Watson’s Philosophy and Science of Caring

Watson’s Philosophy and Science of Caring Overview

  • Theoretical framework to outline nursing care for patients
  • Nursing is meant to promote and restore health and prevent illness
  • Relational and transpersonal caring relationships
  • Emphasis on moral and philosophical foundations for care
  • Watson emphasized holistic healthcare approach in nursing
  • Nursing – inherently human science

Notes: Jean Watson developed this framework as a human-centered approach to nursing. It is a philosophical and holistic view of people, nursing, and the relationship with patients. Watson sought to include a wide variety of influential health factors as part of the nursing model (Watson Caring Science Institute, n.d.).

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Watson’s Philosophy and Science of Caring Assumptions

  • Caring is demonstrated and practiced interpersonally
  • Consists of carative factors which satisfy human needs
  • Promotes health and individual (family) growth
  • Accepts a patient as is and what they may become
  • Environment offers development and gives patient freedom of choice
  • Caring is necessary as part of the science of curing
  • Caring is a central part of nursing

Notes: These seven assumptions are part of the nursing theory which revolves around the aspect of caring. They are part of the care process that includes interaction and treatment of the patient (Nursing Theory, 2016).

Watson’s Philosophy and Science of Caring Carative Factors

  • Loving-kindness and equanimity should be practiced
  • Authentic presence and enabling of a deep belief system
  • Developing spiritual practice and transpersonal self
  • Being supportive of emotional expression
  • Using individuality and knowledge to implement creativity in care
  • A teaching-learning experience should be present
  • Establishing healing environment at every level
  • Engaging care consciousness and fulfilling basic needs
  • Accepting possibility of other dimensions, soul care, and miracles

Notes: These abstract carative factors are essential to the human experience in receiving healthcare from nurses. These can be implemented by nurses through specific processes and actions to meet the needs of the patient (Watson Caring Science Institute, n.d.).

Nursing Paradigms (Person)

  • Focuses on the receiver of care
  • Humans are defined by unique life experiences
  • Includes personal patient connections such as family
  • Encompasses individual spirituality and culture
  • Language, empathy, and caring are communication methods
  • Each person should be understood and respected
  • Stages of human development affect behavior and health

Notes: The premise of the paradigm is that each individual is unique based on social, cultural, and economic background. Furthermore, each human being should be empowered to make informed choices and manage personal health (The College of

Nursing Paradigms (Environment)

  • Focuses on surroundings which may affect the patient
  • Geography and context of the human experience
  • Includes social beliefs, values, and customs
  • Internal and external influences which impact patient
  • Where patient encounters beauty, relationships, and threats to health
  • Interaction with the environment impacts health and wellness

Notes: This part of the nursing metaparadigm suggests that a person can modify environmental factors to improve health. These may include living conditions, economic status, or socio-cultural connections (The College of New Jersey, 2014).

Nursing Paradigms (Health)

  • Dynamic process balancing wellness and illness
  • Defined by health status and access to healthcare
  • Patient’s status within physical, social, and moral realms
  • Aspect is highly contextual and relative to perception
  • Health is in a state of motion
  • Consists of lifespan, genetic composition, and other influencing factors

Notes: This component is referring to the quality and well-being of a patient that is strongly influenced by access to health care services. The health paradigm goes beyond physical well-being and includes emotional, mental, social, and spiritual health (The College of New Jersey, 2014).

Nursing Paradigms (Nursing)

  • Nursing is both an academic discipline and a practical aspect
  • Delivery of best health outcomes for the patient
  • Encompasses a mutual relationship in the safe healthcare environment
  • Consists of application of knowledge and skills
  • Professionalism and communication in the delivery of care
  • Promotes services and integrates with other paradigms

Notes: Nursing is a holistic approach which encompasses knowledge, science, theory, research, and practical skill. At the same time, it is an art which implies creativity and communication. This paradigm seeks to include and promote any aspect of nursing used for the delivery of care in diverse healthcare settings (The College of New Jersey, 2014).

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The College of New Jersey. (2014). Metaparadigm concepts. Web.

Nursing Theory. (2016). Jean Watson nursing theory. Web.

Watson Caring Science Institute. (n.d.). Core concepts of Jean Watson’s theory of human caring/caring science. Web.

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