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Dr. Watson's Caring Theory


Dr. Watson visits Adventist Hinsdale Hospital!

On Oct. 8, 2013, Dr. Jean Watson visited and toured Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. During her tour, nurses and members of the hospital’s caring council had the opportunity to show Dr. Watson how they had put her theories on nursing into action. Among the areas visited were restorative spaces for the nurses, a sibling art area in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and art carts put together for adult and pediatric patients. Following the tour, Watson made a presentation to the entire nursing staff on “Caring Theory/Caring Science.”

Her visit came in advance of the 19th International Caritas Consortium, which welcomed nurses from all over the world and was hosted by the Adventist Midwest Health hospitals.

What are the components of Dr. Watson's Caring Theory?

  • Carative Factors: Spiritual, emotional, and human care-giving factors that are added to, and meshed with, clinical care factors.
  • A transpersonal Caring Relationship: The nurse and patient mutually search for meaning and wholeness.
  • Caring Moments: Uninterrupted time spent with a patient to make a human-to-human connection.

Caring moments also extend to uninterrupted time spent with family members. Dr. Watson believes these caring moments transform both the patient and the nurse.

What is the role of the nurse in Dr. Jean Watson’s Caring Theory?

  • Establish a caring relationship with patients. 
  • Show unconditional acceptance. 
  • Use a holistic treatment approach—one that includes treating the mind, soul, and spirit as well as the body). 
  • Spend uninterrupted time with patients – something Watson calls “caring moments.” 
  • Promote health through knowledge and intervention

Both Watson’s Caring Theory and AHH’s “Veritas Caritas” Nursing Theory view nursing as a science and an art. Under these theories, caring is the essence of nursing. A large part of the caring model involves helping the patient find meaning in illness and suffering to restore or promote the patient’s harmony.