Jean Watson is a Nursing Theorist born in West Virgina, she received her nursing degree, as well as her PhD from the University of Colorado. Watson has completed most of her work in human caring and loss. According to “Nursing Theories” (2012), “In 1988, her theory was published in “nursing human science and human care”.” Watson began her work on the caring theory and the 10 carative factors between 1975-1979, this was the start of the framework for the science and practice of nursing. She began working on this theory while teaching at the University of Colorado. According to “College Of Nursing University Of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus” (2012), Watson states her reasoning for working on the caring theory, “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. The work also was influenced by my involvement with an integrated academic nursing curriculum and efforts to find common meaning and order to nursing that transcended settings, populations, specialty, subspecialty areas, and so forth.”
Alligood (2010) stated the 10 carative factors are as follows: “ The formation of a humanistic altruistic system of values, instillation of faith-hope, cultivation of sensitivity to one’s self and to others, development of a helping-trusting relationship, promotion and acceptance of the expression of positive and negative feelings, systematic use of the scientific problem solving method for decision making, promotion of interpersonal teaching learning, provision for a supportive, protective, and corrective mental, physical, sociocultural, and spiritual environment, assistance with the gratification of human needs and the allowance of existential phenomenological forces.” These factors have laid down the foundation and basic framework for nursing and the future of nursing practice. In order to understand nursing and the practice of nursing in relation to Watson’s theory, Watson’s definitions of person, health, nursing and environment must be understood. Watson defines person as a valued being to be understood, respected, nurtured, loved, cared for, and assisted (“Nursing Theories”, 2012).
According to Alligood (2010), Watson viewed a person holistically; with the body, mind, soul being combined into a whole, but the whole is seen as greater and or different then the separate parts. Alligood (2010) stated, “Watson defined health as a subjective experience and a process of adapting, coping, and growing throughout life that is associated with the degree of congruence between self as perceived and self as experienced.” Watson has worked on the definition of health for WHO and she listed three elements to add to their definition of health. The three elements she listed are; lack of illness, an adaptive and maintaining level of daily functioning, and a high level of physical, mental and social functioning. According to “Nursing Theories” (2012), “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 transactions”.”
She saw nursing as being concerned with preventing illness, health promotion, and getting back to health from being ill. Last concept needing to be defined is environment, Environment is the reality that surrounds an individual, such as emotions, sounds, sights, smells, lighting, people, etc. Watson felt as though the environment had a great effect on the healing process of a patient. In Watson’s work she discussed what is known as the caring moment, this is a relationship between patient and nurse. According to “College Of Nursing University Of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus” (2012), “A caring moment involves an action and choice by both the nurse and the other. The moment of coming together presents them with the opportunity to decide how to be in the moment and in the relationship as where as what to do with and during the moment.”
Alligood (2010) stated the caring moment is defined as “…an intersubjective, human-to-human relationship that encompasses two unique individuals, both the nurse and the patient, in a given moment. Simultaneously the relationship transcends the two subjectivities, connecting to other higher dimensions of being and a higher/deeper consciousness that accesses the universal field and planes of inner wisdom: the human spirit realm.” Each interaction a nurse has with her patient is involved in the caring moment. From the time the nurse introduces herself to the patient she or he is trying to begin a working relationship with that patient. An example of a caring moment to me is when a nurse is caring for a patient that she has cared for on a few occasions in the past, begins by entering the room with a knock and introducing herself to the patient and the family. The nurses begins her assessment on entry of the room, she continues the assessment by talking with the patient asking about the patients day, also establishing rapport with the patient by doing this.
The nurse completes the assessment and administers medications or treatments at the appropriate time before the patient gets ready for bed. The patient asks that the nurse read a bed time story to him before he goes to sleep the nurse tells the patient she will be back in after checking on her other kids and will read the story then. As promised the nurse returns and reads the patient a bed time story and tucks him into bed, for now the caring moment for the patient and the nurse to work together is over until the patient wakes up or the nurse needs to wake the patient up for some reason. After looking into the experience that I have had with this patient, I can say that I see myself as a caring nurse that holds moral values in place by completing the job assigned and being true to my word. In looking back into the interaction I have had with this patient I learned that, whether or not I was aware of it at the time, I used Watson’s theory in more ways than one. I was able to incorporate her theory into the entire shifts events with this patient.
I believe that in nursing the nurse must be a caring, honest, just, and respectable professional. In this case I believe that my patient noticed the care that I as his nurse have for him and I think he was able to acknowledge this caring moment between him, the patient and I, the nurse. I have since worked with this patient on different occasions and the relationship that we have built works well for us, we complete the assessment, administer medications with voluntary assistance from the patient, the patient cleans up for bed, TV gets turned out, and last, we read a book and he goes to sleep. I think that this routine that we have gotten down works so well for the patient because it is the same routine as at home it has just been adjusted to fit in with the environment that surrounds the patient at this moment. I think that the patient and his mother can see the amount of care we as nurses have for him as patient. Every night that we work together the patient and I sit and come up with a plan for the night most nights it includes him helping me complete his assessment, give him his medications, and administer any care that is needed, then we read and he gets tucked in for bed.
The reward for the patient is to have a book or two read before he goes to sleep, this helps keep the patient motivated to finish all the other agreed upon tasks. The patient and his mother have had years of experience to get this routine down at home and at the hospital and it is very important that as a nurse caring for this patient you are able to accommodate the patient and mothers wishes in keeping the routine the same. In the above mentioned caring moment there were several caring factors used. The factors used were; development of a helping-trusting relationship, instillation of faith-hope, cultivation of sensitivity to one’s self and to others, systemic use of scientific problem solving for decision making, promotion of interpersonal teaching learning, and provision for a supportive, protective, and corrective mental, physical, sociocultural, and spiritual environment. The development of a helping-trusting relationship was established when the nurse introduced herself to the client and began planning the shift.
Instillation of hope was utilized when the nurse stated she would come back to read to the patient, the patient was able to understand what the nurse said and trusted/hoped the nurse would keep her word and come back. The nurse utilized cultivation of sensitivity to one’s self and to others by realizing that the story was important to the patient and kept her word to read to the patient. The nurse and the patient applied the promotion of interpersonal teaching and learning when the patient was helping the nurse complete her assessment, administering medications and providing the care the patient needed, the nurse did this by explaining what she was doing and why she was doing it to the patient while she was working. Finally we come to the last factor used; the promotion for a supportive, protective, and corrective mental, physical, sociocultural and spiritual environment; the nurse applied this by trying to make the environment and the routine used for the shift as close to the home regimen as possible, by making the environment and routine as homely as possible the patient heals faster and has a chance of a greater outcome in the long run.
Jean Watson has had many accomplishments in life one of which being the theory discussed above. Watson believes that you cannot practice nursing without having some care for those you care for. Watson’s theory has laid out the basic stepping stones in nursing and the way a patient should be treated. Watson’s theory will forever be one of the major theories in nursing that has paved the way for the future of nursing and for future nurses. I would recommend that ever nurse gets familiar with Watson’s work as well as the other nursing theorists that have influenced the profession of nursing and the standards of care used with patients. “Caring in nursing conveys physical acts, but embraces the mind body spirit as it reclaims the embodied spirit as its focus of attention. It suggests a methodology through both art and aesthetics, of being as well as knowing and doing. It concerns itself with the art of being human. It calls forth from the practitioner an authentic presencing of being in the caring moment; carrying an intentional caring-healing consciousness . . . . Nursing becomes a metaphor for the sacred feminine archetypal energy, now critical to the healing needed in modern Western nursing and medicine.” ( Watson , 1999, pp. 10-11)
Alligood, M.R. (2010). Nursing theory: Utilization & application (4th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mobsy Elsevier . College of Nursing University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus . (2012). Retrieved from http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/nursing/caring/humancaring/Pages/TranspersonalCaringandtheCaringMomentDefined.aspx Nursing Theories. (2012). Retrieved from http://currentnursing.com/nursing_theory/Watson.html Watson, J . ( 1999 ). Postmodern nursing and beyond . Edinburgh : Churchill Livingstone/Saunders .