Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN


Caring is a central theme of the nursing profession; the essence of nursing. The preoperative and postoperative surgical settings at a large Midwestern Hospital are extremely busy and very demanding, which can affect patient care. It is essential for Patient Care Assistants (PCAs) to identify caring actions and to provide authentic caring for patients and families. Themes of witnessed uncaring behavior include: rough handling, loud and inappropriate conversations, ignoring the patient or family, abrupt answers to questions, and negative non-verbal body language. Conversations with several patient care assistants (PCAs) revealed they feel 'too busy' during their work day or are not comfortable with holding a hand, answering a question, or giving support to patients or families. It was imperative for the PCAs to develop skills to function in a caring manner. An innovative PCA caring practice model based on Watson's (2008) Caritas Processes provided a theoretical framework to enhance the care given to patients. By defining caring and caring attributes, and identifying ways for the PCAs to promote caring with patients, a caring environment evolved in the preoperative and postoperative areas. The projected model and "START" Campaign shaped the PCA practice to provide a caring environment and ensure a positive outcome with each patient interaction.


SC 11.MAN.2015.Meyer-Rostad.JJ

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