Model of Care

Our Model is founded in the Theory of Human Caring, and is grounded in our relationships. "This is a model to guide practitioners in transforming care delivery from the inside out." - Jean Watson, PhD, RN, FAAN

The Relationship-Based model is comprised of 3 crucial relationships:

  • Care provider's relationships with patients and families.

The care provider knows that each person's unique life story determines how he/she will experience illness.

  • Care provider's relationships with self.

The relationship is nurtured by self-knowing and self-care.

  • Care provider's relationships with colleagues.

Quality care occurs in environments where the standard among members of the health care team is to respect and affirm each other's unique scope of practice and contribution, to work interdependently to achieve a common purpose, and to accept responsibility for creating a culture of learning, mutual support, and creative problem-solving.

Relationships built on 10 Caritas Process?

Dr. Watson’s Theory is grounded by 10 Processes known as the “Caritas Processes” - these 10 statements help to provide an ethic or philosophy from which we practice. Caritas comes from the Latin word meaning to cherish, to appreciate, to give special, if not loving, attention to. It represents charity and compassion, generosity of spirit. It connotes something very fine, indeed, something precious that needs to be cultivated and sustained. (Watson, 2008) 

Caritas Process #1: Cultivating Practice of Loving-Kindness and Equanimity Toward Self and Other

Caritas Process #2: Being Authentically Present: Enabling, Sustaining and Honoring Faith and Hope

Caritas Process #3: Cultivation of One’s Own Spiritual Practices and Transpersonal Self, Going Beyond Ego-Self

Caritas Process #4: Developing and Sustaining a Helping-Trusting Caring Relationship

Caritas Process #5:
Being Present to, and Supportive of, the Expression of Positive and Negative Feelings

Caritas Process #6: Creative Use of Self and All Ways of Knowing as Part of the Caring Process; Engage in the Artistry of Caritas

Caritas Process #7: Engage in Genuine Teaching-Learning Experience That Attends to Unity of Being and Subjective Meaning – Attempting to Stay Within Other’s Frame of Reference

Caritas Process #8:
Creating a Healing Environment at All Levels

Caritas Process #9: Administering Sacred Acts of Caring-Healing by Tending to Basic Needs

Caritas Process #10: Opening and Attending to Spiritual/Mysterious and Existential Unknowns of Life-Death

Reference: Watson, J. (2008). The Philosophy and Science of Caring. University Press of Colorado.

Why the Theory of Human Caring?

The Theory of Human Caring is patient/family-centered and aligns well with our organizational mission, vision and values. The Core business of health care is caring and healing of patients.

How is Caritas Care Provided?

The essence of care is experienced in the moment when one person connects to another. Compassion and care can be conveyed through a touch, kind act, competent clinical interventions or listening and seeking to understand the other's experience. This is the heart of The Theory of Human Caring.

What the Model of Care Is Not

It is not a staffing model or a cookie-cutter concept. The Model has core processes or principles, but the guidelines of how they are implemented will be different, based on decisions made during implementation through a shared-decision making process.


The Model of Care was originally developed throughout departments with support from Nursing Professional Practice, and supported by a Grant from the Duke Endowment and by the leadership of WFBMC. This model has been expanded as our knowledge and understanding of Caring Science/Theory have grown and developed. 

Questions or Comments Contact:

Judy McDowell, MSN, RN, CCRN
Professional Practice
Wake Forest Baptist Health 
Caritas Coach – Watson Caring Science Institute