Describe Watsons’s Theory of Human Caring.
The theory previously chosen to relate to my clinical practice is Watsons’s Theory of Human Caring. Two concepts from this theory are the caritas process and the caring occasion. Watson (n.d.) lists 10 processes of caring, or caritas, that serve as a guide to follow to build relationships that show caring. The processes are thorough and include actions such as sustaining humanistic-altruistic values, being authentically present, and allowing for expression of positive and negative feelings, to name a few. Watson (n.d.) also defines the caring occasion as a concept in her theory that is a human-to-human connection. The caring occasion requires involvement from both parties to go beyond ego to a special moment of connecting.
Other literature defines these concepts in a broad manner. For example, Gönen Şentürk & Küçükgüçlü (2021) used Watson’s theory to design an intervention to improve coping skills and healing for caregivers of people with dementia. A shortened version of the caritas process is listed and used to model the support group meeting intervention. Overall, the theory is discussed positively and focuses on human interaction.
These concepts apply to my clinical practice daily. For example, a patient comes in who has been unable to care for self at home, arriving with dried feces and urine covering their body. The caritas process guides the nurse to create a healing environment, assist with basic needs as a sacred act, and authentically listen to the person’s story. From these acts the patient is released from the embarrassment or shame they were feeling and able to move forward with dignity. Another example would be a patient who comes in with weakness and severe back pain without injury or chronic back problems. CT reveals what appear to be metastatic lesions to the spinal cord, bones, and lungs. The patient, likely in emotional shock, often needs the support of someone able to be fully present in a caring occasion. These are just a few situations the concepts can be applied to my practice.
Gönen Şentürk, S. & Küçükgüçlü, Ö. (2021). Bridging healing and therapy: A mixed-methods study on support group intervention based on Watson’s Theory of Human Caring. Holistic Nursing Practice, 35 (2), 81-91. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000435.
Watson, J. (n.d.). Caring science & human caring theory. Watson Caring Science Institute. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://www.watsoncaringscience.org/jean-bio/caring-science-theory/
Melynk and Fineout-Overholt (2015) note that there are seven steps to the evidence-based practice (EBP) process. It’s important for NPs to explore gaps in clinical practice, and to collaborate with the nurse leader and educator to help close the gap, and improve the quality of patient care.
When considering implementation of an EBP, the clinical team should explore a list of questions to provides structure to the literature search, This helps keep details from the literature search organized, and helps to strategize as the evidence is reviewed.
Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2015). Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare: A guide to best practice (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN-13: 9781451190946