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When referring to Jean Watson’s theory of Human Caring, the first aspect that comes to my mind is to care for a patient as a whole by understanding the patient’s life challenges and the people that surround the patient. According to Gonzalo (2021), Watson’s model of nursing states that “nursing is concerned with promoting health, preventing illness, caring for the sick, and restoring health.” Focusing the practice of care on health promotion, as well as the treatment of diseases. There are several concepts in this specific theory including Society, Human Being, Health, and Nursing, however, from my perspective, Health is an essential characteristic when trying to provide the best quality of care possible. “Health is the unity and harmony within the mind, body, and soul” it is directly associated with the degree of congruence between the self and the self as experienced (Gonzalo, 2021).
Another nursing theory that can be easily compared to the concept of Watson’s theory is the Theory of intrapersonal Relations from Hildegard Peplau. This theory consists of emphasizing the nurse-Patient relationship or bond as the foundation and primary characteristics of nursing practice (Wayne, 2021). In other words, it is focusing our practice on meeting the needs of a sick individual without losing the humanistic aspect. This theory also considers Health as one of its major concepts; however, it is defined as “a word symbol that implies a forward movement of personality and other ongoing human processes in the direction of creative, constructive, productive, personal, and community living” (Gonzalo, 2021).
One of the main similarities of these two concepts is that both of them focused on the practice of extra efforts leading to the absence of illness or a better patient outcome. The outstanding difference when comparing these concepts is that one considers health as a high level of overall physical, mental, and social functioning” (Gonzalo, 2021); However, The Intrapersonal Relations Theory states defines health as human processes toward creative, constructive, productive, personal, and community living. In other words, Watson’s theory focuses on the patient as a whole, and Peplau’s theory focuses on the Nurse-Patient relationship. When reading different perspectives of concepts, the reader’s understanding might be interfered with reflecting on their decision-making when it comes to providing the best care possible.
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The concept of caring is prominently seen in both Jean Watson’s Theory of Caring and as well as Madeleine Leininger’s Transcultural Caring Theory. Definition of caring is displaying kindness and concern for others. In the nursing environment, caring plays an important role within our profession. Lenininger defined care as, “the essence and the central, unifying, and dominant domain to characterized nursing” (Alligood, 2014 p. 351). Watson defines caring as ‘the ethical and moral ideal of nursing with interpersonal and humanistic qualities’ (Alligood, 2014 p. 96). A common similarity between both theorists includes that caring is required in the world of nursing.
In contrast, there are differences between the theories by Watson and Lenininger. Also, unlike Watson’s theory, Leininger’s theory is not a grand theory. Watson’s theory emphasizing that caring is more spiritual, with the nurse and patient healing and influencing each other. “Caring-healing consciousness is an intentionally of love and wholeness that is a source and form of life energy, life spirit, and vital energy that can be communicated by the one-caring to the one-being-care-for, which potentiates healing” (Alligood, 2014 p. 105). However, Lenininger’ Transcultural Caring Theory more focuses on nurses being more culturally aware while providing care to not only patients but as well as their families. “For caring to be effective, nurses need to learn culturally specific behaviors and words that reflect human caring in different cultures to identify and meet the needs of all patients” (Blasdell, 2017 p. 3). Although both include a holistic approach in caring for patients, each theorist defines care differently and whom to provide care for.
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