Nursing Science: Jean Watson’s influence on nursing practice
The five patterns of knowledge and how they can be applied in nursing practice
Professionals will define themselves according to their sphere of knowledge they seek and possess. There are four fundamental designs used by nurses for knowledge. These designs make up the syntactical and the conceptual nursing knowledge structure. The designs include aesthetic knowing, ethical knowing, empirical knowing, and personal knowing. Discussed below are ways through which the different designs of knowing can help nurses in their application of nursing practice. Personal knowing: This can be considered as personal knowledge or the knowing of self. It also entails the experiences or the nurse and what they have seen. This knowledge is acquired through reflection, self-actualization and observation. Through knowledge of self, nurses are capable of establishing therapeutic and authentic relationships which propel them towards integrity and wholeness (Chinn& Kramer,2015).
Empirical Knowledge: This knowledge is acquired through objective facts and through research. Such knowledge is organized systematically into theories and laws. This knowledge may be applied through evidence based practices (EBP). Empirical knowledge is commonly references as nursing science (Chinn& Kramer,2015).
Ethical knowledge: This is the pattern of knowing that helps nurses develop their personal moral code. It entails the wisdom of understanding the things that are wrong and those that are right. Personal ethic in nursing is founded on the need to respect and preserve human life. Personal actions in nursing and other professions are well are dictated through ethical knowing. The nurse’ ethics code can be applied as a guiding tool as nurses refine and develop their personal moral code (American Nurses Association,2015). Aesthetic knowing: This is the art part of knowing in nursing (Carper, 1978).
This knowing employs all the other designs of knowing and cultivates the phenomena understanding. It may be described as the Eureka moments that nurses get upon uncovering or discovering something unique. Nurses can embrace new perspectives through aesthetic knowing. Intuitive Knowing: This is not any different from aesthetic knowing. This knowing leverages on other patterns of knowing. Where a nurse is required to make split second decisions or attend to a patient in urgent need institution comes in handy. The nurse has to be spiritually connected with the patient to have institution about their condition, needs, moods, and attitudes. Jean Watson’s theory of human caring The caring science assists nurses to embrace positive energy flowing from the spirit, body, and mind. This caring science has mutual benefit to the nurse and the patient.
The responsibility of the nurse is to ensure that the patient is their best position that enables self-healing. Nurses are at the center of patient healing. Nurses actively engage in caring through their intentionality and authentic presence. This way they are able to maximize the ability of the patient to heal. The theory of human caring by Watson(2008) embraces certain principle and practices which are: The practice of equanimity and loving kindness, authentic presence which makes it possible for others to inculcate deep belief, development of personal spiritual practice in the direction of wholeness of the spirit, mind and body beyond personal ego, providing the environment of care and healing, and being open to the inexplicable and unexpected events of life or miracles. The main concepts in the theory of human caring include:Relational caring for others and self: This caring is founded on the philosophical, ethical and moral foundation of values and love(Watson,2008).
Transpersonal caring: This entails moving beyond personal ego into the spiritual sphere of caring cultivated by the caring movements. It entails the emotional determination to enhance and protect human dignity, love and respect for patient by respecting their wishes, rituals, needs, and wishes, self-caring consciousness for others as pertinent human beings, maintain inner balance and internal harmony, intentionally being with others and doing for them whatever they need both in the what and in the how (that is the skill and the intentional caring conscious), and the authentic presence that entails connecting and honoring humans (Watson,2008). Caring moment: This is a hearty encounter among people with personal phenomenal background in their personal transactions that have intentional, authentic, meaningful, and honoring. It also entails sharing of experiences with the goal of enhancing one another’s spirit and worldview resulting into discovery of other life possibilities and self (Watson,2008). Various avenues of knowing: This is achieved through art, science, spiritual, cultural, personal, intuitive, ethical and aesthetic knowing (Watson,2008). Meditative approach: This approach enhances presence and consciousness to other peoples and personal humanism. It is the understanding of oneself through meditation and reflection. It also entails understanding the family, client and patient as a person.
It may entail asking inviting questions and also telling inviting stories such as inquiry about life experiences, feelings, bodily sensations, expectations and goals. This approach also entails understanding the health needs of patients (Watson,2008). Caring can be understood as expansive, circular and inclusive: It entails caring for other people, self, families, clients and patients. It also entails taking good care of nature, universe and the environment (Watson,2008). Caring can transform people, environment and group cultures.
The 10 carative factors
• Embracing: This entails embracing the practice and values of self-loving kindness and loving kindness for others.
• Inspire: Hope, faith and honor for others
• Truest: Trusting others and self through cultivation of individual beliefs, personal practices and growth
• Nurture: Caring, trusting and helping relationships
• Forgiving: Entails accepting negative and positive feelings. Entails authentic listening to the stories of others
• Deep scientific solutions and methods for making decisions based on care
• Balance: This is learning and teaching ways of handling learning styles, readiness and needs.
• Co-create: This is an environment of healing that allows for spiritual and physical healing and the respect of the human dignity
• Minister: Entails meeting of the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of other humans
• Open: Entails being open to the miraculous mystery.
Jean Watson views on patterns of knowledge:
Empirical knowledge (the science):
This knowing must be publicly verifiable and entail the factual description, predictions, explanations, or must be founded on objective or subjective group data. Scientific data is a good example. ¬Esthetic knowledge (the art): Entails nurses’ perceptions expressions on what is considered significant in the behavior of patients. Ethical knowing (what constitutes good actions for that patient): Entails the description of the non-moral, moral, and moral obligations and the desired outcomes of ethical nursing. An example is the ethics codes and practice standards as well as nursing philosophies. Personal knowing (nurse-patient relationship): It is the expression of authenticity and quality of interpersonal process existing between the patient and the nurse otherwise referred to as interpersonal relationships of the nursing process. Patterns of Knowledge that are more evident (or easier to apply) in Watson’s theory of human caring Esthetic knowledge, personal knowing and ethical knowing are more applicable in Watson’s theory of human caring.
This is because Watson (2008) is more inclined to the practice of equanimity and loving kindness, authentic presence which makes it possible for others to inculcate deep belief, development of personal spiritual practice in the direction of wholeness of the spirit, mind and body beyond personal ego, providing the environment of care and healing, and being open to the inexplicable and unexpected events of life or miracles. Esthetic, personal and ethical knowing can only be practiced under the principle of human care. For instance a nurse may not be able to apply empirical knowing to boost the morale of a depressed patient. The nurse may, however, employ esthetic knowing in understanding patient’s behavior. This way the nurse is able to provide an environment of spiritual, bodily and mind healing. Another example is where a nurse is attending to a patient who is unable to express or channel their needs. With personal knowing and ethical knowing the nurse can understand that the patient needs to use the toilet, needs to adjust their sitting or sleeping position, is hungry, requires companionship, is feeling cold, or is in deep pain.
With this understanding the nurse is able to institute necessary remedies because they understand the art of human caring. Reflect on how you may (or do) use caring science in practice Caring science in nursing is applied in different ways. One of the most important ways of applying nursing science is through understanding the personality and demeanor of patients. Some patients are silent, others are outspoken while others may be aggressive and fearful etc. Upon understanding the demeanor of a patient it becomes possible to attend to their innermost physical, emotional and spiritual needs. For instance a patient who is in denial after being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be quite aggressive because the condition requires inspection for medication. Such a patient needs much attention and care to alleviate the shame. As a practicing nurse it is important to let the patient know that the condition is not uncommon in aging men and that their healing is possible. This will help them cope with their anxiety and fear emotions better.