Week 3 Caring Document

Week 3 Caring Document - FACULTY FORUM A New View of Caring...

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FACULTY FORUM A New View of Caring Carrie J. Scofto, PhD, RN ABSTRACT Nursing literature claims the con- cept of caring is central to the profes- sion. Although the literature related to the concept of caring is vast, there is no clear description that allows for teaching and evaluating the concept. This article reviews traditional defin- itions of caring and offers a clarified definition, as well as a framework for teaching and evaluating caring in nursing practice. A s the nursing profession con- tinues to confront and manage ealth care problems in a changing world, many gray areas exist. Although uncertainty will always exist, it is wise to seek clarity of process and purpose, particularly for nurses who are new to the profes- sion. Caring is a concept central to the nursing profession. Although ref- erences to caring in the literature are abundant, there is little clarity about the definition and process of caring. Because of this ambiguity, the teach- ing, learning, and evaluation of car- ing is, at best, a tenuous process. Given that nursing theory embraces Received: January 8, 2002 Accepted: June 13, 2002 Dr. Scotto is Associate Professor of Nursing, Malone College, Canton, Ohio. At the time this article was written, Dr. Scotto was a doctoral student, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Address correspondence to Carrie J. Scotto, PhD, RN, 629 Franklin Avenue, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221; e-mail: cscotto@ malone.edu. the concept of caring as central to practice, a well-defined and articulat- ed framework of the concept is essen- tial. This article offers a clarified def- inition for caring and a framework for teaching and evaluating caring in practice. TIraditional Views of Caring Most health care professionals would agree that caring is at the heart of their profession. Most people seeking treatment in health care set- tings wish to be cared for in some way. Extensive discussions of care and caring are found in the nursing and other professional literature. However, there is little agreement regarding the meaning of the word. Caring is the central aspect of nurs- ing (Appleton, 1990; Koldjeski, 1990; McCance, McKenna, & Boore, 1997; Watson, 1979). It is more than just performing nursing procedures. It is an attitude of nurturing and helping another person to grow (Lindberg, Watson (1979) defined nursing as the science of caring, in which caring is described as transpersonal attempts to protect, enhance, and preserve life by helping find meaning in illness and suffering, and subse- quently gaining control, self-knowl- edge, and healing. Caring is identi- fied by carative behaviors, such as developing trust, providing support, and assisting with human needs grat- ification. Leininger (1981) described caring as essential to human growth and development and specified that it is defined by individuals' culture. She listed caring behaviors such as giving comfort, empathy, compassion, and sharing (Leininger, 1981). However,
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Week 3 Caring Document - FACULTY FORUM A New View of Caring...

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