Watson’s Carative Paper
Within recent years, there has been an increase in the amount of restructuring among hospital administrations. These changes have greatly affected a nurse’s workload and responsibilities, while still requiring them to provide an optimal level of care for patients; thus, hospitals are at a greater risk for dehumanizing patient care (Cara, n.d.). The push to preserve human caring within clinical, administrative, educational, and research realms has prompted healthcare professionals to search for a way to interconnect the patient and his or her caregivers.
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Theorists such as Jean Watson have sought to preserve the caring practice that is fundamental in hospitals. Watson’s caring theory allows those within the nursing profession to transcend the idea of going through the motions of their job, and emerge into a profession of caring and healing with dignity. Studies have shown that by using Watson’s caring theory, the results produce better care, an increase in positive health outcomes, an increase in patient satisfaction, and an increase in the caregiver’s satisfaction (Cara, n.d.). According to Watson, by involving “charity, compassion and generosity of spirit”, health and healing are possible (2010). Two of Watson’s carative factors that are worth mentioning in regard to achieving an optimal relationship between care provider and patient are the development of a helping-trusting relationship, and assistance with gratification of human needs.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the basic human needs must be met before an individual can seek additional internal motivations. These physiological needs can be considered “human care essentials”, which are essential to achieving holism (Robinson, Swensson, & Chambers, n.d.). In relation to Watson’s carative factors, the basic needs of an individual seeking care may stem beyond physiology, and integrate with emotional and spiritual needs as well. During a health assessment, a nurse can implement Watson’s carative factor #9, which is assistance of gratification of human needs. “Assisting the patient with his/her basic needs is also crucial because this is where a nurse administers the essentials of human care. When these essentials are employed, it automatically means that the mind, body, and spirit of the patient are all united” (Dickson, V. V., & Wright, F. (2012). This process begins with the health assessment, in which it is important to provide a safe, private, quiet area for the patient. If the patient is accompanied by a family member, the nurse should become acquainted to the family member as well; however, the caretaker should confirm with the patient that he or she does not mind the family member being present. During the assessment, the caretaker should sit across from the patient at eye level, and give undivided attention while asking the questions. As the patient answers the questions, the nurse should express respect for their perceptions of the world (Watson, 2010), and their individual needs. By providing the basic necessities for each individual, the nurse has a greater chance to connect with that individual, thus promoting patient satisfaction and potentially greater patient outcomes.
In order to assess, diagnose, and treat a patient effectively, the caregiver must develop a helping-trusting relationship with that individual. According to Watson’s carative factor #4 the development of a helping-trusting (human caring) relationship, this relationship can be achieved through empathy, communicating, and expressing unconditional positive regard (Watson, 2010). When taking a health assessment on a patient, it is important to promote trust, hope, and understanding by addressing his or her concerns with empathy and understanding, and being truly present. During an assessment on a patient, the caregiver can begin to develop a helping trusting relationship by using effective communication skills, the use of appropriate touch, and portraying genuineness, sensitivity, and honesty, regardless of the patient’s situation. Once the trust has been established, an effective plan of treatment can be implemented. If the patient sees the caregiver as someone who truly cares about them, it enables an open space for encouraging healthy behaviors, promoting healthy growth, and proactive problem solving. By developing a helping-trusting relationship with patients, a nurse can expect interconnection between himself/herself and his/her patients, ultimately creating potential for more positive health outcomes and patient satisfaction.
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In conclusion, Jean Watson’s theories help to create a healing environment in which emphasize wellness of the whole. When a caregiver is taking care of a patient, he or she must align and unite mind, body, and spirit, to potentiate healing (Cara, n.d.). A nurse’s role has many facets; however, their role in healing is to demonstrate an intimate and trustworthy relationship with patient (Dossey & Keegan 2013), and to exemplify empathy, as well as providing and assisting with basic needs by administering the essentials of human care. Creating a healing environment that surpasses the physical realm, and enters into all aspects of care is instrumental in enhancing patient outcomes. By implementing these two carative factors, caregivers have a chance to produce better care, an increase in positive health outcomes, an increase in patient satisfaction, and an increase in the caregiver’s satisfaction
- Cara, C. (2003). A Pragmatic View of Jean Watson’s Caring Theory. International Journal of Human Caring,7(3), 51-62. doi:10.20467/1091-5710.7.3.51
- Dossey, B. M., & Keegan, L. (2013). Holistic nursing: A handbook for practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
- Dickson, V. V., & Wright, F. (2012). Nursing Theorists and Their Work (7th ed.) by M. R. Alligood and A. M. Tomey (Eds.) (Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby Elsevier, 2010). Nursing Science Quarterly, 25(2), 203–204.
- Johnson, B. M. and Bayliss, P. (2004). An Introduction to Theory and Reasoning in Nursing. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
- Robinson, J. T., Swensson, E., & Chambers, M. (n.d.). Applying Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to human-centered design translating HCAHPS results into designs that support improved care delivery. Retrieved January 20, 2019, from https://www.aia.org/pages/22611-applying-maslows-hierarchy-of-needs-to-human
- Watson, J. (2010, November). Academic Paper prepared for Honorary Doctorate Award. Retrieved January 20, 2019, from https://www.watsoncaringscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HonoraryDoctaddresswatsonjean-Spain2010.pdf
- Watson, J. (2010). Core Concepts of Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring/Caring Science. Retrieved January 20, 2019, from https://www.watsoncaringscience.org/files/PDF/watsons-theory-of-human-caring-core-concepts-and-evolution-to-caritas-processes-handout.pdf
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