1. Discuss Jean Watson's background, including educational preparation and process of developing her Care Theory as well as her career high points
Born in the 1940s in West Virginia, Jean Watson attended the Lewis Gale school of Nursing from where she graduated with a diploma nursing in the year 1961. She moved to the state of Colorado following her marriage where she continued with her nursing education and graduated with a Bs. in Nursing from the University of Colorado. For her M.S., she specialized in psychiatric and mental health nursing and graduated in the year 1966. She later pursued a Ph.D. in educational psychology and counseling and graduated in 1973. Afterwards, she joined the University of Colorado health sciences center’s nursing faculty where she has served in various teaching and administrative posts. Jean Watson also played an instrumental role in the establishment of the University of Colorado’s Center for Human Caring. The center was established to facilitate the development and the subsequent use of knowledge in human caring and healing in nursing as well as to provide assistance in efforts aimed at transforming the current healthcare system to a more care-focused system. Watson continues to serve in the University of Colorado’s nursing faculty as a Distinguished Professor of Nursing. More notably of her distinguished career in nursing is the fact that she has being a holder of the Murchinson-Scoville Endowed Chair for the Science of Caring (Tomey & Alligood, 2002 as cited in Sitzman and Eichelberger, 2011, p.49).
Watson developed her Theory on Human Caring between 1975 and 1979 a period during which she was still teaching at the University of Colorado. The theory was an exploration of her personal views of nursing which had been shaped, fine-tuned and compounded during her doctoral studies. In developing her theory, she had aimed to make explicit the knowledge, values and practices on human caring embodied within nursing that focus on the patient’s inner subjective healing processes as well as the life of the patient as an experiencing being. According to her, her theory would provide the unique caring and healing art as well as a framework, which she termed the “carrative factors” which would complement but not substitute the traditional conventional medicine. Therefore, her theory was an attempt to give value and meaning to the nursing profession as a unique scientific discipline. Conversely, it can be said that Watson’s theory was created out of an attempt to find identity for the nursing profession within the dynamic health care system; an identity that would not rely on the traditional focus on curative medicine.
2. Discuss Jean Watson's Care Theory, including major points
Watson’s theory on human caring comprises of various major points. The first major point is the ten clinical caritas processes which according to her, are a prerequisite if any genuine caring relationship is to be established between the patient and the nurse. As such, the nurse has a responsibility to enact the ten caritas.
Transpersonal caring relationships are the second major aspect of Watson’s theory. According to Watson, transpersonal caring relationships are those in which the nurse expands her intervention form being only focused on disease and pathology to continually focus on healing, caring and wholeness. In this kind of relationship, the nurse makes a conscious and deliberate effort to connect with the soul of the patient, embrace it during the process of caring-healing (Watson, 2003 as cited in Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2011, p.52).
Caring moments is the third aspect of Watson’s theory. In expounding on the meaning of caring moments, Watson stated that a caring moment comprised of actions as well as the choices made by the two parties in the caring process that is, the nurse and the patient. In her opinion, a caring moment becomes transpersonal if both parties feel connected with each other at a spiritual level. According to her, transpersonal caring moments transcend time and space whilst opening up new opportunities for healing and human connection (Watson 1988, 2003 as cited in Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2011, p.53).
3. Brief discussion of Friedich Nietzsche, specifically his major philosophical beliefs
Friedich Nietzsche was a 19th century philosopher from Germany who wrote on various topics including religion, philosophy, morality, science amongst others. His works have been subject to different interpretations by many people. In his book on the Genealogy of Morality, Nitzsche advances the philosophy that the values normally associated with being virtuous are the product of a deep resentment harbored by slaves to whom he ascribes the characteristics of being weak, powerless and timorous. The slaves’ deep resentment is harbored against a class he terms the nobles whom he describes as being strong, confident and powerful. To him therefore, virtues like caring and compassion are simply an attempt or as he describes them some sort of fantasy revenge in which the slaves label the nobles values as evil whilst at the same time depicting the slaves’ weakness as good. According to him, the revenge is motivated by the slaves’ quest to gain superiority over the nobles and since it’s not physically possible, moralization remains as the only feasible manner through which the slaves can perceive themselves as more superior to the nobles. Nietzsche therefore in his genealogy eludes that virtue such as caring are part of the slaves’ process of moralization of their weaknesses (Paley, 2002, p.26).
4. Discuss John Paley's background, including educational preparation and his career high points
John Paley is a senior lecturer at the school of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Sterling found in Scotland. He is also an avid researcher and hence he is a member of the department’s research committee. Paley holds a degree in philosophy and has previously worked in the publishing industry. Currently, besides being a senior lecturer, Paley writes on philosophical topics particularly those touching on health care and more specifically nursing. Clinical cognition, nursing ethics, the concept of evidence-based practice and complex systems are some of his interest areas in the nursing field (De Armond Management Limited, 2010).
5. Compare Jean Watson's Care Theory with the ideas presented in John Paley's article
Both the Watson’s theory on human/transpersonal caring and the Paley article concur that the nursing profession needs to establish its own unique identity as a discipline that clearly demarcates it boundaries with those of the medical profession. Watson’s theory of human/transpersonal caring is essentially an attempt to define the uniqueness of the nursing profession. Paley on the other hand suggests that the nursing profession can create its own unique identity by laying claim in fields like management of recovery as well as disease rehabilitation.
Moreover, both the caring theory and the Paley article agree that nursing involves more than the simple management of pathology and disease conditions. In this regard, Paley argues that the science of nursing should also cater for the social and psychological aspects of the patient. Watson’s transpersonal theory on the other hand retaliates that the nurse ought to focus on the uniqueness of the patient, self and others. In addition, the theory accentuates the need for the creation of a healing environment at various levels other then the physical level.
6. Contrast Jean Watson's Care Theory with the ideas presented in John Paley's article
While Watson in her theory on human/transpersonal caring strongly believes that caring is the core of nursing and hence upholds the notion that the nursing profession should be identified as a caring profession, Paley is of the view that caring should be considered as an optional extra in nursing. To add zest to his argument, Paley goes ahead to quote a number of authors who had previously echoed his sentiments on the same issue like Allmark (1995) and Woodrow (2000) (Paley, 2002, p.5).
Paley also argues that the nursing caring paradigm derives its motivation from the great resentment nurses harbor towards the medical profession. In advancing this line of thought, Paley appropriates Nietzsche’s genealogy to nursing. He therefore contends that nurses are the slaves while the doctors are the nobles. As such, Paley argues that the nursing caring paradigm is a mere an attempt to compensate for the discrepancies in power that exist between the two professions. In essence therefore, this attempt aims at making the nurses feel more superior. Watson on the other hand justifies the caring paradigm in nursing by arguing that it as an attempt aimed at giving nursing its own unique identity distinct from that of the traditional medicine as an emerging profession.
The third component of Watson’s theory, caring moments contends that both the client and the nurse experience a connection at the spiritual level and which transcends time and space during caring moments, Paley (2002, p.5) attributes this characteristic of nursing to a lack of boundaries between the nurse professional and the patient. The ten clinical caritas processes also advocate for the recognition of the interconnectedness and subsequent exchange type of relationship that result from this interconnectedness between the nurse and the patient’s life something that Paley clearly disputes terming it as a of lack of the boundaries that define professionalism.
1. Bittner, R. (1994). Ressentiment In Nietzsche, Genealogy, Morality: Essays on Nietzsche’s on the Genealogy of Morality (Schact R. ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press.
2. De Armond Management Limited (2010).ISIH Keynote Speakers. Retrieved from http://www.isihconference.com/default.aspx?PageID=1012 -.
3. Paley, J. (2002). Caring as a slave morality: Nietzschean themes in nursing ethics. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 40(1), 25–35.
4. Sitzman, K. & Eichelberger, L.W. (2011).Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists: A Creative Beginning (2nd ed.).Massachusetts: Jones and Barlett Publishers.
5. Watson, J. (2005).Commentary on Shattell M (2004) Nurse–patient interaction: a review of the literature. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 14, 530–532.