The term nursing theory defines the body of knowledge given to specific aspects in the nursing profession. There are many theories that range from practice theories, mid-range theories, to grand theories. A theory refers to a group of related concepts, definitions, and statements that describe a certain phenomena from which to describe explain or predict outcomes. (Barnum) The theory guides the professional nurse in making clinical judgments based on evidence. It does so by using appropriate data, organizing, analyzing and developing connections to the patient. From there, nursing interventions can be planned appropriately and the outcomes can be evaluated in ensure proper intervention. (Black 267)
The grand theories in nursing are the broadest and provide useful insights for practice. They define broad perspectives for practice and ways of looking at nursing phenomena. (Barnum). Jean Watson developed one such grand theory, The Theory of Human Caring. In 1979, she published Philosophy and Science of Caring. In was in this work that she called for a greater emphasis on caring within the nursing profession (Black 271). Watson’s work describes the relationship of the nurse and the patients, as a human-to-human relationship. Emphasizing how the nurse and patient change together with what she calls transpersonal caring. Through this process, the nurse uses knowledge of both self and patient along with spiritual matters to provide appropriate care. (Black) The last major concept in her theory is that health is a harmony of body mind and soul; illness is the lack of this harmony. In order for the patient’s health to be restored this harmony must be reestablished.
Watson’s core concept for establishing the theory of caring was due to a disconnect she felt between nursing’s paradigm of caring-healing and medicine’s paradigm of diagnosis and treatment. (Cara) As a result, she developed carative factors that would be the basis for a value system that was humanitarian, aesthetic and spiritual. Established initially in 1979, and later revised in 1988 Watson’s carative factors contrast the curative factors of medicine. Watson did so with the in concept of honoring the human dimension that is nursing (Cara). These factors serve to define nursing knowledge, practice, and phenomena to compliment the healing knowledge and practices established in medicine (Cara). These factors include:
1. Practice loving kindness
2. Decision making
3. Instill faith and hope
4. Teaching and learning
5. Spiritual beliefs and practices
6. Holistic care
7. Helping and rusting relationship
8. Healing environment
9. Promote expression of feelings
While it may seem obvious to some, small simple procedures can have a major impact on the patient. Making eye contact, explaining a procedure, ensure the patient is in a comfortable environment are all caring skills that ease the patient and begin a caring moment (Cara). Watson is one of a few theorists that consider not...