Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) programs prepare ADN nurses for a higher level of clinical practice. Nursing students learn about applying evidence-based research, critical thinking and scientific knowledge to the delivery of healthcare. They also gain deeper knowledge of medical equipment and technology. However, caring is the foundation of nursing.
How Is Care Defined?
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines caring as "feeling or showing concern for or kindness to others."
Why Is Caring an Important Part of Nursing?
Patient care is not just about the medical aspect of nursing. Patients may experience stress about their conditions, injuries, procedures, surgeries, or recovery. It is important for nurses to treat a patient's physical ailments as well as his or her emotional needs.
When nurses show empathy, they foster a collaborative relationship with patients, which can help in rooting out causes, symptoms or explanations that result in a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatments. Open communication and mutual respect between nurses and their patients can result in these positive patient outcomes:
- Shorter hospital stays.
- Alleviation of pain.
- Decreased anxiety.
- Optimistic outlook about recovery.
How Is Caring in Nursing Cultivated?
By instilling nurses with the values of patient-centered care, nursing schools and healthcare organizations help them develop a compassionate approach to care. Hospitals may use role-playing or simulation to teach nurses the skills they need to bond with their patients. Here are some ways nurses can show they care:
- Make eye contact.
- Greet your patient by their name.
- Sit in a chair next to the patient when conversing.
- Listen attentively without interrupting.
- Carry out requests.
- Ask patients what they need.
- Answer questions.
What Are the Five C's of Caring?
Sister Simone Roach came up with the five C's of caring: commitment, conscience, competence, compassion, and confidence. The five C's are considered beneficial to improving coworker and patient relationships and increasing a nurse's chances for career advancement.
Conscience and compassion directly relate to providing the best possible care to patients in a morally responsible and considerate way. Nurses should always stay aware of how they would want to be treated if they switched places with their patients.
What Is Watson's Theory of Human Caring?
Dr. Jean Watson's caring theory consists of three major elements:
- Caritas factors.
- Transpersonal caring relationship.
- Caring occasion/caring moment.
According to Dr. Watson, the caritas factors are about building and maintaining an "authentic caring relationship." In addition, nurses must be present and supportive of a patient's feelings without crossing intimacy boundaries or showing judgment.
The transpersonal caring relationship is about the nurse's moral commitment to connecting with patients, while the caring occasion/caring moment is the suitable time nurses find with patients for caring to occur.
Is It Necessary for Nursing Students to Learn About Watson's Caring Theory?
Rosemary Thuet, Director of Education at Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada, thinks that there is a solid basis for teaching nursing students about the caring theory in BSN programs.
John Coldsmith, Chief Nursing Officer at UHS/Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, says, "When you look at the caritas of Dr. Jean Watson, that's exactly what we want in the workplace and the work environment. We want to have that level of professionalism, that level of respect for whatever role the healthcare worker is in that there is that level of communication and caring and support that goes along with the caritas."
To provide quality, compassionate care, nurses have to put aside personal biases and prejudices. They need to make a conscious effort to treat patients humanely. Patients should never have their dignity compromised. By communicating with patients, nurses can avoid unnecessary suffering and errors.
Nurses who truly care for their patients while providing medical assistance create a rewarding experience for everyone.
Learn more about the Nevada State College online RN to BSN program.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.