The purpose of this paper is to present a personal belief about the metaparadigm of nursing and to incorporate it into that of Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring.
II. Personal Belief on the Paradigm
Every person’s needs must be recognized, respected, and filled if he or she must attain wholeness. The environment must attuned to that wholeness for healing to occur. Healing must be total or holistic if health must be restored or maintained. And a nurse-patient relationship is the very foundation of nursing (Conway et al 2011; Johnson, 2011). The Theory recognizes a person’s needs above all. It sets up the conducive environment to healing. It addresses and works on the restoration and maintenance of total health rather than only specific parts or aspect of the patient’s body or personality. And these are possible only through a positive healing relationship between the patient and the nurse (Conway et al, Johnson).
III. Origin of Watson’s Theory
Watson conceived her Theory of Human Caring while she was teaching at the University of Colorado in 1975 to 1979 (Conway et al, 2011). It evolved from her personal views on nursing and merged with her learning and experience from her doctoral studies in education, clinical and social psychology. With the publication of her first book, Jean Watson developed the initial ideas of her theory and came up with 10 “carative” factors. Her actual theory was published in 1985, after which she further developed the corresponding nursing curriculum. In those years, Watson also extensively traveled in Asia and Australia while practiced. The prevailing influences in the nursing field at the time were those of Carl Rogers, Florence Nightingale and Leininger. Main psychological influences emanated from Maslow, Giorgi, Johnson and Koch. The major thought influences in the 70s were feminism, quantum physics, wisdom tradition, Eastern philosophy, the New Ate and metaphysics (Conway et al).
IV. Description of the Theory
The Theory of Human Caring
Its main concept is transpersonal human caring, best understood within the ancillary concepts of life, illness and health (Fawcett, 2002). It defines human life as “spiritual-mental-physical being-in-the-world,” traversing continuously in time and space. Illness is not always a disease, but can also be a state of turbulence or disharmony in a person’s inner self, whether in the conscious or unconscious level. And health is the unity and harmony of the mind, body and the soul. Transpersonal human caring and caring transactions refer to scientific, professional, ethical, aesthetic, creative and personalized giving and receiving behaviors and responses between nurse and patient. These interactions allow them to experience each other via physical, mental and spiritual paths or a combination of these paths. From these, it can be gleaned that the precise goal of nursing is to help the patient gain a higher degree of harmony in...