Jean Watson’s transpersonal theory of caring is about the need for the nurse to care for the patient’s values and experiences along with their fundamental needs (Ranheim, Karner & Bertero, 2012, p. 2). This theory became of interest to me when I first began my clinical rotation at a nursing home. Some of the nurses were cold and disinterested while interacting with the patients. While they addressed the patients’ immediate clinical needs, it was hard to see them express compassion or empathize with their patients.
The first time I noticed this was when a patient expressed concern about her nurse not caring about her. After the patient told me this, I paid close attention to the way her nurse interacted with her. She was in a hurry and even spoke poorly about the patient to me while standing over the patient’s bed. It was clear the patient knew the nurse was talking about her because the patient looked me in the eye, shook her head disapprovingly, and then looked down with dismay.
Watson discusses the challenges between what nursing is versus what nurses actually do. She describes nursing as "a culture which has lost its way: a culture void of humanity and authentic human caring relationships, and void of meaningful communication and connections (Watson, 2009, p. 3)." While in my clinical rotation at the nursing home, I witnessed the way the nurses interacted with the patients and had the chance to see this challenge on display. After speaking with the nurses on duty, it is obvious that caring values, nurse-patient relationships, and authenticity of nursing can be forgotten as increased institutional demands are experienced. I would like to learn more about this theory and understand how it fits in the nursing home environment. Furthermore, I hope to gain a greater understanding of how this theory can be implemented as a top priority
Watson defines caring as a value and an attitude that has to become a will, an intention, or a commitment that manifests itself in concrete acts (Ranheim et al., 2012, p. 2). Watson focuses on looking at the whole person with an emphasis on a person’s mind, body, and spirit. The whole being should be treated, rather than just the specific illness. "When a patient is recovering from a hip replacement they definitely want the hip fixed properly, however, there are other needs to be addressed such as loneliness, fear about being able to live alone again, or a misunderstanding about medications (Anderson, 2011, p. 8)."
The three main concepts of Watson’s theory involve the ten carative factors, the transpersonal relationship, and the caring moment (Noel, 2010, p.19). The ten factors include:
• Embrace altruistic values and practice loving kindness with self and others;
• Instill faith and hope and honor others;
• Be sensitive to self and others by nurturing individual beliefs and practices;
• Develop helping, trusting, caring relationships;
• Promote and accept positive and negative feelings as...