Watson's Theory

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Watson’s Theory

Eric Peppers, RN

NUR/403 Version 2
Theories and Models of Nursing Practice
August 9, 2012
Marsha Eaton, RN, MSN

Jean Watson’s Theory of Caring

The only constant in health care is change. Changes in treatment modalities, changes in diagnostic options, changes in the patients preconceived ideas, sometimes unrealistic expectations, and possibly the most important changes are noted in the relationship between our patients and ourselves. An American nursing pioneer, Dr. Jean Watson developed her theory in 1979. As with all things health care related, changes began to emerge as evidenced by her revision in 1985, 1988, and again in 2001. Dr. Watson’s theory is based on three main elements, (1) the carative factors, (2) the transpersonal caring relationship, and (3A) the caring occasion/caring moment. Carative factors stand in stark contrast to conventional medicine’s curative factors. In an attempt to “honor the human dimensions of nursing’s work and the inner life world and subjective experiences of the people we serve,” (Watson, 1997b, p. 50). Ten elements comprise the carative factors. In an exquisite example of the evolution of nursing when theory intersects with evidenced based practice, Watson introduced clinical caritas, which replaced the carative factors, (Watson, 2001). The change in her language translated into more than mere semantics. The transformation was the fruit born from the tree of past predecessors continued nurturing environment that produced an action of caring which was rooted deep in the philosophy that we are linked deeply to those we care for. “Transpersonal caring seeks to connect with and embrace the spirit or soul of the other through the processes of caring and healing, and being in authentic relationship, in the moment,” (Watson, 2007). The philosophy of transpersonal goes beyond the
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