In addition to the clinical areas using the WCPS as participants in the International Watson Caritas Comparative Database, for the past several years, WCSI has been identifying caring indicators and new caring science criteria by which to recognize Caring Science systems, moving beyond medicalized-institutional practices.
The general WCSI criteria for identifying authentic caring science systems include evidence of the following (1):
Exemplary professional caring practice guided by caring science theory, values, philosophy;
Healing environment culture of caring for staff, colleagues, patients/ family;
Participation in clinical caring scholarship/research;
Presence of 'caritas coaches' as system resources in implementing and sustaining a culture of caring for self, other colleagues, patients' families;
Visibility of caring -Healing language in practice documents such as job descriptions, clinical ladder requirements, performance evaluations, and promotion criteria;
Staff preparation caritas consciousness; creation of selected caring science/heart science theory guided intentional practices, e.
Responding to the myriad issues plaguing the public's search for a more humane and caring-healing approach--among them nursing shortages and retention, high-profile medical mistakes and escalating costs--hundreds of hospitals around the world today are implementing human caring theory as a way to improve results, retain nurses and offer authentic caring-healing practices to complement the best of medical technology, treatment and cure approaches.
VA hospitals, university medical centers and managed care organizations are all seeking and using models of caring science and human caring theory to make the lives of patients, staff, and nurses more meaningful and to develop research data to demonstrate the relation between human caring and patient outcomes.
Kaiser Permanente Northern California is systematically integrating caring science and theory-based practices in all of the 21 Northern California Kaiser facilities.
Rather than perform their jobs by rote, the human caring philosophy and theory, combined with an expanded model of caring science, gives nurses the space to reflect on the disciplinary-ethical foundation of their practices and experience themselves as healers.
She will continue her global work in caring science through the numerous activities of the Watson Caring Science Institute, a nonprofit foundation she founded in 2008.
Writer's Note: To honor Jean Watson's lifetime body of scholarly global work through the University of Colorado, and her retirement, the University of Colorado and the Watson Caring Science Institute are hosting the Caring Science Summer Institute, July 15-19, and the World Caring Conference, July 20, in Boulder, CO.