Jean Watson’s theory of Human Care

Coming across Jean Watson’s theory of Human Care for the first time, cause the nurses and nursing students baffling finding difficulty to understand the words and phrases. The unique features of Watson’s human care relate to the observing Caritas processes, effecting Trans-personal care and Ontological competence while providing care.

Watson has her own way of expressing Love for humanity and has conveyed her message through singing bells and promotes an emerging radiating concept followed by million of nurses. She wishes that her way of human care shall evoke worldwide energy focused at unique caring consciousness affecting Health and Healing practices.

Watson’s theory is so unique, often nursing leaders and staff nurses at their meetings can not remain without mention of their experiences while practicing the basic concepts of Watson’s theory, which have become very familiar. The nurses with their ritual of singing bowls, they feel they are actually listening to patients, and as if they are seeing the patient and disease. Their attention gets focused on the patients and forgetting about many other jobs, other than related to the patients to be done. One more aspect is of respecting the colleagues and self care also.

The nurses believing in Watson’s theory realize that their job is not remaining restricted to observing the vital signs, filling forms, setting up of IV for the patients, it is much beyond in helping and healing them.

Giving Words to an Ethic:

There are estimates that Watson’s theory of Human care has already been adopted in about 100 hospitals as a guideline, in original or modified form and all this has happened over a period of 5 years. There are 20 hospitals, which are directly in contact with her and participate in her international caritas events. Some hospitals are implementing her theory in the entire hospital set up, whereas some have confined it only to nursing.

Randy Williams a professional practice coordinator states that the theory in fact is description of what do in our routine or we ought to do if not doing at present.

Watson’s theory took it’s shape around 1970, as a reaction to wide gap she witnessed in respect of science of medicine, which was technology oriented and merely concentrating on diagnosis and cure of disease overlooking the art of healing recognizing humanity as a whole and scope of personal relation between the suffering person and health care providing person.

There are 10 fundamental concepts around which the Watson’s theory of humanity care revolves names as Caritas a Latin word meaning unselfish love. The Caritas mentions of directions how to practice loving kindness? A helpful and trustworthy relation is established between the patient and nursing care provider. It involves use of scientific problem solving techniques creatively. There is a state of openness way of viewing mystery and look for the miracles happening.

It is a step ahead of patient confined caring. There is establishment of human to human contact flowing through the hearts instead of effect of physical limitations. The ethics are born out of this relationship. It is up to individuals to what degree they can adopt.

With more and more hospitals desire to have the Magnet status, or are seeking manner how to give a direction to their health care providing services. The hospitals are keen to adopt new theories in their patient care, among which Watson’s theory holds preference, which guides, what the nurses should do in providing health care to the patients.

Measure of Kindness:

Watson is exploring means for quantifying the results, which are obtained by practicing users and create an affiliation or accredited franchises of her Caring Science Institute. To proceed she has made available a tool by using which the patient gives the rating. A pilot project is in existence with the participation of few hospitals. There is another tool for nurses to respond, how they are taking care of themselves and the type of treatment received from colleagues at the place of work?

Nursing leadership in many of the hospitals have initiated it’s implementation, because there is a new shape of things they are doing and Watson’s theory gives an acceptable answer why one is adopting it for doing? It satisfies the aim of health service provider’s desire to create an environment loaded with compassion on the part of nursing staff.

Ellen Gruwell RN comments that Watson’s theory is complimentary to hospital’s foundational values of dignity, service, excellence and justice. There is encouragement to nurses to spend more time with patients for creating an emotional and spiritual link with the patient.

Watson’s theory is well received by bed side nurses, and is in practice for the last 2 years in Kaiser Medical Center, Antioch, Calif. As of now health care has achieved so much complexities that the nurses are too busy and forget the main objective for which they are in nursing field. Watson has the answer, when dealing with aspects like comfort, compassion, and self-care by the nurses, because they observe their job is too much related to forms filling and giving medicines mechanically.

In caring theory nurses find a voice, a language which takes them back to nursing schools, where they learned and written about Watson, whose real focus is remaining centered and in present moment with the patient and carrying out activities as ritual.

Walking the Talk:

Watson’s theory has taken a practical shape, being used to teach the students, using it in job description, while hiring a nurse. At some places there are meditation rooms for nurses and other staff to experience quietness. There are Carita Coaches also teaching and helping to practice the concepts of the Watson’s theory. There are success stories in circulation, giving an impetus to adopt it.

Like any other theory there are skeptics questioning the Watson’s theory due to lacking the understanding due to language problem or for any other reasons.

A few interpret is as such an emotional involvement with patients to the extent they are not in a position to make objective decision in respect of caring. Few people have suspicions of the theory about touchy-feely rituals in place of technical competency.

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