Jean Watson’s theory of transpersonal caring was developed in 1979. The theory has evolved over the years but the basic premise still remains the same. The theory lays emphasis on the humanistic aspects of nursing, combined with scientific knowledge. The theory was designed to bring focus and meaning to nursing as a profession. Watson believes that ''Caring'' is an endorsement of professional nurses identity. The ten primary carative factors are as follows;
1. Forming a humanistic-altruistic system of values
2. Installing faith-hope
3. Cultivating sensitivity to others and self
4. Developing a helping-trust relationship
5. Promoting and accepting expression of negative and positive feelings
6. Use of science based problem solving methods to make decisions
7. Promoting interpersonal teaching and learning
8. Providing protective, supportive, physical, mental and spiritual environment
9. Assisting with gratifying human needs
10. Allowing existential and phenomenological forces.
On the 2nd of April, I was assigned a patient. A Mr .H. Williams, a 60-year-old Caucasian man who will undergo his 5th amputation. Gangrene had eaten both lower limbs. Subsequently, he was slated for an above knee amputation of his right leg. The last amputation did not heal well. He is well known to me, since I took care of him during his previous hospitalisations ( no.4). I liked him since I first met him(no.1) and the feeling was that we connected right away(no.4). He shared his life story with me, which made me know him as a person rather than as a surgical case in my unit. I welcomed him warmly as he was admitted to our unit, we exchanged glances but he returns a faint smile. (A caring occasion takes place at this instance). I asked him how he was faring; I then told him that I had thought out some new creative ways of how he would remember taking his medications. (no 6 and 7). (According to Jean Watson, the creativity of a nurse goes a long way in making nursing an art).
He responds that he is happily looking forward to discussing my new methods; he then asks how I have been faring. Mr Williams knows me personally, he considers me as his nurse not just a nurse. He is aware that I care about him and I am ready to help him through his ordeal.(no .4) ( Watson refers to this as our relationships becoming an integral part of our life history). His faint smile says he is depressed, probably because of a further amputation, though, assumptions cannot be made, I have to discuss his feelings with him.( no 3, 5 and 10). His room is neatly arranged to help him feel at home (no.8). I quickly ask about his care plan and his priorities during this index hospitalisation (no. 5 and 10). He informs me that he wishes to be home for Easter, his son and his wife with his grandchildren would come visiting.( This is his priority, experience has shown that respecting patients priorities help them participate well in their recuperation and healing process). He was helped onto his bed and he requests for a bedpan (no. 9), once the bedpan was placed gently underneath him, he looks at me and starts lamenting that he cannot do anything by himself anymore. He is not sure the surgery would change things. He is troubled by the people’s opinions about him. He feels he lost all his respect the moment he lost his legs.( Mr Williams makes me understand that himself and his environment are interrelated.) (no 8 and 10). He insists he has lost social recognition and usefulness with the loss of his legs.( nos. 5, 9, 10.) I then pulled the curtains as I sensed he wants to be left alone (no.8) he thanks me profusely knowing that I will come back for him.(no.4).
In conclusion, Watson emphasises ''Caring'' as the core of nursing care. Adding that caring is a nurses way of preserving human life and dignity through assisting people to find meaning in suffering and illness so as to promote the individuals harmony.
Nursing Theories (2012). Jean Watson’s Philosophy of Nursing. Jean Watsons theories of Nursing.http://currentnursing.com/nursing_theory/Watson.html
C. Cara (2012) A Pragmatic View of Jean Watsons Caring Theory.International Association For Human Caring. www.humancaring.org/conted/Pragmatic%20View.pdf