Jean Watson’s quest to develop a comprehensive understanding of life and humanity gave birth to the theory of human caring. The approach of caring mainly focuses on the transpersonal caring existing between the patient and the nurse. Her background in nursing science, philosophy and psychology played an essential role in the development of the theory. In her book Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring (1979), Watson mentioned carative factors as being the central, fundamental aspect of patient’s care. She thought that without the incorporation of carative factors, the nurse does not provide professional nursing to the patient, but instead performs the tasks for the treatment of the patient (Caruso, Cisar & Pipe, 2008 p. 129). In Watson’s model, the nurses are encouraged to give practices that help them in their evolution of consciousness to gain more satisfaction in the work and life.
Her theory comprised of ten carative factors that are aimed at providing a basis for the nursing discipline established from compassion and understanding. Although the carative factors have positive attributes such as easy to research, clinical practice and medical records it is hard to evaluate the advantages of the esoteric concept such as transpersonal caring relationship to particular results in clinical practice (Smith 2004 p. 19). It is essential to understand that most of the principles have not yet been proved but rather assumed.
Assumptions of the theory
The theory is made up of some fundamental assumptions which form the basis of the method of caring. One of the assumptions is that caring is easily practiced and demonstrated interpersonally only meaning that personal contact is vital for caring to occur. Caring must incorporate carative factors for the fulfillment of various human needs. Active caring is significant in the promotion of family, individual growth and health. Caring is more inclined to ‘healthogenic’ as opposed to curing. The practice of nursing is fundamental in nursing.
Caruso, E. M., Cisar, N., & Pipe, T. (2008). Creating a healing environment: An innovative approach for adopting Jean Watson’s theory of human caring. Nursing Administration Quarterly, vol. 32(2), 126-132.
Smith, M. (2004). Review of research related to Watson’s theory of caring. Nursing Science Quarterly, 17 (1), 13-25.