NUR/403 – Theories and Models of Nursing Practice
October 27, 2014
Watson’s Theory of Human Caring
Watson’s Theory of Human Caring is valuable to the nursing profession. Alligood (2010) stated “Watson defines caring as the ethical and moral ideal of nursing” (p. 111), which entails that nursing is all about caring. Without caring in nursing then what is there to do, just actions ordered by doctors and meaningless medical treatment to the patient who will not be cared for holistically (Cook & Cullen, 2003). According to Cook and Cullen (2003) “Caring is a universal need that is an important component in the delivery of nursing care” (p. 1). In this paper, I will be focusing on Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, but more so, about a personal experience of a patient-nurse interaction which Watson called the caring moment. In the following pages, I will give a background about Watson’s theory, define and describe a caring moment, and explain the implication of the Human Caring Theory in my caring moment.
The first publication of Watson’s Theory of Human Caring was in 1979 (Blais & Hayes, 2011). The Human Caring theory addresses caring relationships between humans and the deep experiences of life (Watson, 2012). The center of nursing as described by Watson (2012) is on helping the patient achieve a higher degree of harmony within mind, body, and soul. Watson's theory incorporates a holistic approach to patient care and focuses on the relationship between the patient and nurse (Noel, 2010).
According to Blais and Hayes (2011), Watson’s theory of caring includes three major concepts: “carative factors, transpersonal caring relationship, and caring moment/caring occasion” (p. 108). The carative factors guide nurses and specify the meaning of the relationship of nurse and patient as human beings (Chitty & Black, 2010). Carative factors involve the promotion of faith, love, trust, hope, caring, selflessness, spirituality, energy, and understanding (Wade & Kasper, 2006). The transpersonal caring relationship “connotes a special kind of human care relationship – a connection with another person" (Watson, 2012, p. 75). Transpersonal caring means to go beyond one's ego and reach a deeper spiritual connection while comforting a patient (Watson, 2012). So the nurse must go beyond the objective role as to be just a nurse. Caring moment “occurs whenever the nurse and another come together in a given moment for human-to-human transaction” (Blais & Hayes, 2011, p. 109).
Caring Moment A caring moment occurs whenever the nurse and the individual come "together with their unique life histories and phenomenal field in a human caring connection comprise[s] an event" (Watson, 2012, p. 71). A caring moment involves an action and choice by both the nurse and the individual (Watson, 2012). It is a moment of coming together presents the nurse and the individual with the opportunity to decide how to be at the moment and the relationship (Watson, 2012).
Patient-Nurse Interaction I believe in my short time as a nurse, as an LVN I was involved in plenty of caring moments at a long term facility I worked at. I feel that the moments that I had with my patient were those described by Watson's caring moment. A story comes up to my head where I was dealing with a dying patient and his family. I was in the pm shift, and the patient was just admitted on my shift. It was the job of my supervisor and me to do the admission and make sure the patient and family got comfortable with the unit and staff. I believe the moments that I had with the patient and family was a caring moment because it was then where I built a transpersonal caring relationship with the patient and the family. The relationship I build that night through the caring moments transcended for them to ask for me whenever I was working and insisted I were to be their nurse in future