Jean Watson’s Theory of Caring Essay

Jean Watson’s Theory of Caring Essay

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Jean Watson’s Theory of Caring


Since its establishment as a profession more than a century ago, Nursing has been a source for numerous debates related to its course, methods and development of nursing knowledge. Many nursing definitions and theories have evolved over time. Furthermore it is in a constant process of being redefined.

The purpose of this paper is an overview of Jean Watson’s Theory of Caring. This theory can be taken into account as one of the most philosophicaly complicated of existent nursing theories. The Theory of Human Caring, which also has been reffered to as the Theory of Transpersonal Caring, is middle – range explanatory theory. (Fawccett, 2000) The central point of which is on the human component of caring and actual encounter between the client and the caregiver. Jean Watson has stated that her work was motivated by her search of a new meaning to the world of nursing and patient care. “ I felt a dissonnance between nursing’s (meta) paradigm of caring-healing and health, and medicines’s (meta) paradigm of diagnosis and treatment, and concentration on disease and pathology”. (Watson, 1997,p.49)

Jean Watson’s theory was first published in 1979. Later Watson explained that this work was an attempt to solve some conceptual and empirical problems, with no intention to create a theory. This theory was expanded and formalized in her next book in 1985. Since then, Watson continued to refine her ideas through various publications. At his time, the major conceptual elements of the theory are ten Clinical Caritas Processes (originally Carative factors), Transpersonal Caring Relationship, Caring Moment/Occasion and Caring Consciousness. According to Watson’s theory, the human care process is performed through a Transpersonal Caring Relationship guided by the Carative factors, which are based on humanistic – altruistic value system.

The Theory of Human Caring was initialy based on data about variety of aspects of caring, collected through open – ended quistionnaire. The purpose of this research was to evaluate different points of view, expressed by both the clients and registered nurses. In addition to this data, Watson’s theory uses broadly recognized work from other disciplines. Specific philosophers cited by Watson, as sources are Rogers, Whitehead, Gadow, Yalom etc. Furthermore, she also recognises the contribution of the east...


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