Dr. Jean Watson was born in West Virginia (1940s) but transferred to Colorado in 1962 where she lived since then (Cara, 2003). In 1979, she developed the Human Caring theory (Cara, 2003) after the death of her husband (Tomey & Alligood, Jean Watson: Philosophy, 2006). …
Such experience (death of her husband) made a profound impact upon her personal and spiritual life that inspired her to develop a caring model (Tomey & Alligood, Jean Watson: Philosophy, 2006).
She completed a degree in 1961 at Lewis Gale School of Nursing in Roanoke, Virginia (Biography, 2011). She later pursued her studies in nursing at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she completed the degree in 1964 (Biography, 2011). She also earned a masters degree in psychiatric and mental health nursing (1966) in the same school, and a doctorate degree in educational psychology and counseling (1973) (Biography, 2011).
She founded the Center for Human Caring in Colorado, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and a professor. She previously held the position of Dean (Nursing) at the University Health Sciences Center and President of National League for Nursing (Biography, 2011).
The Caring Theory primarily embodies eastern philosophy with infusion of metaphysical values, the spiritual-subjective aspects of an individual that grows and changes, and a non-paternalistic approach in helping another person (Watson 2007). The eastern influence can be seen from the use of words such as cosmic love, consciousness, energy, transcendence, etc. Helping a person helps that person attain more knowledge and control, as well as healing of self regardless of the state of illness or health (Watson 2007).
Watson’s nursing philosophy focuses on human caring and loss (Biography, 2011), and provided the carative factors as the framework of her theory. She preferred to identify her model with the carative factors to distinguish it from the curative factors which the medical profession uses (Cara, 2003). The carative factors identify and take into consideration the inner and subjective experiences of the person (Cara, 2003). The theory aims to bring the nursing profession into the origins of the profession – compassion, caring and healing (Cara, 2003). Caring Theory Watson’s theory is a two-way model of healing. The interaction of the nurse and patient through the physical and spiritual levels provide healing for both of them. Through the caring science, the ethics of caring and the knowledge of caring and healing that lead to health provide a venue for reform and evolution (Watson, 2007). The carative factors are not the main theory of Jean Watson but one of its components. The major elements of the Caring Theory are: a) carative factors, b) transpersonal caring relationship, and c) caring occasion/caring moment (Cara, 2003). The 10 elements of the carative factors are the following: a) humanistic-altruistic system of value, b) faith-hope, c) sensitivity to self and others, d) helping-trusting, human care relationship, e) expressing positive and negative feelings, f) creative problem-solving caring process, g) transpersonal teaching-learning, h) supportive, protective, and/or corrective mental, physical, societal, and spiritual environment, i) human needs assistance, and j) existential-phenomenological-spiritual forces (Watson, 1988b, p. 75, as cited in Cara, 2003). The carative factors approach emphasizes its difference from medicine’s “curative” approach by providing a structure in comprehending nursing as a science of caring (Watson, 1985, pp. 9-10, as cited in Tomey, & Alligood, 10 Carative, 2006). The ...
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