse is better appreciated (Marriner-Tomey and Alligood, 2006, p. 105).

Mutuality, of course, has to be achieved the whole time because this is important to the relationship as the patient is healing and recovering. As a result, one is called the “caring one”, and the other is referred to as the one being cared for. They both connect to look for wholeness and meaning (Marriner-Tomey and Alligood, 2006, p. 105). What is truly achieved in this connection is pain’s spiritual transcendence. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Why, then, is the term “transpersonal” used? Transpersonal, in this context, is about going beyond the ego today, right at this moment, as an inpidual reaches more profound and more defined spiritual connections in encouraging healing and comfort. The goal of this theory’s element is to promote inner harmony, wholeness, humanity and dignity, and at the same time preserve all of these (Marriner-Tomey and Alligood, 2006, p. 105).

The Caring Moment or The Caring Occasion

According to Watson, a caring moment is the time when a patient and a nurse unites, fostering human caring. The two engage in human-to-human interaction even when they both are different from each other. A field matches an inpidual’s frame of reference. Summing up the experience of humans, it can be found out that this is made of meaning, perceptions, considerations, expectations, goals, beliefs, thoughts, sensations and feelings. All these depend on the history of the inpidual’s life, and everything that happened to him or her in the past. It is also based on the present moment, and of course, on how the person sees his or her future (Marriner-Tomey and Alligood, 2006, p. 105). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Clinical Application

To apply this theory, then, a nurse must be aware of Jean Watson’s theory for him or her to know that he or she should stay beside a patient and for sharing a caring moment. This way, the nurse will know how to properly handle the patient and the situation as the nurse discusses the various goals of a patient’s hospitalization (Zraigat, 2007, p. 5).

The patient, on the other hand, will learn how to understand why he is in the hospital. He will learn to accept the treatments being administered to him. He will be aware of the status of his health and therefore, he himself will find ways to make his situation better (Zraigat, 2007, p. 5).

A nurse will share a caring moment with the patient. The nurse will assure the patient that whatever grief is being experienced at the moment, the nurse experiences it, too. The nurse will learn to find ways through this theory, on how to reach out to the patient emotionally, while making sure that the patient is comfortable (Zraigat, 2007, p. 6). Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Dr. Jean Watson developed the Theory of Human Caring during 1975-1979. At the time, she was a faculty member at the University of Colorado. The theory emerged from Watson’s own views regarding nursing as well as her doctoral studies in social, clinical, and educational psychology. The development of the theory was Watson’s initial effort aimed at bringing focus and meaning to nursing discipline as an emerging field and also as a unique health profession having its own distinctive practices, mission to society, knowledge, values, and ethics. In developing the theory, Watson also drew influence from her participation in an integrated nursing curriculum and efforts aimed at discovering a common order and meaning in nursing that surpassed subspecialty and specialty areas, populations, and settings. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Based on Watson’s emerging perspective, she explicitly stated that nursing practices, knowledge, philosophy and ethics associated with human caring need clear and structured worldview and concepts that underlie nursing as a unique profession and discipline. The Theory of Human Caring transcends the physical worldview to include inner, inter-subjective, and subjective meanings, the core process of healing, and the life experiences of an individual. The original Theory of Human Caring developed by Watson advocated the need of distinctive caring-healing arts. Watson labelled the processes involving human caring as the 10 carative factors, which are complementary to the traditional medicine but are contrasted with the “curative factors.”Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Since the original development of the theory in 1979, it has been revised several times in 1981, 1985, and the 1990s, which led to the creation of a more updated and detailed view of the 10 caritas processes in 2011, towards understanding caring as a sacred science, and the development of a global consciousness for leaders. The original theory developed in 1979 was based on the ten carative factors as the underlying framework to guide nursing. While the ten carative factors are still essential in nursing, Watson considered the term factor as being too stagnant; thus, she extended the carative factors to caritas processes in order to reflect the contemporary and dynamic nature of these ideas. Over time, the theory has evolved from the ten carative factors to clinical caritas processes.

The present form of the theory of caring provides links among healing, human caring, and peace in the world since nurses act as caritas peacemakers when exercising caring for others and for themselves. This shift is characterized by moving towards a more spiritual/metaphysical emphasis on transpersonal caring. It also marks a transition from the ontological caring science towards the metaphysical paradigm caring science.Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

The purpose of Watson’s theory of caring is to balance the cure aspect of medicine and give nursing its distinctive professional, scientific, and disciplinary standards. Essentially, Watson’s theory of caring was developed with the aim of bringing meaning to nursing as a distinct health discipline which is focused on caring rather than curing.

The original Watson’s Theory of Human Caring comprised seven assumptions. The first assumption is that, for caring to be practiced and demonstrated effectively, it should be interpersonal. The second assumption of this theory is that caring encompasses carative factors that lead to the satisfaction of certain human’s needs. The third assumption is that effective caring plays a crucial role in promoting the health of an individual or a family. Fourth, the Theory of Human Caring is based on the presumption that caring responses embrace the individual as he/she currently is, as well as what he/she might become in the future. The fifth assumption is that a caring environment is characterized by developing the potential while enabling the person to elect the best course of action at a specified point in time. The sixth assumption is that caring tends to be more healthogenic when compared to curing; however, caring science complements the curing science. The final assumption suggests that caring is an essential aspect of nursing.Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay


Key Concepts and Propositions
The key concepts in the Watson’s Theory of Human Caring (original and emergent) are the 10 carative factors later transposed to carative processes; the transpersonal caring moment; caring intentionality/consciousness and energetic presence; and caring healing-modalities. The original carative factors included forming a humanistic-altruistic value system; instilling hope and faith; cultivating sensitivity to others and oneself; developing a trusting-helping and human caring relationship; promoting and accepting the expression of both negative and positive feelings; using the process of creative problem-solving caring in a systematic manner; promoting transpersonal teaching and learning; providing protective, corrective, and supportive spiritual, societal, physical, and mental environment; assisting with gratifying human needs; and allowing for the existence of spiritual forces.Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

These caritas have been transposed into caritas processes. Forming a humanistic-altruistic value system is transposed into practicing kindness, love and equanimity in caring consciousness. Instilling hope and faith now entails authentic presence and facilitating and maintaining a deep system of beliefs. Cultivating sensitivity to others and oneself has now been transposed to cultivating one’s transpersonal self and spiritual practices, transcending the ego of oneself and opening oneself to others in a compassionate and sensitive manner. Developing a trusting-helping and human caring relationship has now been transposed to the development and maintenance of an authentic helping-trusting relationship. Promoting and accepting the expression of both negative and positive feelings now entail being supportive of as well as present to the articulation of both negative and positive feelings as a means of connecting with oneself and the person who is being cared for – listening to the story of another person in an authentic manner. Using the process of creative problem-solving caring in a systematic manner has now been transposed to using the self creatively and engaging in the art of caring. Promoting transpersonal teaching and learning now involves engagement in a genuine teaching and learning experience along with striving to stay in the frames of reference of the person being cared for. Providing protective, corrective, and supportive spiritual, societal, physical, and mental environment has now been transposed to the creation of a healing environment at various levels including non-physical and physical environment. Assisting with gratifying human needs now includes providing help with basic needs during the caring process. Lastly, allowing for the existence of spiritual forces which means attending to and embracing spiritual-mysterious dimensions – accepting the possibility of miracles.Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

The transpersonal caring moment takes place at any time when the nurse and another person interact with each other in a human-to-human transaction. This interaction is characterized as transcendent. It also involves both a choice and an action by nurse and the other person. This moment provides an opportunity for both the nurse and the patient to make a decision regarding how to behave as far as the relationship is concerned. In case of transpersonal caring, both the nurse and the patient feel connected to each other at the spiritual level; as a result, this moment goes beyond the limits of space and time to open novel possibilities for human connection and healing at levels beyond the physical interaction.Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Regarding the concept of caring consciousness, Watson states that consciousness is required for transpersonal caring to manifest itself. The transpersonal aspect associated with a caring moment depends significantly on the consciousness/intentionality of the nurse during the caring moment. Consciousness plays an important role in ensuring an interrelation between the caring individual and the individual being cared for. In addition, it also guarantees that the healing/caring process is connected to the higher cosmic energy as well as other humans. Watson posits that the nurse’s consciousness is projected into the person being cared for, and that consciousness surpasses the space-time and physical boundaries. the existence of nurse’s caritas consciousness, intentionality, and moral commitment aid in potentiating, promoting, enhancing, and protecting human healing, wholeness, and dignity, in which individuals generates their own understanding for dying and living, wholeness, healing, and existence. Also, the consciousness and will of a health practitioner encourage the significance of individual’s subjective-spiritual condition when pursuing to withstand caring during despair and threat. The intentional caring during transpersonal loving or caring unity of being, wholeness, and consciousness results in harmony through avoiding disharmony, and removing blocked energy that affects the process of natural healing. Therefore, individuals are helped by nurses to access the healer within, in the sense of Nightingale’s thoughts on nursing through natural healing process. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Regarding caring modalities, Watson proposed that the level of transpersonal spirit-to-spirit connection between an individual and a practitioner is interpreted through various human, esthetic, technical, and scientific communication means inside nursing healing modalities or acts as well as verbal expressions, sound, touch, information, procedures, facial expressions, gestures, and movements.

Congruence with Nursing Discipline
The Theory of Human Caring places a lot of focus on the humanistic aspects associated with nursing and their interrelationships with nursing practice and nursing knowledge. The science of caring also incorporates spiritual dimensions in the nursing practice. The theory covers the nurse-patient interaction and the ways in which this interaction can surpass the objective evaluation to be characterized by the development an important caring relationship that involves understanding the perspective of the other person and creating a mutual bond. The theory is congruent with nursing because Watson provided a definition of all the four metaparadigm concepts in nursing, which are the person (human being), health, nursing, and the environment. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

In the Theory of Human Caring, nursing has been defined as the study of persons and human health such as disorder understanding that are mediated by ethical, esthetic, scientific, personal, and professional human care transactions. The environment is perceived as providing values that governs the behavior and objectives of an individual. Watson states that caring has existed in every society, at least a person who cared for others. A caring attitude is conveyed through the profession culture indicating an outstanding way of coping with its environment, but it is not transmitted from one generation to another by genes. Concerning health, it is defined as a high level of general social, mental, and physical functioning. Additionally, it is the level of overall adaptive-maintenance of everyday effectiveness, illness absence, and the availability of efforts causing the absence of illness. It is accompanied by the rate of congruence between the self as experienced and the self as perceived; it is harmony and unity surrounding the soul, body, and mind. The human being is viewed as much greater and diverse creation. Human being is a person that needs care, assistance, understanding, nurturing and respect.

Published Studies that Have Tested/Used the Theory
Numerous research studies have employed the Theory of Human Caring as a basis for improving patient care. An example of such a study is one by Arslan‐Özkan, Okumuş, & Buldukoğlu, who embarked on exploring the impacts of a nursing care intervention designed using the Theory of Human Caring on distress stemming from perceived self-efficacy, being infertile, and the levels of adjustment. The authors designed a randomized controlled trial study involving 105 infertile Turkish women, with 52 in the intervention group and 53 in the control group. Data for the research was gathered by the Infertility Distress Scale, Fertility Adjustment Scale, and the Infertility Self-Efficacy Scale. The treatment group received an intervention designed using the Theory of Human Caring. The findings of the research indicated that the intervention group had higher self-efficacy and adjustment scores, in comparison to significantly lower infertility distress scores. The authors concluded that the nursing care that hinges upon the Theory of Human Caring can help to lower the negative impacts associated with infertility among women significantly, and can also increase their adjustment and self-efficacy. Another study by Vandenhouten, Kubsch, Peterson, Murdock, & Lehrer, who sought to identify the fact that affect the perceived professional caring among nurses. The study was performed with 242 nurses who completed a questionnaire based on the Theory of Human Caring. The findings of their research indicated that nurses who were more familiar with this theory showed higher scores for caring. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Clinical Case Appropriate for the Application of the Theory
An appropriate clinical case that the Theory of Human Caring can be applied to involves caring for a patient who has been hospitalized with a heart disease. The patient is a devout Christian who believes in prayers. The patient explains that he wishes to have fully recovered before Christmas because his grandson is visiting him. However, he is worried that the treatment might take longer than expected, and he is not even sure that it will be effective. The patient also expresses worries with his heart condition which may fail at any time. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Nursing Assessment and Interventions that would be Necessary to Apply the Theory
In such a case, the nurse must strive to create a caring moment by engaging in conversations with the patient focusing on their life experiences and their expectations among others. This theory requires nurses to view the patient as a holistic being irrespective of their illness in order to create a caring experience. It is important to establish a connection during the first interaction. Welcoming the patient is equally important. The next step that the nurse should undertake would involve making arrangements to ensure that the patient’s environment is comfortable for him. It is also imperative for the patient and the nurse to share common experiences for the healing to be enhanced. In such a case, besides the conventional medical treatment, the nurse should continually instill hope and faith and provide support to the patient. The patient might request for prayers to be conducted within the hospital facilities. In the event of such a request, the nurse should not deny his request. Instead, the nurse should agree to the prayers, which is an indication of the belief that miracles do happen. The nurse should also accept the patient unconditionally and spend considerable time with the patient to show genuine concern for the patient’s condition. Since the patient had expressed negative feelings, the nurse should encourage the patient and inform that he needs to do his best to ensure that the treatment goes as planned – this involves prioritizing the needs of the patient. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

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