Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring has a wide range of applications in nursing practice including psychiatric and pediatric clinical setting as well as critical care. Watson’s theory states that nursing focuses on preventing illness, restoring health, and promoting health (Wayne, 2016). Watson’s Theory of Human Caring focuses on treating diseases and improving health. According to Watson, effective caring promotes growth and health in a patient. In her theory, Watson distinguished nursing from medicine in that nursing involves a caring aspect while medicine has a feature of curing (Revels, Goldberg, & Watson, 2016).
Watson’s motivation to develop the Theory of Human Caring was based on her professional and personal experiences in life. Additionally, Watson states that her early development of theory was derived from her perceptions, beliefs, and values about healing, health, and personhood (Revels, Goldberg, & Watson, 2016). Watson credits development of her theory as being impacted my Maslow’s psychological concept of self-actualization and Jungian psychology, a feminist theorist. Watson also acknowledges Carl Rogers for his work for identifying warmth, empathy and harmony as a basis for caring relationships. Watson used Roger’s findings to develop her intellect on clinical relationship (Revels, Goldberg, & Watson, 2016).
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Watson’s theory can be applied in psychiatric patients because it can emphasize the supportive and protective environment, developing trusting relationships, and the importance of sensitivity to others. This theory is also applicable in the pediatric setting because it outlines effective care growth of an individual and their family. Features of effective caring providing a clean and safe environment for the child, encouraging the child to speak, listening to the child when he or she speaks, acknowledging their frustration, and treating the child as an individual (Elbahnasawy, Lawend, & Mohammed, 2016). With the increased use of technology in critical care units, it is challenging to build a relationship with patients and their family members and communicate with nurses (Dunbar, 2015). Application of Jean Watson’s theory in a critical care environment can help to humanize their patients. Engaging family members in meaningful conversations and providing reasonable care allows nurses to learn more about their patients’ beliefs, culture, and background. This nature of caring helps nurses to strengthen their relationship with a patient and make nurses more aware of their attitudes.