Synergistic. As we think about Dr. Jean Watson's recent visit to BWH as the 2013 Karsh Visiting Professor, and the articulation of our professional practice model and relationship-based care as our care delivery model, it occurs to me that she came into our Department of Nursing at exactly the right time! The alignment of our purpose struck all of us who heard or spent time with her.
Dr. Watson challenged us to continue to shift our world view and language from case to face, from patient to person, from diagnosis to meaning, from performance to presence, from parts to whole and from treatment to healing. She quoted Florence Nightingale: "The care of the body can never be separate from the care of the soul."
Relationship-based care calls us to attend to relationships with our patients, families and communities, with ourselves, with our colleagues and with the diverse communities and worlds that surround our practice. Caritas processes grounded in Watson's Caring Science theory call each nurse to see the preciousness in every human being, to recognize that we are all connected and, in the practice of loving kindness, we should care for ourselves and others with equanimity, not judgment.
In studying organizations that have operationalized this Caring Science, Dr. Watson identified two questions that were most predictive of such caring in the professional practice environment: Was your nursing care delivered with loving kindness? Did you have a trusting relationship with your nurses? Simple, but profound evidence of the power of intention and caring.
Every patient care area will be reviewing the components of each model over the next several months, celebrating how they are manifested at the local level and in that most intimate space called the nurse-patient relationship. As I read the comments patients write in patient satisfaction surveys and in the many letters I receive about the care you provide each and every day, or reflect on the many conversations that I have been privileged to have with our patients and their families, I could not be prouder to serve you.
I applaud your caring practice that makes such a difference in the lives of all those we serve and in the lives of the colleagues with whom we work.
All the best,
Jackie Somerville, PHD, RN
Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nurse