Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Essay

Watson’s Theory of Human Caring


The responsibilities and workloads of nursing are intensified by the worldwide healthcare systems’ transformations. Today, nurses are responsible for handling emergent challenges and complexities of the healthcare situations. Despite these problems, nurses have to continually preserve and exercise caring practices so as to sustain and enhance quality performance. Watson’s theory has principles about human caring and these provide vital insights regarding the way desirable performance can be upheld by nurses.

In practical application, the important elements of Watson’s theory facilitate professional performance enhancement and values’ application. Watson (2009) in a review shows that caring as a concept is important while practicing nursing. The theoretical guidelines of Watson allow nurses to provide care and compassion to the patients while eliminating suffering and pain, attaining dignified and sustained healing as well as fostering individual actualization among the nurses. Simply put, these principles help in defining nursing profession as well as giving it a unique or distinctive meaning.

The Caring Moment Conception

Watson (2009) in a review gives the definition of caring moment. He defines it as the specific occasion both in time and space that allows nurses as well as other individuals to come together or to interact in a way that enables them to achieve a state of desirable human caring. The belief of this conception is that although the parties come from varying fields with varied and unique characteristics, they can interact successfully in human-to-human manner. In such a case, the individuals ideally exhibit different feelings, bodily sensations, thoughts, expectations, spiritual beliefs, environmental considerations and individual meanings. The characteristics that precede the situation are complex. The previous history of a person in life, present moment and imagined future influence these characteristics. For a nursing experience that is more satisfying to be achieved on the basis of caring, inherent differences should be reconciled. Nurses are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that all differences that can undermine provision of quality healthcare are properly and effectively handled or addressed.

Caring moment provides a chance for practitioners to practice their competencies and skills with maximum efficiency. It also ensures that nursing practice benefits the patients optimally. As such, Watson (2006) gives an explanation for a caring moment to be ideal both parties have to contribute incredibly towards its creation and sustenance. The choices and actions made by individuals during this moment influence the shape and outcome of the whole process. Both parties are enabled to protect this initiative as well as to take measures that are practical in relation to realizing optimal benefits by intrinsic ownership of actions and ideas. On the basis of the critical openness principle, this goes across individual boundaries while encouraging human capabilities’ expansion (Nelson, 2011).

The Human Caring Model

Watson (2009) note that the model for human caring has carative factors, relations for transpersonal caring and caring occasion. Carative factors play an important role of enabling the nurses to respect and honor human dimensions while performing their duties. They provide vital guidelines which professionals use in exploring the patients’ inner lives and subjective experiences and also to attain the desirable results. Principally, the need to offer special attention as well as love guides them while practicing nursing. These comprises of ten elements which are hope and faith, a system for humanistic and altruistic value, transpersonal education, sensitivity to self and others, creative resolution of a problem, feelings expression, needs assistance of human, protective, supportive and corrective environment, trustworthy and helpful relationship as well as the divine forces for existential-phenomenology (Carusa, Cisar & Pipe, 2008).

Watson (2006) observes that the relation for transpersonal caring as a component is also important in nursing. This expresses nurses’ commitment to protecting and enhancing human wellbeing as well as deeper self dignity. Nurses via this relationship communicate caring consciousness in relation to respecting or honoring the embodied spirit. Nurses are prohibited by this principle from reducing themselves or patients to mere moral objects.

Additionally, this connection motivates nurses so that they can be conscious while offering care that heals their patients. Exercising nursing, perception and intentional connection makes this attainable. It is apparent at this juncture that this relationship allows nursing professionals to do more than clinical evaluation so that they can explore subjective as well as deeper meanings that any healthcare situation gives. Despite both parties being distinctive, they accept mutuality in order to get meaning as well as wholeness and also to eliminate suffering. According to Sitzman and Watson (2013), transpersonal relationship facilitates the enhancement, preservation and protection of the dignity, wholeness, inner harmony and humanity of a person.

Improving the Caring Occasion

Both the nursing practitioner and the patient consider a caring moment as a very important moment. As such, nurses should take appropriate measures in order to improve it. They can achieve this goal in different ways. Improving practitioner and patient education can help in improving this moment. This can specifically be attained through engagement in different teaching and learning experiences that are aimed at promoting harmony within the boundary limits. Apart from knowledge enhancement for the nurse and patient, both parties are empowered by this practice and it hastens the personal healing process.

Nelson (2011) observes that several activities can lead to the attainment of this objective by nurses. These include Proofreading-Editinglistening to the experiences of the patients actively to help them understand their illnesses better. Additionally, learning from patients first would be important in order to understand their viewpoints before sharing experiences as well as providing important alternatives and tools that can be used to assist them. As such, speaking calmly and respecting the patients’ views as well as paying attention to this moment gives the desirable results (Nelson, 2011).

The Caring Occasion in Nursing

According to Adeline (2000), caring takes place each time a nurse interacts with patients. Nurses are able to enter into the world of the patient literarily and to understand it due to these relationships. Although healing or curing can occur, caring makes it easier for nurses to perform their duties. It provides a chance for appreciating the dignity and worth of their patients. In different terms, it enables nurses to acknowledge patients’ humanistic attributes and to be committed to assisting them achieve healing. It can be argued that the belief that patients have that nurses will always care for them provides the healing hope. Watson (2009) in his study shows that hope and commitment are vital elements of caring. Patients think positively due to hope and they also believe in a living possibility. They are optimistic throughout the painful moment with the hope of recovering even when facing the risk of death. Through respect for the optimism of patients and caring, nurses support patients until they get healed. To nurses, patients are complete and whole humans. Within their soul, body and mind, patients are at peace.

Application of Watson’s Carative Factors

The carative factors of Watson were useful in different ways during caring moment. To keep the patient hopeful, the nurse paid attention and listened to the stories and narrations of the patient. This was achieved by honoring or respecting the patient’s belief system which enabled the patient to have faith and hope. This created several self-reflection opportunities and an opportunity that the practitioner used to encourage his patient to continue living. The nurse called the patient by his name during this moment. This enabled him to perceive the patient as human rather than an object.

Responding to individual feelings and needs of a patient made it possible for the nurse to establish a caring, trustworthy and helpful environment (Watson, 2009). In this regard, specific activities such as practicing self-reflection, encouraging self and others forgiveness, showing interest in the condition of the patient and establishing meaningful rituals for encouraging practicing gratitude, surrender and compassion. This led to sensitivity cultivation in both the patient and practitioner.

Developing a trusting and helping relationship on the basis of human caring principles is very important (Watson, 2006). This was attained by the nurse through the establishment of a trustworthy environment for the patient, family members and the team that was providing healthcare. Unconditional love for others was particularly practiced by the nurse. The nurse was open and sensitive while addressing different concerns. The nurse also avoided judging others while promoting direct, respectful and constructive communication. He also sought clarification when necessary. These activities helped in the cultivation of objectivity and confidence more so in making decisions.

Finally, the nurse was able to accept and promote expressions of positive and negative feelings by establishing caring environments which supported spiritual growth. The nurse achieved this by letting the patient narrate individual stories as well as reflect on their feelings and experiences. By praying constantly with patients, the practitioner was able to appreciate spirituality role as well as its influence on the process of healing. The nurse also encouraged patients through advice so that they can consider their illness from its positive aspects rather than the negative aspects. Essentially, the nurse assisted patients in devising viable approaches for handling negative feelings whose effects were far reaching on their healing process and health.


The patient’s illness may not be cured by the caring occasion directly. However, it contributes to the inner healing as well as the reconciliation of the mind, soul and body of a patient. It also encourages the improvement of nursing practice and this makes it more satisfying. The model for human caring encompasses three important elements. These are caring occasion, carative factors and transpersonal caring. Caring interactions enable nurses to exercise values as well as to go past the main objective which is to assess the disease of the patient. They enter the worlds of the patients. The carative factors’ underlying principles enable the nurses to engage in rewarding and sustainable healthcare practices. The preceding review has indicated that carative factors’ specific application in nursing practice improves efficiency while enabling the practitioners to address different challenges with maximum effectiveness.

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Adeline, R. (2000). Watson’s philosophy, science, and theory of human caring as a conceptual framework for guiding community health nursing. Advances in Nursing Science, 23 (2), 34-49.

In his research, Adeline (2000) provides an in depth exploration of Watson’s theory of human caring. He begins by explaining all the constituents clearly. He believes that relative principles are imperative in community based nursing as they enable practitioners to execute their duties with ease. Besides the conceptual framework, the author details the theorist’s philosophy and explains how it relates to the field of nursing.

Caruso, E., Cisar, N. & Pipe, T. (2008). Creating a healing environment: An innovative educational approach for adopting Jean Watson’s theory of human caring. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 32 (2), 126.

Curaso, Cisar and Pipe (2008) assert that patient’s recovery depends directly on the conditions that the practitioners provide. According to them, the principles of Watson’s theory present important fundamentals of nursing. They insist that nursing education should be based on these principles because they are consistent with the relative objectives.

Nelson, J. (2011). Measuring caring: The next frontier in understanding workforce performance and patient outcomes. Nursing Economics, 29 (4), 215-219.

Based on empirical research, Nelson (2011) found that caring is an important benchmark for measuring work force performance in the field of nursing. The author indicates that the values and principles that caring advocates for are in line with the nursing practice. This reading was considered for this study because of the credible contributions that it makes to this field of specification. The statistical evidence played a leading role in decision making with respect to the importance of the caring conception.

Sitzman K. & Watson, J. (2013). Caring science, mindful practice: Implementing Watson’s human caring theory. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

In their research, Sitzman and Watson (2013) detail the application of Watson’s model in clinical practice. They present practical ways through which nursing professionals can apply the concepts during the execution of their duties. This reading is informative with regard to how nurses can utilize theoretical knowledge.

Watson, J. (2006). Caring as an ethical guide to administrative and clinical practices. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 30 (1), 48-55.

In this consultative review, Watson (2006) maintains that caring is an important aspect of nursing. Besides explaining the key concepts, he explores the principles, values and behaviors that constitute caring. In addition, he explains how these can be applied in professional ethics. It is for this reason that the study was considered vital for this research.

Watson, J. (2009).Caring science and human caring theory: transforming personal and professional practices of nursing and health care. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, 31 (4), 466-482.

Watson (2009) indicates that caring is a humanistic science in the field of nursing. In this particular study, he demonstrates how nurses can utilize the human caring theory to enhance their output and attain high level efficiency. He believes that the caring concept is essential for realization of important nursing goals. Most importantly, he recommends that relative principles can transform the entire healthcare sector positively