Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring
(written by and reprinted with the kind permission of Jacqueline Fawcett, RN, PhD, FAAN)
Watson's work is a middle-range theory that deals with the caring actions taken by nurses as they interact with others.
VALUES AND ASSUMPTIONS
The values and assumptions that form the basis for the theory of human caring reflect a metaphysical, phenomenological-existential, and spiritual orientation that draws upon Eastern philosophy.
ASSUMPTIONS deal with human life, nursing science, and the process of nursing.
Watson's conception of human life is tied to notions that one's soul possesses a body that is not confined by objective space and time. The lived world of the experiencing person is not distinguished by external and internal notions of time and space, but shapes its own time and space, which is unconstrained by linearity.
Nursing is a human science of persons and human health-illness experiences that are mediated by professional, personal, scientific, esthetic, and ethical human care transactions.
The process of nursing is human care.
THE THEORY OF HUMAN CARING
The main concept of the theory is TRANSPERSONAL HUMAN CARING, which is best understood within the concepts of three ancillary concepts: LIFE, ILLNESS, and HEALTH.
HUMAN LIFE is defined as spiritual-mental-physical being-in-the-world, which is continuous in time and space.
ILLNESS is not necessarily disease. Illness is subjective turmoil or disharmony with a person's inner self or soul at some level or disharmony within the spheres of the person, either consciously or unconsciously.
HEALTH refers to unity and harmony within the mind, body, and soul.
TRANSPERSONAL HUMAN CARING and caring transactions are those scientific, professional, ethical, yet esthetic, creative and personalized giving-receiving behaviors and responses between nurse and patient that allow for contact between the subjective world of the experiencing persons through physical, mental, or spiritual routes or some combination thereof.
THE GOAL OF NURSING is to help persons gain a higher degree of harmony within the mind, body, and soul which generates self-knowledge, self-reverence, self-healing, and self-care processes while increasing diversity.
Nursing interventions or CARATIVE FACTORS are:
This page was last modified on 6/1/02