Being named one of 13 international affiliates of the Watson Caring Science Institute is a sign of the Department of Nursing’s commitment to infusing nursing practice at every level and role with Caritas processes and caring intention.
The first Caritas process is to practice loving kindness and equanimity with self and others. This begins with deep breathing and bringing caring, generosity and compassion to the situation. For practicing nurses on our intermediate medical units, this may be using Caritas Touchstones to set an individual or collective intention for the day and offering silent gratitude. For others, it may involve learning the heart-centering methodology for Caring Science included in HeartMath quick coherence techniques that transform stress into “energy needed to care more authentically and with greater resilience.” This methodology can be used while caring for patients, families, colleagues and self.
Currently, ten BWH nurses, including ambulatory and inpatient nurse directors and clinical nurses, are certified as Caritas Coaches. In addition, our director and program manager for Caring & Healing Modalities are certified HeartMath coaches. They routinely offer HeartMath classes to Department of Nursing and Patient Care Services staff.