Watsons Theory of Human Caring
In Watson’s theory, a single caring moment becomes a moment of possibility (Watson, 2012, chap.2). Nursing is a calling not a job. In order to be a great nurse the most important attribute you need to have is the capacity to “care”. Caring is defined “as a feeling and exhibiting concern and empathy for others; showing or having compassion” (The free Dictionary, 2002,para.2). Jean Watson was a well-educated nurse that saw that the practice of nursing was being guided in the wrong direction. She noticed starting in the “1930’s and 1940’s and epidemic of stress related illnesses that were linked to both physical and mental diseases” (Waston,2012,chap.4). So she decided using a combination of theories to develop a “human caring science”. As nurses we needed to get to the core of our patients problem. We needed to fix the root cause of what was causing their ailments and look inside their souls instead of just putting “band aids” on their physical problems and fixing it with medications. According to Human Caring Science Watson believed “as nurses we need to view human life like each of us is a magnificent spiritual being who has often been undernourished and reduced to a physical, materialistic being” (Watson, 2010, chap. 3). Jean Watson viewed a human being as a mind-body-soul and only when all of these factors were in harmony was the human being in good health. She believed it was our job as nurses to take care of the “whole human being” by making a transpersonal connection. Watsons caring theory has three major elements the caring moment, the transpersonal caring relationship, and the 10 carative factors. The transpersonal caring relationship is when the nurse and patient bond, the human to human relationship. The caring moment is the occasion when the nurse and patient come together to form the transpersonal caring relationship. There are 10 carative factors and these are the tools nurses use to properly take care of the patient “holistically”, gain the patients trust, and form a transpersonal caring relationship. Watson believed in order to build this trusting, caring relationship the nurse had to first be self-aware of their own beliefs, values, and judgmental feelings (Lachman, 2012).
A caring moment is the occasion when the nurse and patient come together in a manner for caring to occur. “An actual caring occasion presents the opportunity for each person to learn from the other how to be human, the two persons are both in the transaction of being and becoming” (Walker,1996)“Good care requires the competence to individualize care –to give care that is based on physical, physiological, and spiritual needs of the patient and family” (Lachman,2012). As a nurse at a long-term facility the residents usually live there. It is important that the nurse forms a transpersonal caring relationship with the residents. Some of these residents have no family and some do. Often time as Watson stated in a long-term care facility the nursing goal is “carative” instead of “curative”. “carative factors aim at the caring process that helps the person attain or maintain health or die a peaceful death”(Watson,2002). Caring moments should and do happen every day. One day a family was slowly watching their mother die. A caring moment can occur when you spend uninterrupted time with the patient and/or family. This caring moment occurred because a nurse was needed to help this family and patient deal with the death of their family member. The patient was an eighty two year old grandma, mother, aunt, and wife. The nurse-patient interaction related to the caring moment was making the patient’s environment more comfortable. This not only helped the patient die in peace and harmony but the family to let go without regrets and eased both the patients and families suffering.