7 Jun 2022


Marlaine Smith’s theory of Unitary

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In my opinion, I have always believed that the nursing profession requires an individual to show a certain level of care to the patients. Nurses should be compassionate individuals, and they should also be able to show concern for a client’s personal life. Marlaine Smith’s theory of Unitary Caring has several assumptions in it which attempt to explain and expound on the very nature of human beings (Smith & Parker, 2016). These assumptions are directly linked to the concepts of the theory. The five concepts of this theory which include: manifesting intention, appreciating pattern, attuning to dynamic flow, experiencing the infinite and inviting creative emergence. 

Reading chapter 30 was enlightening as I was able to understand the basic concept of unitary caring in the nursing discipline and profession. Through the caring pattern, the healing process becomes ultimately easier. Moreover, it challenges nurses to not only focus on completing tasks assigned to them, but to also focus on establishing a unique relationship with the client/patient. Human beings are not equal, and neither are they the same; therefore, nurses are encouraged to appreciate diversity and tend to everyone with the same level of care. The intentions, thoughts, feelings and perceptions that a nurse has in his/her mind are directly in direct relation with actions performed. If intentions are good, they will be expressed in actions (Mayseless, 206). 

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Considering the fact that a patient, when sick, is usually at an extremely vulnerable time, knowing the right place to put focus and attention by being intuitive. In addition, patients usually feel like they in a terribly dark place and therefore supporting and coaching them while providing confidence is critical. The theory therefore emphasizes on the fact that loving and caring can potentiate a miraculous healing. Caring doesn’t just happen; it requires patience as well as trust (Watson & Smith, 2002). 


Mayseless, O. (2016). Caring for Strangers: Examples of Caring and Nurturance. The Caring Motivation , 141-162. doi:10.1093/acprof: oso/9780199913619.003.0013 

Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2016). Nursing theories & nursing practice . Philadelphia, PA : F.A. Davis Company. 

Watson, J., & Smith, M. C. (2002). Caring science and the science of unitary human beings: a trans-theoretical discourse for nursing knowledge development. Journal of Advanced Nursing , 37 (5), 452-461. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2648.2002. 02112.x 

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