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Caring Science, Mindful Practice. Implementing Watson’s Human Caring Theory

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Title: Caring Science, Mindful Practice. Implementing Watson’s Human Caring Theory

Authors: Kathleen Sitzman and Jean Watson

Publisher: Springer Publishing Company

Reviewer: Anne Duell, registered general nurse, Birmingham Community NHS Trust

What was it like?

Sitzman and Watsons’ book is an invaluable resource, which unites the theory of caring into everyday nursing practice. The authors work to encourage holistic care, which can be incorporated into the daily life of the care provider that should further enhance and enrich the understanding and richness of care subsequently delivered to the individual patient.

The title “Caring Science and Mindful Practice” emphasises the unifying nature of theory and practice. Three separate concepts are brought together to present a simple yet meaningful insight to understanding both self and the care practice to be undertaken. These concepts are the 10 Caritas Processes, teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn and pointillism. 

Throughout the book there is a strong emphasis on holistic care and developing a sense of oneness. To gain the maximum benefit of this resource it would be recommended to read it as a reflective resource rather than an academic text book. Chapters 5 – 14 break down the caritas process into its 10 levels in more detail while providing space for the reader to undertake personal reflection to strengthen them in their personal and professional lives.

What were the highlights? 

I specifically enjoyed the chapters, which focused on the caritas process. From the first process that reminds the nurse of the importance of caring for themselves to lead them to a more fulfilled personal life. Having encompassed this they should feel more fulfilled in their work environment. The correlation between Watson’s theory and the Buddhist principles of Thich Nhat Hahn is clear for the readers to see and is further shown through examples, which have been incorporated into a variety of personal and clinical settings.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The strength of this book is its simplicity on one level yet its complexity as the reader works through the layers incorporated within the book.  The book itself does not have any apparent weaknesses.  However, it is important the reader understands that although the author’s draw upon Buddhist principles it is not a book focusing upon purely spiritual care but rather its focus is on holistic care.  It could be argued that if there is any weakness it would be the limitations put on encompassing learning by the individual reader and how far they may be prepared to envelop the opportunities presented to cultivate their sense and practice of holistic caring for themselves and those in their care.

Who should read it? 

This book should be read by pre nursing students and nursing students at the beginning of their learning as preparation to support their transition from theoretical learning to their placement learning. For nursing staff who feel they may be experiencing struggles in balancing a work life balance this book presents a reflective resource to provide a range of coping strategies.

Caring Science, Mindful Practice

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