How To Be A National Caring Science Affiliate (take 2)

What Is A National Caring Science Affiliation?

To become an National Caring Science Affiliate, an organization must demonstrate deep-rooted and sustainable commitment to integrating caring science within practices and policies, seeking to transform and broaden the notion of health and healing for its staff as well as the patients, families and communities it serves.

Over the past several years, WCSI in partnership with CNO Affiliate leaders, new caring science criteria have been established, validating authentic, whole-person/whole-system caring science practices, research and scholarship.                  from Watson’s  WCSI

What does this mean in everyday terms?

(pardon my inserting an outdoor ‘sacred space’/ lounge)

Watson Lounge/Room 

Let’s start here with a visual that symbolizes the philosophy  of caring science.

One of the most popular symbols  of a Caring Science Affiliate organization is a ‘Watson Room’, ‘HealingRoom’,  ‘Healing Lounge’, ‘Retreat Lounge’, ‘Sacred Lounge’.

These are spaces for nurses to retreat to , away from clinical settings such as these …

The lounges create healing environments to Breathe, eyes closed, with options of essential oils and calming music/nature sounds, comfy chairs and pillows, herb teas and drinks. .. and a healing community.

Watson Rooms – there are several articles available online about these healing spaces for nurses.

The Caring Science philosophy creates a culture of  the Unitary-Paradigm of Caritas (caring & love) …  One of humanity, one heart, one caring consciousness, one world.

This philosophy is the foundation that supports Caritas Processes.

The 10 Caritas Processes:

  1. Embrace loving kindness
  2. Inspire faith and hope
  3. Trust (transpersonal self)
  4. Nurture relationship
  5. Forgive all
  6. Deepen the creative use of self
  7. Balance and learning
  8. Co-create healing environments / Caritas field
  9. Minister humanity
  10. Be open to infinity
    Watson, Unitary Caring Science. 2018

Magnet Hospitals

There are now increasing numbers of Magnet-designated hospitals using caring theory and caring science leadership in implementing new models of caring and healing practices, research, and scholarship.
See articles by Barbara Brewer, Marlene Kramer,  Watson, JONA, 2014, 2015

Watson Caritas Patient Score (WCPS)

There is a growing need for theoretically sound empirical data on human caring that can be used to evaluate performance of key caring activities, beyond problem-oriented outcomes.

A WCPC 5-item instrument and an International Watson Caritas Comparative Database were developed to demonstrate impact of Caring Science professional practice on patient satisfaction outcomes.

The Watson Caritas Patient Score Instrument:                     JONA. 45(12), 2015, 622-627.
(7 point Likert scale)

My caregivers:

  1. Deliver my care with loving-kindness
  2. Meet my basic human needs with dignity
  3. Have helping and trusting relationships with me
  4. Create a caring environment that helps me to heal
  5. Value my personal beliefs and faith, allowing for hope

Under the direction of Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI) and research coordinator, Dr Barbara Brewer, the WCPS is used in a multisite clinical research study, known as the International Watson Caritas Comparative Database.

Watson and Press Ganey have partnered to demonstrate the impact of WCSI caring science affiliate hospitals on patient satisfaction using the the Watson Caritas Patient Score Instrument.

National Caring Science Affiliation

Currently, WCSI has 29 clinical service areas, 9 national WCSI caring science affiliate hospitals, and 11 additional systems excelling in caring science caring theory. There are also hundreds of other hospitals using caring theory processes as the basis of their professional practice model. Affiliates and partners of WCSI are grounded in evidence-informed caring science, as well as caring-healing modalities that implement caritas practices. These systems apply the caring science model and are working to transform both the practitioners and the healing culture within the organization.

Affiliation criteria and evidence 

  • Exemplary professional caring practice guided by caring science theory, values, philosophy
  • Healing environment culture of caring for staff, colleagues, and 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, and patients’ families
  • Implementing caring-healing modalities (eg, intentional touch, reflexology, aromatherapy, music, sound, visualization, imagery, and relaxation)
  • Presence of nurse-generated ‘‘centering rooms’’ and unit decor, including healing space for staff and space for patients
  • Visibility of caring-healing language in practice documents such as job descriptions, clinical ladder requirements, performance evaluations, and promotion criteria
  • On-site presence and visitation by Dr Jean Watson and/or WCSI faculty to prepare staff and validate activities
  • Staff preparation caritas consciousness; creation of selected caring science/heart science theory-guided intentional practices, for example,
    • ‘‘quick heart-coherence’’ approaches;
    • ‘‘centering,’’
    • ‘‘authentic presence,’’
    • “heart-centered caritas intentions,’’ based on 10 caritas processes
    • intentional ‘‘rituals,’’ for example, hand-washing, pausing, silence, and other self-generated mutuality of trusting relations; and
    • creative emergent caring changes in patterns of care delivery and practices.

See articles by Barbara Brewer, Marlene Kramer,  Watson, JONA, 2014, 2015

National Caring Science Affiliates – current

  • Ascension St John Hospital – Detroit
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Boston
  • Children’s Hospital Colorado – Aurora
  • Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center – LaCrosse, WI
  • Kaiser Permanente Northern California – 21 centers across Northern CA
  • Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center – Houston
  • Samuel Merritt University – Oakland
  • Stanford Children’s Health | Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford – CA
  • Stanford Health Care – CA
  • The College of New Rochelle – New Rochelle, NY
  • W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center – Salisbury, NC
  • Craig Hospital, Englewood, CO

Good Work … 

top image courtesy of arno smit @
clinical image courtesy of sub-buzz

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