Can Someone Be a Nurse Without Jean Watson?? - page 19

Ok now, as I delve back INTO nursing philosophy and theories, I come across, again, the theories of Jean Watson that have been hailed as the greatest thing since polyurethane IV bags - The Caring... Read More

  1. by   kellacot
    Hi Suzy,
    Good question. I personally love Watson's theory and find it is the most evolved theory as a foundation to guide practice. It has never been my impression that Watson suggests that caring is all that it takes. She acknowledges the importance of empirical science and competent skill. My understanding of her work is that she suggests we not be led into a reductionist paradigm that reduces our practice to tasks, skills and emipirics but rather we strive for holistic practice that sees our patients as people, with life contexts, spiritual needs, subjective experiences,etc. For me, "caring" has a broad definition and Watson doesn't suggest that we feel the same for our patients as we do for our moms and dads. I think our concepts of caring need to evolve beyond just an emotional feeling or the old stereotype of the long suffering, self effacing nurse. The fact that you posted this question and sought debate shows a kind of caring.....caring as a political act.....asking questions, defending your competence as a nurse against certain stereotypes etc. I don't think that kindness and caring as part of caring for the sick can ever result in dumbing down nursing. I don't think there is any question that a technologically savvy nurse, skilled, knowledgeable nurse who cares about the patient's experience and attends to their human-ness (ie cares) is a better nurse than the savvy, mechanically skilled nurse who doesn't care. Watson's theory is really less a "nursing theory" than a blueprint for being wholly human.

    Quote from Susy K
    Ok now, as I delve back INTO nursing philosophy and theories, I come across, again, the theories of Jean Watson that have been hailed as the greatest thing since polyurethane IV bags - The Caring Theory of Nursing.

    Personally, I have never been a fan of Watson, only because I feel that she OVERemphasized the caring aspect, and, in my opinion, dumbified nursing - hence, the ad campaign in the late 80's "If Caring Were Enough, Anyone Could Be a Nurse." Watson threw a fit when she saw this.

    As nursing evolves to a more technically challenging field, requiring more acute assessment skills, and as the
    "How Women Know" movement which has shaped nursing education for the last decade or so has become archaic, wondering what your thoughts are on if someone can be a nurse and NOT subscribe to the caring theory. Can one be a competent nurse and NOT care about her patients any more deeply than simply getting the job done?

    Watson's theory goes a bit deeper than simply "caring" - more so than "caring" about any other job. But "caring" as far as honestly caring about the patient as you would your mom or dad.

    Do you think someone CAN be an effective nurse WITHOUT having so much an emphasis on loving her patients?
  2. by   pinkiepie
    I am a relatively new nursing student(finishing off semester one ) so my experiences with patients may not be as extensive as some of you all have. My SON's philosophy is straight Watson and we studied it indepth pretty much immediately after beginning school. During lecture I thought it was a bunch of psychobabble, but when I went home and read through it I thought she had some pretty good ideas. HOWEVER, since being on clinical and caring for some very ill patients I have learned the value of keeping my emotional distance. If I viewed every patient as "just like" my mother, father, or child I would absolutely lose my mind !! So I have come up with my own theory of nursing for me......simply care for each patient as another valuable human being regardless of race, religion or status and remain emotionally detached so that you are able to provide focused competent care. Save all my warm fuzzies for family members and pets! Hope this carries me through many years in the profession
  3. by   Q.
    It was interesting reading through this thread again. When I originally posted this, I was a first year grad student. I am now in my final semseters and will graduate in August.

    After reading much more about Watson, I have actually come to agreement with alot of what she says, mainly about the profession of nursing in general. She has an awesome quote that I use alot:

    We are not mechanics and technicians fixing people and diseases, no matter how well we have been professionalized into acting that way.
    Watson, 1993.

    She speaks about nursing is so much more than tubes and needles; a battle that I have been fighting since I can remember.
  4. by   Tweety
    Q., interesting how you've come around. Shows you're open-minded.

    I'm sure I'll read about in my BSN courses to come. They have a few snippets about her in my first book. The school, however, uses the "Neuman Systems Model". Ever hear of that?
  5. by   llg
    Quote from Q.
    It was interesting reading through this thread again. When I originally posted this, I was a first year grad student. I am now in my final semseters and will graduate in August.

    After reading much more about Watson, I have actually come to agreement with alot of what she says, mainly about the profession of nursing in general. She has an awesome quote that I use alot:

    Watson, 1993.

    She speaks about nursing is so much more than tubes and needles; a battle that I have been fighting since I can remember.
    I love seeing how people (including me) can broaden their perspective. develop new opinions, etc. as they continue in their education. I know it's kind of a trite expression, but "Thank you for sharing that with us."

    If you have a good mind, your thoughts will probably evolve over time. They won't stay exactly the same. Unfortunately, too many of us are too locked into certain ways of thinking to be open to the alternatives.

    Take care,
    llg
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    I'm sure I'll read about in my BSN courses to come. They have a few snippets about her in my first book. The school, however, uses the "Neuman Systems Model". Ever hear of that?
    Neuman Systems Model is the nursing model used in the BSN program at Neumann College (1982 grad) -- first introduced about 1980 (yes, two different spellings of Neuman, triple spellcheck)

    Betty Neuman's archives are now housed at this college:
    http://www.neumann.edu/academics/und...sing/model.asp

    Ironic to work in a health system who's nursing care was based on this system theory and see it's influcence in my current home health agency and my practice.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Dec 14, '04
  7. by   Jess-RN in 2006
    I just have to agree with Brandy waaaayyy back on page one or two...our entire program is also based off Jean Watson's caring theory, and even in my first semester of nursing school I have had enough!! We too, have to use carative factors in all of our care plans, blah, blah...I think we had six or so hours worth of lecture on Jean Watson-what did I take out of it? NOTHING!!! Drives me nuts!!!
  8. by   Mccm219
    Patients who see that a Nurse genuinley cares for them and their well-being builds a trusting relationship. The patient will listen more attentively when the nurse educates and advocates that they need to care for themselves. I strongly suggest reading Watson's theory, I also suggest reading "Nursing as Caring" by Anne Boykin and Savina Schoenhofer.
  9. by   rach_nc_03
    Quote from NurseMark25
    Hooray for all you nurses that believe one can be a nurse without caring for a patient as if they were your mommies and daddies! Finally, it is so refreshing to see nurses that do not have that sentimental non-sense feeling about their jobs! I work in an ER. I rarely care for a patient for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time. I don't know these people. I am not capable of caring for a patient who is a complete stranger. You see, it takes a while for people to build a relationship to have that kind of caring. I care about doing my job well and I care about my paycheck that comes about every two weeks. I care that my patients see a professional before them, someone they can trust their lives with. I care that I do not make mistakes in the care of a patient. So I care about my work, and in an acquaintance sort-of-way, I care about the person as a human.

    I have problems with nursing theorists. They try to make nursing or describe nursing in such a way that is downright ludicrous. There was one theorist that I read about that described nursing as the interaction of balls of energy that interact with each other,share energy, and affect each other.... blah, blah, blah. I laughed my -ss off after I read this. PLEASE! How does that have anything to do with nursing??? How does this help me triage a patient in active CHF coming in through the front ER doors? How does it help me understand whether or not a patient may be having a reaction to a drug I gave? how does it help me interpret abnormal lab tests so that I can let the physician know something is up with my patient??? Nursing needs to be more like medicine... scientific, yet still have more of a human touch to it. Do you know what would happen if I attached myself to patients like that quack nursing theorist suggests? I see death almost every day that I work... if I cared for my patients like I do my mom or my dad, I would never come back to work! Nursing burnout would be worse. A degree of detachment from a patient allows a nurse to be more objective, calculated, and cool-minded... assets that are very important in a field such as ours.

    I do not mean to offend anyone here. But if nursing were more like medicine, we would all be sticking together, working in unions, making great pay with great benefits, having great nurse-patient ratios, and running the hospitals. Instead, we have this stupid theory of caring that causes us to be selfless, take less pay, get disrespected, and get stepped on. No thank you!

    A

    freakin

    MEN!

    One week, when I missed a clinical, I had to write a 20-page paper on the nursing theorist I agreed with the most, and why. The BULK of my paper was the systematic deconstruction of various theories, and my argument for replacing our nursing theory unit with one on ethics and responsibility. Yes, we spent a few weeks on nursing theory in my ADN program, which still boggles my mind- as if we had any spare time to spend on it!

    I completely agree with you- all this does, IMO, is make nursing seem like a warm fuzzy, rather than a science. Like a nice hug and pat on the back is somehow as helpful to a patient as, i don't know, mechanical ventilation. It goes hand in hand with the infantilization of patients (calling your patients "sweetie" or "sugar")....one of the nurses on my unit actually said, "that's a GOOD girl!" to a 45-year-old patient who coughed effectively during suctioning!!!

    it's one of the things that irks me when I tell people I'll be working in a PICU when I graduate....they say, 'oh, I couldn't STAND to see all those sick children! Why would you want to do THAT?' Well, someone has to help them get better, right?

    One question, though- what was the "How Women Know" thing? Never heard of it.
  10. by   Tweety
    Quote from rach_nc_03
    Yes, we spent a few weeks on nursing theory in my ADN program, which still boggles my mind- as if we had any spare time to spend on it!
    Wow, I don't remember spending anytime on it, but we must have. It surely wasn't two weeks! In my RN to BSN program we spent a lot of time on on nursing theory.
  11. by   mercyteapot
    I think it is absolutely possible to be a good nurse without caring personally for your patient. Many a good correctional nurse finds the prisoners in his/her care morally repugnant. Few hospital nurses have never had a patient with views or lifestyles that they find personally offensive, and yet most are still able to do their job with competentce. Although I have cared for most of my patients in the course of my career, I can honestly say that I didn't care for any of them the way I care about my husband and my son. That is a reflection of how much I care for them, though, not of how little I care for my patients.
    Last edit by mercyteapot on Apr 3, '05
  12. by   HappyNurse2005
    One week, when I missed a clinical, I had to write a 20-page paper on the nursing theorist I agreed with the most, and why. The BULK of my paper was the systematic deconstruction of various theories, and my argument for replacing our nursing theory unit with one on ethics and responsibility.
    What did your instructor think of that??
  13. by   live4today
    I never heard of Watson, and I've been a nurse for over 18 years. Must not have missed much -- IMPO. :uhoh21:

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