Jean Watson spoke at our hospital the other day.
I had worked the night before, and my shift ended at about 0630am, but the meeting wasn't scheduled until 8a. So I spent more than an hour sitting in my car, parked in the employee parking deck, watching Rachel Maddow shows on my iPod.
The meeting was packed, with about 50 nurses attending. All of us were either charge nurses or clinical directors with a few clinical educators mixed in.
I think Jean Watson thought all of us were well-versed in her theory, and that everyone in the room was accustomed to the spiritual, metaphysical and existential nature of her work. I don't think she realized that very few of the nurses attending were very familiar with her book. Thus it surprised me when, with very little by way of introduction or preparation, she proceeded with a meditation exercise. She brought out a "singing bowl" very similar to the one pictured here, and she rubbed the rim with the stick which caused the bowl to resonate.
I've never been very good with meditation. I've tried several times to meditate and I just can't do it. So while everone else in the room bowed their heads and closed their eyes, I started to get a serious case of... the giggles.
To stop myself, I started calculating the Fibonacci sequence of numbers in my head.
Not a great beginning.
It's not that I don't believe in the theory. I do think it is important to appreciate our patients as a total, unique, spiritual, significant human being, and not simply a machine. That's something I can get behind.
But I was sort of hoping the meeting would be more of a "hands on" session, with all of us charge nurses discussing how to actually use the theory.
- What specific behaviors would be seen when observing a nurse that is well versed in the theory?
- What sort of verbalizations should be used? In other words, what needs to be said?
- How do you document use of this theory?
- How do you use the theory if your background and comfort zone is more scientific / numerical / logical / empirical?
- As a charge nurse, with scientific background/personality, how can I teach or model this theory for my nurses?
We didn't really go into that at the meeting. In fact, at one point, one of the nurses finally simply asked Jean Watson to go over the 10 Caritas Processes, to which she surprisingly replied, "Wow I'm not sure I can do that, I'm not sure _I_ even know them."
One of the nurses handed her a copy of her book, after which she did give a pretty good review of the basic concepts, but I was still taken aback that she didn't know her own material well enough to cite them from memory (although she did admit that she planned to do a more thorough discussion of the theory in a more general-audience meeting later in the day).
I guess if I had to rate the meeting, I'd have to give it 2 stars out of 4.