Nursing Excellence

Theory of Caring

When you approach St. Joseph Hospital, you will notice the writings of Mother Bernard Gosselin of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, who founded our hospital in 1929.

“I pray that… you may find light, joy and consolation. We are willing to empty ourselves, to bend low, to wash feet, to heal wounds, all for the dear neighbor.”

With these profound words etched on the outside of the hospital, it is important that we understand that these are not just words on the building, but that the caring is also found within our hearts and extended within the healing hands of the nurses at our ministry.

Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring

St. Joseph Hospital adopted Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, which explains the language of caring. We not only “care” for our patients, we are “Caritas Nurses.” The term “caritas” means to cherish and we cherish all of our patients.

The Theory of Human Caring also explains that we are the environment, we believe in miracles, and we honor the body, mind and spirit of all of our patients. We have sacred encounters with our patients which translate to transpersonal caring moments. These are opportunities to have authentic presence, develop trusting relationships and become the healing process.

If you have ever been a patient, you can usually notice right from the start of your interaction with your nurse if he/she is a Caritas Nurse. You feel it. You experience the energy of healing and can sense if your nurse is authentically present for you.

When a grateful patient sends us a letter, it never says thank you for giving the right medication -- that is assumed. What we hear from our patients and their families is, “Thank you for listening,” or “Thank you for holding my hand.” Our patients are grateful for being treated as the unique individuals they are by our caregivers.

Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring is found in the 10 Caritas Processes:

  1. Embrace Altruistic Values and Practice Loving Kindness with Self and Others
  2. Inspire Faith and Hope and Honor Others
  3. Trust Self and Others by Nurturing Individual beliefs, Personal Growth and Practices
  4. Nurture Helping, Trusting, Caring Relationships
  5. Forgive and Accept Positive and Negative Feelings – Authentically Listen to Another’s Story
  6. Deepen Scientific Problem-Solving Methods for Caring Decision Making
  7. Balance Teaching and Learning to Address the Individual Needs, Readiness and Learning Styles
  8. Co-Create a Healing Environment for the Physical Self which Respects Human Dignity
  9. Minister to Basic Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Human Needs
  10. Open to Mystery and Allow Miracles to Enter

The Clinical Practice Council chose Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring in 2005 to help guide our nursing philosophy because the theory is closely aligned with the core values of St. Joseph Hospital.

Dignity

Dignity

St. Joseph Hospital: We respect each person as an inherently valuable member of the human community and as a unique expression of life.

Theory of Human Caring: The person, simply by being, is deserving of dignity. “Caring, the nurse’s moral ideal, preserves human dignity by assisting a person to find meaning in illness and suffering.”

Service

Service

St. Joseph Hospital: We bring together people who recognize that every interaction is a unique opportunity to serve one another, the community and society.

Theory of Human Caring: Nursing has an ethical and social responsibility to both individuals and society to be caretakers of care and the vanguard of society’s human care needs now and in the future.

Excellence

Excellence

St. Joseph Hospital: We foster personal and professional development, accountability, innovation, teamwork and commitment to quality. Theory of Human Caring: Nursing requires a personal, social, moral, and spiritual engagement of the nurse and a commitment to oneself and other humans.

Justice

Justice

St. Joseph Hospital: We advocate for systems and structures that are attuned to the needs of the vulnerable and disadvantaged and that promote a sense of community among all persons. Theory of Human Caring: A caring person is responsive to another person as a unique individual, perceiving and recognizing the other’s subjective experiences and therefore, distinguishing one person from another.