The WCSI was founded by Jean Watson and supports a growing body of human caring theory, caring science, and Caritas publications, programs, and scholars.
The WCSI mission is to expand and improve caring throughout healthcare locally and internationally. The WCSI is a membership organization and has over 150 healthcare facilities and educational systems engaged at various levels. They have certified over 430 Caritas Coaches through their Caritas Coaching Education Program. Affiliates and partners of WCSI are grounded in evidence-informed caring science and caring-healing modalities that embody Caritas practices.
The WCSI criteria for identifying authentic caring science systems include the following evidence:
- Exemplary professional caring practice guided by caring science theory, values, philosophy
- Healing environment culture of caring for staff, colleagues, and patients/families
- Participation in clinical caring scholarship/research
- Presence of Caritas coached as system resources in implementing and sustaining a culture of caring
- Implementing caring-healing modalities ( intentional touch, reflexology, aromatherapy, music, sound, visualization, imagery, and relaxation)
- Presence of nurse-generated ‘centering rooms’ with healing decor, and a healing space as a staff sanctuary
- Visibility of caring language in practice documentation – job descriptions, clinical ladders, performance evaluations, and promotion criteria
- On-site visitation of Jean Watson and/or WCSI faculty
- Staff preparation in Caritas consciousness and caring science theory guided intentional practices
- quick heart-coherence
- authentic presence
- heart-centered Caritas intentions
- loving kindness
- intentional rituals around hand-washing, pausing, silence, customized patient specific caring delivery and practices
These intentional nurse practices honor each person’s wholeness and sustain human dignity and flourishing.
What Does Leading Caring Science Look Like?
Here is a leadership model developed by Judy McDowell from Wake Forest Baptist Health and Randy Williams from Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento, along with Donald Kautz from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2011. They created a Core Values Crosswalk to illustrate the alignment between Human Caring Leadership and Kouzes & Posner’s Leadership Theory. Interesting! Here are the core features of the model.
- Always lead with kindness, compassion and equanimity. Participate in cultivating nurses’ caring consciousness. Support expression of positive and negative feelings. [K&P: Model the Way]
- Generate hope and faith in each other through co-creation. Being authentically present. Engage in genuine teaching-learning experiences. [K&P: Inspire a Shared Vision]
- Actively innovate with insight, reflection and wisdom. Cultivation of one’s own wellness practices (mind, body, spirit) and transpersonal self. Demonstrate creative use of self and all ways of knowing. [K&P: Challenge the Process]
- Purposely create protected space founded upon mutual respect and caring. Create healing environments at all levels. Assist with basic needs with intentional caring consciousness. [K&P: Enable Others to Act]
- Embody an environment of caring-helping-trusting for self and others through relationships and relational dialogue. Embody soul care for self. [K&P: Encourage the Heart]
These are beautiful, intentional practices by nurses and nurse leaders.
The question is, How do these practices fit in with the other competing demands?
[ Yes, this is a rhetorical question, and one for which we have to have a clear path. ]