Dr. Jean Watson to Address Caring Science in Palliative Care

Renowned Educator, Clinician, and Innovator Will Deliver Keynote Address at the 2022 National Symposium for Academic Palliative Care Education and Research

Caring Science and Its Relationship to Palliative Care

Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, is the founder and director of the Watson Caring Science Institute, a nonprofit organization serving to advance the philosophies, theories, and practices of human caring. She is distinguished professor and dean emerita, at University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing, Anschutz Medical Campus, where she held the nation’s first endowed chair in Caring Science for 16 years. In 2013 Jean Watson was named to the Living Legends in the American Academy of Nursing.

An innovator and pioneer in Caring Science, Dr. Watson is the author of the Theory of Human Caring, a philosophy that identifies 10 factors designed to balance the cure orientation of medicine with nursing’s values, knowledge, and unique approach to caring-healing arts. She holds 15 honorary doctoral degrees and has received numerous national and international awards, including the Fetzer Institute Norman Cousins Award, the Fulbright Research Award in Sweden, and the Academy Integrative Medicine and Healing Award.

Caring Science “offers a meaningful philosophical foundation to nursing science, beyond conventional Western science. It embraces the whole person, the unity of mind‒body‒spirit as one in relation with environment at all levels.” Dr. Watson said in a recent interview, “When you step into Caring Science that is someone’s healing inner journey.”

Dr. Watson will present:

Caring Science and Sacred Caritas Practices of Palliative Care: A Coherent Framework for Now and the Future

Dr. Watson’s presentation at the CSU Shiley Haynes Institute for Palliative Care’s National Symposium on Academic Palliative Care Education and Research (February, 2022) will provide a deep philosophical and theoretical orientation to Caring Science. Caring Science is a transdisciplinary approach that incorporates the art and science of nursing and includes concepts from the fields of philosophy, ethics, ecology, and mind-body-spirit medicine.

Palliative care, end-of-life care, and hospice care are all located within the Watson Caring Science Institute’s Caring Science/Sacred Science framework, which honors Human Caring or “Caritas” within the Sacred Circle of life, living, death, dying, and life beyond.

The 10 Caritas Processes® of the framework will be presented as universals of human caring. The Caritas Processes®engage health professionals in transpersonal caring, between persons, especially in palliative care. Several of the 10 Caritas Processes® are:

  1. Sustaining humanistic-altruistic values by practice of loving kindness, compassion, and equanimity with self/others.
  2. Being authentically present, enabling faith/hope/belief system; honoring subjective inner, life-world of self/others.
  3. Being sensitive to self and others by cultivating own spiritual practices; beyond ego-self to transpersonal presence.

The framework and the processes will be fully explored in Dr. Watson’s presentation.

Dr. Watson’s original model, The Theory of Human Caring, was developed between 1975–1979, as a way to bring meaning and focus to nursing as an emerging discipline and distinct health profession with unique values, knowledge, and practices of caring. The model was geared toward subjective inner healing processes and the real-life world of the person, requiring unique caring-healing arts and a framework called “carative factors.” While this complimented conventional medicine, it is in stark contrast to medical-model “curative factors.” The model has evolved to emphasize transpersonal caring, so the person is viewed as whole and complete, regardless of illness or disease. Dr. Watson’s Caring Science approach has been adopted by healthcare organizations nationally and internationally.

Photo Credit: Watson Caring Institute

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