Watson's Nursing Caring Theory Term Paper

Pages: 12 (3295 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing


The theoretical base of Dr. Jean Watson's Nursing Theory or 'Caring' in nursing is expressed best by Dr. Jean Watson who states that:

This outer world of medicine and hospitalized orientations to ethical dilemmas and humane human practices has seemingly stripped nursing of its heart and soul as well as its language knowledge, and voice. Yet, the irony is that the Self of nurses, the Self of systems and even society can no longer survive. This is the time, if nursing is to survive, to bring forth its voice, heart and soul and informed moral actions to attend to sustaining and flourishing of human caring work in our world. This is a moment whereby nursing can locate itself in a Caring Science and allow its ethic of Belonging, Caring (and Love) to be the starting point for its science. (Watson, 2005b p.2)

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Dr. Watson's work entitled: "Love and Caring: Ethics of Face and; Hand: An Invitation to Return to the Heart and Soul of Nursing and our Deep Humanity"...ancient poetry and wisdom traditions" integrating the philosophical view of "Levinas and Logstrup. This theory is informed by: "contemporary European philosophies. Watson states that "the metaphysics, metaphors and meanings associated with 'ethics of face' the 'infinity of the human soul' and 'holding another's life in our hands' are tied to a deeply ethical foundation for the timeless practice of love and caring, as a means to sustain, not only our shared humanity but the profession of nursing itself." Watson relates that the art or skill of nursing has over the progression of attaining more knowledge or acquiring more information has simultaneously lost it's connection to the timeless wisdom of applied nursing in terms of the 'caring' and administering of that caring to the whole person in helping them heal or regain their health.

II. Dr. Jean Watson - Caring in Nursing

TOPIC: Term Paper on Watson's Nursing Caring Theory Assignment

In the exploration of Watson's Nursing Theory of Caring, the work of Rexroth and Davidbizar (2003) is reviewed and the statement of the authors relating the fact the U.S. is a society that is increasingly multicultural and pluralistic because of the "increasing numbers of ethnic minorities" in the United States population is noted. The fact is that many of today's healthcare professionals lack the cultural competency required to meets today's healthcare needs. Rexroth and Davdbizar (2003) further inform the reader that: "All healthcare providers, and particularly nurses and nurse practitioners (NPs) who are on the front lines of patient care must be skilled in providing culturally appropriate and competent care." (2003) The decade of the 1990s witnessed the addition of cultural diversity in healthcare to the curriculum in nursing however,."..many nurses now in the workforce received their education before these curricular changes were made. This has resulted in a significant knowledge deficit in the area of cultural competency among non-ethnic nurses across the nation." (Ibid)

Rexroth and Davidbizar (2003) note the following common characteristics "to every ethnic minority healthcare delivery setting:

1) Limited number of healthcare facilities and equipment;

2) Language barriers;

3) Inadequate numbers of healthcare providers for ethnic minorities;

4) Lack of health insurance coverage in the ethnic minority population;

5) Lack of knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity and increased potential for cultural bias by healthcare providers. (Rexroth and Davidbizar, 2003)

The nurse practitioner must become comfortable in the treatment of and communication with patients who are culturally diverse. Rexroth and Davidbizar (2003) state that this is best accomplished through 'becoming culturally sensitive." This cultural sensitivity will be perceived by the patient as 'caring' on the part of the nurse practitioner. (Ibid) Rexroth and Davidbizar (2003) state that this: "...exemplifies the transcendence of cultural diversity and the interpersonal bond of trust which is an end product of the caring." Dr. Jean Watson states that "human caring involves a transpersonal relationship between the nurse and her patient. This is a special kind of human care relationship - a union with a high regard for the whole person and their being in the world. (p.63) (cited in Rexroth & Davidbizar, 2003)

Roxie L. Foster, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado at Denver & Health Sciences Center writes that: "Caring theory has deep roots in philosophy and ethics and, in recent years, has become more closely aligned with Rogerian science of unitary human beings (Watson & Smith, 2002)" Foster also relates that in a meta-analysis of 130 studies conducted between the years of 1980 and 1996 "Swanson (1999) chronicled consequences of caring for patients and nurses. Patients indicted positive emotional-spiritual outcomes, physical outcomes, and social outcomes." (Foster, 2006)

Jean Watson proposes new reasons to some theoretical notions of transpersonal caring as follows: "Each thought and each choice that is made" in the nursing practice "carries spirit energy into our lives" and the lives of others. Watson further states that our "consciousness, out intentionality, our presence, makes a difference for better or for worse" and that "Calmness and mindfulness in a caring moment beget calmness and mindfulness." Third is stated: "Caring and love beget caring and love" and fourth stated is: "Caring and compassionate acts of love beget healing for self and others" and finally is stated that: "Transpersonal caring becomes transformative, liberating us to live and practice love and caring in our ordinary lives in non-ordinary ways."(Watson, nd)

Precisely what is it that Watson intends to relate in these statements? Clearly, that the choices of the nurse infuses our lives and those the nurse comes in contact with a spiritual energy and that energy may be either positive or 'for better' or negative or 'for worse' type energy. Watson tells the nurse that when caring and love are given that reciprocal caring and love are experience in return. Caring for others has the capacity to transform and free the nurse to show love and caring in the nursing practice in small seemingly inconsequential ways as well as in larger more unordinary ways. The role of those interacting are forgotten as well as the status as each individual is given honor and recognition for who they are as an individual. Communication is done with "compassion and an open heart" and in a manner of respect and patiently listening to what is said focusing attention on the individual this is to Watson: "a healing gift of self." Finally Watson states that one must learn "to be still" and "center" oneself. Responsibilities and workloads have made the nurse's role in care of patients more critical than before in the current state of healthcare which tends to be "dehumanizing" to the patient. Caring has always been considered to the "Core of Nursing" and it is the responsibility of the nurse in findings "ways to preserve their caring practice and Jean Watson's caring theory can be seen as indispensable to this goal." In fact the nurse who is informed by the caring theory of Watson allows the nurse to 'return to our deep professional roots and values" which is stated to represent "the archetype of an ideal nurse."

Watson (2001) states that the primary elements within her theory are:

a) Carative factors;

b) The transpersonal caring relationship; and The caring occasion/caring moment." (Chantel, nd).

Carative is a world used by Dr. Watson in contrast to the 'curative' in conventional medicine stating that carative factors are those which "attempt to honor the human dimensions of nursing work and the inner life world and subjective experiences of the people we serve" (Watson, 997b, p. 50) The 'carative factors' are comprised of 10 elements:

1) Humanistic-altruistic; system of value;

2) Faith-Hope;

3) Sensitivity to self and others;

4) Helping-trusting, human care relationship;

5) Expressing positive and negative feelings;

6) Creative problem-solving caring process;

7) Transpersonal teaching-learning;

8) Supportive, protective, and/or corrective mental, physical, societal, and spiritual environment;

9) Human needs assistance; and 10) Existential-phenomenological-spiritual forces. (Watson, 1988b, p. 75)

Dr. Jean Watson in her work entitled: "Caring Science: Belonging Before Being as Ethical Cosmology" presents her views on the ethics of nursing from the perspective of caring science. Watson states that the field of ethics is mainstream discourse is dominated by dualities in that the first view "is often dealing with rational decision-making, related to public, neon lights headlines of biomedical-technical ethical dilemmas" and the second perspective is dealing with "more intimate, private, relational contextual human-meaning ethical decisions." However in the view of Watson this cannot be one or the other but is inherently both in reality as used together these approaches render a "more balanced integrated view." (Watson, 2005)

In the both/and model Watson states that "an expanding model emerges that is especially relevant for nursing and the increasingly acknowledged relational caring-context in which nursing dwells."(Watson, 2005) It is in this work that Watson explains the philosophy of Levinas (1969-2000) which is an European philosophy with "notions of totality and infinity" that serve to remind one of the belongingness to oneself in the "infinite universal field of consciousness of Spirit/energy/Source" and it is at this place the starting point of ethics may be… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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