Without any doubt, the changes in the current health care delivery systems are clearly seen, since nurses’ duties and workloads were considerably intensified. Nowadays nurses are required to deal with patients’ acuity concerning their different conditions of health. Thus, Jean Watson’s caring theory is undoubtedly profound device to achieve above mentioned goals. Indisputably, Watson’s caring theory is very important in the establishment of caring relationship with patients. Moreover, this nursing model promotes health and shows unconditional acceptance. A nurse, who applies this model, spends an uninterrupted time with patients and develops a helping-trusting caring relationship. In this case, patients open their hearts and get quick recovery. With the help of this model, patient gains a higher level of harmony within mind, body, and soul.
In 1970 Dr. Jean Watson developed a caring model that is now known as transpersonal caring-healing paradigm. Watson emphasized more on a subconscious level of communication, mysticism and spirituality. She pointed out (1985), “The caring moment is a transpersonal connection with another person at the spirit level, thus cure of our soul and body will be achieved” (p. 157). American philosopher Carl Rogers, one of the founders of humanistic approach, significantly influenced Jean Watson’s philosophical views. As well as Carl Rogers, Jean Watson supposed that harmony and balance in the inner world are vital factors in the process of understanding the outside world and caring for each other. According to Watson’s theory, transpersonal relations are the most important, since they help to conduct nursing job, diagnose patients and release their pain. The main goal of Watson’s model is to treat patients with respect and dignity (Watson, 2008).
In the framework of identifying the peculiarities of this nursing theory, it is highly recommended to analyze the biography of Dr. Jean Watson that significantly influenced the development of her transpersonal caring-healing paradigm. It is known that Dr. Jean Watson is from West Virginia. She studied in the University of Colorado, where she earned all academic degrees including Ph.D. in counseling and educational psychology. Currently, Dr. Jean Watson is a Distinguished Professor of Nursing at the University of Colorado and School of Nursing. Moreover, she is identified as the main establisher of the Center for Human Caring in Colorado. For her persistent and hard work, Dr. Watson received different national and international honorary doctoral degrees. She had published several works all around the world in which she amplified the vitality of her philosophical views and significance of adoption of her theory of human caring.
It is worth to mention the concepts of Watson’s model of caring that consist of the carative factors, the relationship on transpersonal level, and the caring occasions. The carative factors are divided into ten types: the formation of altruistic system of value, faith-belief, the adaptation of sensitivity to self and others, establishment of trust relationship, showing positive and negative feelings, the scientific issue-solving approach for decision making, promotion of interpersonal learning, support of protective, physical, socio-cultural and spiritual surrounding, human needs assistance and existential-spiritual forces. The first carative factor is the formation of humanistic-altruistic system of value that helps to develop nurse’s knowledge which influences altruistic behavior towards the others. The second one is faith-belief factor which is essential in the treatment. For example, if the modern science cannot offer to patient good remedies, the nurse helps this person not to be in low spirit. The third one is the cultivation of sensitivity to self and others that develops nurse’s feeling to patients. In this case, effective cure can be possible only if a nurse forms person to person relationship. The forth factor is establishment of trust relationship that is based on warmth, support, courage and empathy. This relationship will be an effective tool when nurse uses verbal and nonverbal communication in order to maximize the presence of support for a patient. The fifth one is expressing positive and negative feelings that help to establish caring relationships. By expressing an own feeling, a nurse can show that he/she is not indifferent to the patient’s problem. Consequently, this will lead to harmonization of relationship between a nurse and a patient. The sixth one is the scientific issue-solving approach for decision making that is vital in the establishing the diagnosis of a patient and making predictions for future process of treatment. The seventh factor is a promotion of interpersonal learning that is very important for nurses, while nurses should study the techniques of patient’s support that help to precipitate recovery. By using the eights factor – support of protective, physical, socio-cultural and spiritual surrounding, Watson pointed out that a nurse should provide safety, privacy and comfort for a patient. The ninth one is human needs assistance. This approach is based on hierarchy of the needs that was established by Maslow. In Watson’s caring model, all needs of the patients should be taken into consideration, while they assist in promotion of optimal health. Furthermore, Jean Watson created her own hierarchy of needs and according to it, all human needs are divided into the following categories: lower order needs (need for food, water, fresh air, sexuality and activity/ inactivity) and higher order needs (need for self-realization and achievement). The final factor is existential-spiritual forces that determine the understanding of people from the way things appear. According to this factor, a nurse should encourage people and help them in confrontation of life and death (Watson, 2008).
The transpersonal caring relationship describes how the nurse shows concerns towards the other people. This approach is important, since it is based on equal relationships between the nurse and the people. According to this model, one should go beyond one’s own ego and help the patients to find comfort, calmness and recovery. The transpersonal caring relationships are related to ontological development. In this case, the nurse is responsible for protection and harmony of the inner world of patient. Finally, the aim of transpersonal caring relationship is to view a person as a whole, regardless disease or illness.
A caring moment is a focal point in space and time when a nurse and a patient come together, exchange their life experience and join human-to-human transaction in order to create high-level of caring. In this case, the caring moment is transpersonal and a nurse and a patient feel connection with each other at the spiritual level. In the caring moment with a patient, a nurse should be aware of self-consciousness.
It is needless to say that Watson’s caring model is used nationally and worldwide with the aim of integration of caring into the nursing curriculum. According to Mullaney A. (2000), “Watson’s caring model is determined as an effective method in actual caring occasions of treatment depressed women” (p.135). Moreover, Martin L. (1991) pointed out, “Undoubtedly, the best way to investigate the extent of adult polycystic kidney disease is application of Watson’s theory” (p. 404). Furthermore Watson’s caring model can be employed as an effective method of treatment of the patients who are suffering from hypertension. According to the statistics, Watson caring model decreased blood pressure of 70% of patients with hypertension. Nowadays the Watson caring model is highly recommended for nursing patients with high blood pressure and depression, as one of the effective devices of improving their quality of life and psychological conditions.
All in all, Watson’s caring model is a significant tool in understanding the deeper meaning of what it means to be a nurse and take care of patients. It is needless to say that by adopting this model, the nurse can focus on patient’s inner world, get to know patients’ problems, and assist recovery process. Watson’s caring model helps the nurse to perceive the value of her work and increase job satisfaction.
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In this essay, Watson’s caring model is considered as the philosophical and ethical theory in which professionalism and disciplinary are central points in nurse’s career. This model is unique, while it applies to art and science. Moreover, this theory is related to spirituality, ontology of being-in-relation and psychoanalysis where id, ego and alter ago are joined harmonically. The main characteristics of this theory are: generalization, logic in nature and asking questions, rather than making predictions or hypothesis. It is needless to say that in Watson’s caring model a patient is diagnosed in the conditions related to home atmosphere and culture. Such conditions are created by intent, while the patient should feel support from nurses. The reconciliation of patient’s psychological spheres such as id, ego, and alter ego is the most important task in nursing career. Recent researches demonstrate the global adoption of this theory as an effective method of hypertension treatment and psychological disorders. The advantages of this theory can be seen in its implementation in the context of the community and the family that creates friendly and relaxed atmosphere. However, Jean Watson’s caring model has its disadvantages, such as uncouthness of the biophysical needs of the patients, while recovery can be achieved with the adjustment of physiological issues. Another limitation of this theory is its lack of fully-fledged research.
Undoubtedly, Watson’s caring model is an effective method of treatment of the patients with hypertension. This research demonstrates that this care model significantly improved quality of life of the patients who suffered from hypertension. Nowadays the Watson caring model is highly recommended for nursing patients with high blood pressure, as one of the effective tools of improving their quality of life.