Theory of Caring for a Human Being

Dr. Watson, who has been a theorist a nurse, a scholar, a professor and an international speaker for decades and an amazing human being, was from a little suburban city, whose vision was to ultimately develop into a nurse, this was the time when Dr. Watson first realized that the   education in the nursing field seemed to be missing something, this was when Jean Watson started her career in school of nursing. In the old day’s nurses and school of nursing and colleges were mostly meant for understanding their problems and the nurses were only there to support and follow orders of the doctors’, they were there to heal and or cure the doctor’s patients, and discharge them as they were just helpers. But what Dr. Watson saw and figured out was that there was an imperative component missing, the human component.

Background for the Theorist and Theory

The Philosopher/Theorist

Dr. Jean Watsons name when she was conceived was Margaret Jean Harmon on a special day of June 10, 1940, in a rural town called Appalachian Mountains.  Jean is one of the youngest baby of her huge household, and Jean was raised in small town of Welch, in the State of West Virginia, this was the place that she attended her high school after which she graduated from the Lewis Gale School of Nursing in Roanoke, Virginia, in the early years of 1960s. Soon after Jean graduated, her marriage took place with her husband, Douglas, and at that time both of them moved to her husband’s resident State of Colorado, this is where they both had two daughters (Wayne, 2016). 

In from this moment, Jean Watson’s nursing skill and education developed and she went to Colorado University in Boulder, this was where Jean received her numerous degrees. Jean received her four-year degree in the early1960s, after this she departed on to earn her masters in nursing in psychiatric and mental health nursing in mid1960’s, and then Dr. Watson actually became a Doctor and finally received her Ph.D. in the early years of 1970s, which was in educational psychology and counseling. While working at Colorado University at Boulder, Jean also worked as a faculty with other professors, and Jean ultimately progressed and became the Head Dean of graduate studies (Jean Watson: Pathfinder Award Recipient, 2018). 

Jean Watson has voyaged to many different places on this planet to reach the goal of her education. In the late 1970s, Dr. Watson wrote Nursing: Philosophy and Science of Caring, this was one of Jean Watson’s first theory publication (Nelson, 2015). Even though the theorist lost her left eye over an unexpected accident in the year 1997, and the love of her life, her husband’s suicide which occurred in the year1998 (Watson, 2018), Jean continued, to keep her self-occupied and assimilated those depressing issues into her lifecycle, which in essence turned her into an amazing and fantastic theorist, subsequently later on she would be receiving her own they from her own work (Wayne, 2016). Regular people would not endure so much pain and stay on course of greatness but Dr. Watson went through some of the toughest times and still ended up as a great scholar. She has been awarded several honorary doctorate degrees, she has published an unaccounted amount of scholarly and award winning articles, and has also authored and co-authored various journals, articles, books and reports on caring. Dr. Watson has been an award-winning advocate of the education in practice of nursing and its further exploration, and her  theory of science and caring and different Caritas Methods has formed several pioneering ways to accomplish highly as a nurse (Jean Watson: Pathfinder Award Recipient, 2018).  

Theory Development

Caring is personal and can be thought of in many ways. One way the definition pertains to Watsons theory as defined by (2017) is “the provision of what is needed for the wellbeing or protection of a person or thing.” Watson believes that the caring relationship between a patient and nurse be a reciprocated spiritual strength that extends itself beyond both the patient and the nurse (Robinson, King, & France, 2015). Watson believes that everything in the universe is connected and that for healing to take place the nurse must spiritually connect with the patient. For Watson’s ideas to be applicable in clinical practice she formed ten Carative processes, which she believes, will enable self-awareness and self-discovery for both the patient and the nurse. Watson’s theory of caring approaches nursing care and practice from a humanitarian lens (King & Kornusky, 2016). The caring theory explains the moral perception that forms the relationship between the nurse and patient; furthermore, Watson’s theory describes how nurses care for patients within the human experience (Enzman Hines, 2017).

Dr. Jean Watson acknowledged in a video that she personally recorded, is that her dad’s passing when Jean was about sixteen heavily inclined her towards being conscious of people and her self-sense of loss and sorrow, then when Dr. Watson began her career in school for the nurse’s, her mind started to wonder and she was able to distinguish that the nursing program had appeared to focus more towards the medicinal side of curing and did not have the caring part that nurses and doctors should have (Watson, 2018). Nevertheless, was about to be soon changed because, after she initiated her clinical trainings for psychiatric nursing, this was where Dr. Watson was invigorated to have a personal human linking with her patients, and began to relate with her patients as herself, and not essentially as a care giver or a nurse but as a friend or a supporter. This phenomenon presented her to initiate her educations into the human spirituality, and not just for diagnosing or curing of medical issues but to heal a patient mind as well as body. As a theorist, Dr. Watson felt that the other human issues should be a larger portion of what nursing ought to be, that nursing needs to be complementing medicine but without presence of medicine. She has also indicated that her idea has been geared further towards addressing the sense of personhood, including the nature of a person and belief of transcendence. Dr. Watson belief is that her first theory was mainly driven by her own insights about life and healing. Dr. Watson theory is very powerfully deep-rooted in the conversation of holistic human caring and acknowledges and personifies the soul (Nelson, 2015). In Dr. Watson’s very first issued book, she recorded the ten Carative aspects, ever since then it has advanced into her Ten Caritas Progressions (Watson, 2018). Even today she endures to enhance her concept, she has published numerous books and articles through the ages since her original theory was published in the late 70’s, and it still remains to work and progress her theory and apply her progress into today’s nursing practice. It seems that Dr. Watson is now occupied with a new book which is scheduled to come out end of 2018, besides that she is also co-authoring, which is also set to be published in 2019. Dr. Watson’s utmost current work is concerning what she considers unitary caring science, in which every person “all belong to a universal field of infinite cosmic love” and that “love is the greatest source of all healing” (Watson, 2018).

The Theory of Human Caring

Meta paradigm Concepts

There are four main standard perceptions of human beings defined by Dr. Jean Watson they are, health, nursing, and environment and or society. Jean Watsons explanations have not changed during her modifications and has remained steady, ever since she first theorized her model. These theories have been in her background and consistently coming back and forth in many parts of her literature in nursing, even though she does use many words interchangeably, which can sometimes be puzzling without people being familiar with Dr. Watson’s work (Sourial, 1996). Dr. Watson defines the concept of human being as:

“a valued person in and of him or herself to be cared for, respected, nurtured, understood and assisted; in general, a philosophical view of a person as a fully functional integrated self. He, human is viewed as greater than, and different from, the sum of his or her parts.” (Petiprin, 2016, para. 1)

Dr. Jean Watson has mentioned that being a human is more than just the physical body, she has stated that being a human comprises the personified spirit, and a realization as well (Nelson, 2015).

She has defined fitness and wellbeing by way of an advanced method of functioning, physically, mentally, and socially. As per Dr. Watson being healthy is being intelligent enough to adapt to a daily maintenance level, being without illness, and to make an effective effort to get rid of illness (Petiprin, 2016). Human Health as well is a very harmonious wholeness within the mind, body, and soul of the human being, and it is related with a certain degree of equilibrium between the sensed self and the real live self (Gonzalo, 2011). It seems that Dr. Jean Watson’s explanation of health and wellbeing is an apparent holistic approach.

Dr. Watson, idea of nursing is “a human science of persons and human health-illness experiences that are mediated by professional, personal, scientific, esthetic, and ethical human transactions” (Jean Watson’s Philosophy of Nursing, 2012). She has said that nursing is just about putting back a person’s state of health and wellness in the right state of mind, as well as supporting health and providing preventative care to ill individuals. She also considers and maintains her belief in that the complete maintenance is necessary and fundamental to the nursing practice (Petiprin, 2016). Dr. Watson says that she still accepts and believes that it is essential for nurses to form a human link, and a loving relationship in which a personalized connection turns into a harmonious professional caring. Dr. Watson says that “love is the greatest source of all healing” (Watson, 2018). I also believe that loving a person or caring for them is the best way to heal a patient or a person.

The definition of the environment by Dr. Watson somewhat a thought of a social inter contentedness of everything in this world. She says that, we are in an atmosphere that human beings have created among themselves, rather than just the physical surroundings, and includes the connections between nature and self (Nelson, 2015). In her books and most of her work she believes and states that, there should be addition or better caring attitude created by nurses, and it should be an environment of caring culture that should be educated to the nurses these days. 

Additional Core Concepts

In addition to defining these major meta paradigm ideas, Dr. Jean Watson has also distinguished various core ideas of her own theory. These core concepts contribute to her core principles and practices, which are:

· “Practice of loving-kindness and equanimity

· Authentic presence: enabling deep belief of other (patient, associate, household, etc.)

· Refinement of one’s own spiritual activity toward wholeness of mind/body/spirit – beyond ego

· ‘Being’ the caring-healing environment

· Allowing miracles (openness to the unexpected and inexplicable life events)” (Wagner, 2010, p. 1)

The first core concept is about relational caring for a person’s self and others in society. These caring needs to be supported on a basis of moral, ethical, and philosophical beliefs and values. Trans-personal caring human relationship is the following core idea, which is made by different affectionate point in time which goes beyond self-importance. The bond or the human relationship that is forged during patient and nurses interactions symbolizes a sincerity to protect the human self-esteem, and awards an individual’s necessities, their wishes, their routines, and cultural rituals as well. This idea shows that it is a requirement to form a human bond, and honor the completeness of mind-body-spirit of both parties involved to keep an ordinary equilibrium. It is a human relationship of “doing” for and “being” with a person who is in pain and who is in requirement, and having that reliable company. The caring of the natural event or caring instant, which brings us to the subsequent thought, which is after two people with different experiences and cultures come together in a human-to-human transaction, which might result in some occurrence which might deepen and expand both of their planets view and as well as their spirit. The idea of reflective or meditative formulation gives an outcome in an increasing presence and consciousness to the human aspect of one’s self and other people they interact with. This kind of tactic and consideration needs to be determined by approaching to an agreement by means of different methods such as the arts, meditating on certain questions, or journaling. It also seems to be determined by having a conversation with and inquiring more or learning more about a certain patient and their families, and letting or asking for their interpretation of self as well. Dr. Jean Watson expressed about her next idea that caring is comprehensive and global, which might mean that the human beings, the environment and nature, as well as the universe are all affiliated and impact each other distinctly. In heart and soul, the enactment of caring can change one’s entire life situation and all of the factors that goes with it. (Wagner, 2010). Dr. Watson’s ultimate core idea or concept are her 10 Carative Factors which are redefined as Caritas Processes. These cognitive processes are there mainly to be guidelines for nurses to put heart-centered caring practice into action:

1. “Practice of loving-kindness and equanimity within context of caring consciousness.

2. Being authentically present and enabling, and continuing the deep faith/ hope/ belief system and subjective inner self in life which is world of self and one-being cared for.

3. Cultivating a person’s own spiritual practices and trans-personal self, and going beyond ego self.

4. Processing or developing and continuing a helping-trusting, authentic caring relationship.

5. Being there for, and supportive of the expression of positive and negative feelings.

6. Creatively helping-trusting self and all ways of knowing as part of the caring process; engaging in artistry of caring-healing practices.

7. Engaging in authentic teaching-learning education that attends to wholeness and meaning, and attempting to stay within others frame of reference.

8. Creating a healing surroundings at all levels, whereby wholeness, beauty, comfort, dignity, and peace are heightened.

9. Assisting with basic needs, with an intentional caring consciousness, administering ‘human care essentials,’ which heighten alinement of mind-body-spirit, wholeness in all aspects of care.

10. Opening and attending to mystifying concept of one’s life-death; soul care for self and the one-being-cared for; ‘allowing and being open to miracles.’” (Wagner, 2010)

Evaluation and Discussion

The theory of human caring can be very hard to comprehend or understand if a person is not familiar with Dr. Watson’s theory of human caring or for people who are not familiar with her work. Dr. Watson’s theory and ideas can be challenging because it looks into a philosophical theory domain that shows the spirituality of the human relation, as this can be very very hard to theoretically measure. Nevertheless, Dr. Watson’s ideas are pursuant in that they are systematically outlined and connected expressly through her 10 Caritas Processes and her seven expressed assumptions, they are:

· Caring can be effectively demonstrated and practiced only inter-personally.

· Caring consists of Carative factors that result in the satisfaction of certain human needs.

· Effective caring promotes health and individual or family growth.

· Caring responses accept the patient as he or she is now, as well as what he or she may become.

· A caring environment is one that offers the development of potential while allowing the patient to choose the best action for him or herself at a given point in time.

· A science of caring is complementary to the science of curing.

· The practice of caring is central to nursing. (Petiprin, 2016)

In Dr. Jean Watson’s theory, Watson believes, and uses both deductive and inductive reasoning. The reason for this can be that she used inductive reasoning in her previous works when she conducted fieldwork in the early 80’s in Western Australia with a tribe of aborigines. At that time, Dr. Watson spent a period investigating their responses to loss and caring, and then came back to her theory and included it to her theory of transpersonal care. She used her observance inductively to review her theory, and possibly made it better. At the same time, Watson’s theory can also be said to have used deductive reasoning when she had discovered her organized assumptions and ideas, and used them to resolve some issues in nursing that she thought were necessary to be addressed, which were the lack of the human relation in nursing and how it could have been developed better. So, after investigating this theory to a deep extent, rather than just going over some written material, it is evident that Dr. Watson has put a theory in place and has created a road map for caring for the people. It seems that Dr. Watson’s 10 Caritas Procedures outlines how to be a caring nurse, and it becomes very clear that the more a person reads and listens to her speak on the intent of her theory the more they get familiar. This means is that, Dr. Watson has given to nurses like us the root foundation of trusting and loving relationship with another human being or a person in order to help them heal.


A nurse whose main goal is to see people get better and make my patients come back in to the general population, It seems that I personally and professionally have essentially been delivering Dr. Watson’s theory of human caring in my personal and professional practice as a psych nurse during my entire nursing career. It is very clear to me that treating a patient in the nursing field is unquestionably an art and a science, and in my view, nursing would not be a complete practice without both of those characteristics in it. I believe that the science of healing is essential of course towards curing an illness. But I believe that the art of nursing impacts just as well, particularly with children. Children do not seem to care how smart a nurse is or how many facts a nurse can spout, especially young children. Children particularly do care if their nurse is nice, caring, and loving. This shows and establishes that trust is so desperately needed with children in a healthcare environment, and trust that is easily damaged or broken if a person does not work to keep it. I have used this theory on an everyday basis with the violent mental kids that I work with in my unit. Many of our patients are young adults between 10 as the youngest to 17 or 18 as the oldest. So as young as they are usually making a clear and concise connection with the patient and their families can and will help us as nurses as well as the hospital and the doctors as if something does happen they will look at us to get further help. But if we do not connect on a personal level then they won’t remember us or bring their needs to us. 


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