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Jean Watson Essay

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The purpose of this paper is to explain the association of nurse/ patient interaction in the concept of Watson’s theory. I will explore the transpersonal caring in relation to caring factors. Analyzing major theory assumptions related to person, health nursing and environment in the context of the caring moment. Caring theory will be displayed in the professional aspects of my nursing practice. Caring nurse, health education, healing environment and application of caring affect to person is applied throughout this paper.

Jean Watson has brought to nursing her theory of caring and 10 caring factors. Watson defines caring as the ethical and moral ideal of nursing that has interpersonal and humanistic qualities. It is a complex concept involving development of a range of knowledge, skills, and expertise encompassing holism, empathy, communication clinical competence, technical proficiency and interpersonal skills (Watson, Jackson, & Borbasi, 2005). Watson’s theory traces back through

30 years, the earliest was put in textbook nursing curriculum at the University of Colorado. The theory contains Watson (1999) describes nursing as transpersonal that “conveys a human to- human connection in which both persons are influenced through the relationship and being-together in the moment. This human connection… has a spiritual dimension . . . that can tap into healing” (p. 290).

Transpersonal Caring and Caring Factors

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Transpersonal caring has four components, self, phenomenal field, actual caring occasion of the patient and the nurse, and intersubjectivity (Davis, 2005). Self is defined in Davis, (2005) as, “I and me perception of relationship of I and me to others and to various aspects of life together with the values attached to those perceptions.” I am a surgical nurse caring for a four –year- old boy. After receiving, report before going to pediatrics to obtain the patient for surgery. Fortunately, I know much more about him, the child because I cared for him in August 2011. As a nurse, Watson’s theory is displayed my caring healing practice (Alligood, 2005). “As I enter the room, I remember the first three “caritas”: (1) practice loving-kindness and Equanimity within a context of caring consciousness (2) be authentically present and enable and sustain my belief system and subjective life world of self and the person being cared for: and (3) cultivate ones own spiritual practice and transpersonal self, going beyond self.”(p. 127) I bring the three of them together, in conversation with the client, parents, and coworkers, I speak in a professional, caring, confident manner. I have learned from nursing practice and experience to sit in a well light room at eye level with open body language, to be friendly, caring and always use a kind touch. This helps prevent any barriers that may have occurred to transpersonal caring. Transpersonal caring in the nurse, environment and person are expressed. Developing continuity is an aspect to caring for him and is not always possible, it just happened to be my late shift. I was grateful to be there for his care.


Davis (2005), states “Intersubjectivity is human to human relationship in which the person of the nurse affects and is affected by the person of the other, a feeling of union.”(p. 2716) I apply intersubjectivity in the following way. It seems we bond quickly right after I initial see him, because we have initially had an encounter. I found that focusing on the patient’s pain is a priority and aids in healthy participation with his care. I use is time together to ask about his health, fears, and pain, to prioritize his care. This helps me to know him more as a person, not just another client .”Upholding Watsons caring theory provides the framework for me to practice the art of caring, to provide compassion to patients and families fears, and to promote their healing and dignity; it also contributes to my own actualization client “(Alligood, 2005).

Phenomenal Field

Davis, (2005) states phenomenal field is the person’s subjective reality (p.2617) In speaking with Jojo, the Phenomenal field is reviewed when,” He shares in his statement,” my belly hurts really badly.” His mother is at his bedside, she tells me that he has not been eating, he has had a fever, and abdominal pain. From report, I see his lab work show an increase in his white blood count and his CT scan shows appendicitis. This is the nurse in the caring theory, who has gathered the information pertaining to the patients health condition. I listen attentively and notice that he is holding a bear in his left arm. I comment on the bear that is seems to be a security item for the child. His mother agrees. He continues to hold his bear to make his environment externally and internally sound. This is critical in the caring theory to make his environment healing. Developing a human trusting human care relationship While the anestheologist is speaking to JoJo’s mother, I use this time to speak with him. I ask him about school, family, friends and pets. I ask open- ended questions to explore his feeling and fears.

He tells me of his dog, two brothers and preschool. He tells me that,” he is afraid and does not want anyone to touch his belly.”

When he is lying in bed, I make eye contact as I gently touch his abdomen. After examining his abdomen. Discussing his departure from the holding area, he starts to cry. Jojo,” let me tell you what we will do when we go in the back to fix your belly.” He asks, “What?” ”Do you know how to blow up a balloon?” I ask. “Yes, he explains.” Well we are going in the back I will put a muscle tester on you, a space mask, and you can blow up my balloon. I use my awareness, presence, touch, kindness, and hope to make him feel strong and confident of the situation Alligood (2005) stated.” In this holistic Perspective, each dimension is a reflection of the whole yet the whole is greater than the sum of parts”(p. 132). Finally, I let his mother know that we will be talking more about her concerns after his examination.

Assisting with gratification of human needs

Alligood (2005) stated, “Being-in-the –world” entails that I cannot consider Jojo without her context or environment of which I am a part (family, culture, community, nurses, health care team, society) (p. 132). I speak to Jojo’s mother about his support system, culture, and resources. These are important factors to assist her in obtaining the proper resources need while her son is hospitalized, and she will be displaced from her home during his recover. She states, “We have no means of transportation, my husband is unemployed at this time due to his back injury and I have two young boys at home. ”We discuss means of transportation available to her family from the hospital as well as financial assistance. She states,” my husband has no way to arrive here and has no idea that Jojo is to have surgery.” I try to ease her mind. I can tell she is becoming overwhelmed. Knowing she has fears it is my moral obligation to enhance and preserve her, “human dignity, wholeness and integrity” (Watson, 2005). (p. 131) Alligood (2005) stated ”Watson’s theory, which recognizes the whole in the parts, supports a focus on the wholeness of a community, aggregate, or population, while still attending to the individuals and families within it. Watson emphasizes seeking to strengthen the client’s resources and capacities as well as mutually planning and evaluating health actions” (p. 134). Jojo returns from his surgical procedure, his mother is crying at his bedside. I sit down beside her and to show her his bandage. We discuss the proper way to handle dressing changes along with actives and diet. Implication of Watson’s transpersonal teaching and learning caritive factor. His father has arrived giving her some emotional support. We sit in the recovery room at his bedside, while Jojo rest. I take time to listen to their fears, comfort them and educate them on his care. Jojo’s mother wipes her tears away and looks up at me. She, “states I am so grateful you were her to help with Jojo he have helped my family, listened to be, and treated him as if he was your own child. Thank you.” I tell her, “I would not have it any other way. This is an example of Watson’s care theory, Davis states” human- to –human relationship in which the person of the nurse affects and is affected by the person of the other” (p.2618 )

Nursing Perspective

I have applied Jean Watson’s theory in my practice, examining an interaction between nurse/patient encounter. Transpersonal relationship with caring factors was used in the care of my patient. Applying caring moments related to person, health, nursing, and environment. I practice Watson’s theory in my daily practice of nursing. Learning theorist in school and refreshing them periodically may seem unnecessary. Who would not be kind to another, considerate of their needs, offer a conducive environment, listen attentively, or apply a caring factor. These seem like common sense to a nurse. Theories are practice as early with new theories add throughout career paths. It is the application of these theories and portrayal of them that causes the affect. This has brought to my view of nursing the values taught to me not only at home but also during my nursing education. Educating other on the values of caring factors, environmental adaptation, and the true art of caring for a patient/person with total regard to the values of the patient without passing judgment, Through this continuing education paper, we were able to learn the essential elements of Watson’s caring theory and explore an example of a clinical application of her work through a clinical story. Aiming to preserve our human caring heritage, this paper offered some suggestions and ideas in order to help nurses grasp and utilize Watson’s caring theory in their work environment. “Nursing can expand its existing role, continuing to make contributions to health care within the modern model by developing its foundational caring-healing and health strengths that have always been present on the margin” (Watson, 1999, p. 45).


Alligood, M. R. (2005). Nursing theory: Utilization & application (4th ed.), St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier

Davis, F.A. (2005).Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. (20th ed.), Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis


Watson, J . (1999). Postmodern nursing and beyond. Edinburgh : Churchill Livingstone/Saunders

Watson, J . (2005). Caring science as sacred science. Philadelphia : F.A. Davis

Watson, J., Jackson, D., & Borbasi, S . (2005). Tracing nursing caring: Issues, concerns, debates .

In J. Daley, S. Speedy, D. Jackson, V. Lambert, & C. Lambert (Eds.), Professional nursing:

Concepts, issues, and challenges. New York : Springer .

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