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Theory of Caring


UHealth – University of Miami Health System has adopted Dr. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, which emphasizes the importance of humanistic values, empathy and internal personal relationships in the nurse-patient interaction.

As specially trained “Caritas nurses” and caregivers, we are reminded that caring for ourselves is just as critical as our role in nurturing the patient’s mind, body and spirit. The Latin term “caritas,” meaning love, represents the core values of Dr. Watson’s theory. When applied as guiding principles of our practice, we create a caring environment that promotes the healing, growth and well-being of our patients.

Dr. Watson’s Ten Caritas Processes include:

  1. Practicing loving kindness and equanimity for self and other.
  2. Being authentically present; enabling/sustaining/honoring deep belief system and subjective world of self/other.
  3. Cultivating one’s own spiritual practices; deepening self-awareness, going beyond “ego-self.”
  4. Developing and sustaining a helping-trusting, authentic caring relationship.
  5. Being present to, and supportive of, the expression of positive and negative feelings, as a connection with deeper spirit of self and the one being cared for.
  6. Creative use of self and all ways of knowing/being/doing as part of the caring process.
  7. Engaging in genuine teaching-learning experiences within context of caring relationship-attend to whole person and subjective meaning; attempt to stay within other’s frame of reference.
  8. Creating healing environment at all levels.
  9. Reverentially and respectfully assisting with basic needs; holding an intentional, caring consciousness of touching and working with the embodied spirit of another, honoring unity of being allowing for spirit-filled connection.
  10. Opening and attending to spiritual, mysterious, unknown existential dimensions of life-death-suffering “allowing for a miracle.”

Becoming a Caritas Coach

Our nurses can become a Caritas Coach through a rich, holistic and transformative learning environment that supports them in their professional growth while fostering a sense of community and connection.

The online, flexible training includes a four-week introductory course, as well as a six-month curriculum that goes beyond intellectual development to nurture the emotional and spiritual well-being of educators and learners. The program offers a faculty-guided coaching journey that can be personalized to fit each individual’s learning preferences in both one-on-one and group settings.

Meet Our Caritas Coaches

Mona El-Shazly, M.S.N., RN
Nurse Specialist, Nursing Professional Practice/Magnet Accreditation Department
UHealth – University of Miami Health System

Marcelo Moyano, M.S.N., RN
Registered Nurse, Research Nurse Specialist
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Daniela Barcan, B.S.N., RN
Registered Nurse 2, Ophthalmology - Palm Beach Gardens
University of Miami Medical Group

Marguerita Aponte-Inzinna, B.S.N., RN, AMB-BC
Registered Nurse 2, OPD-1 & Spine Clinic

Laura Traini-Mongelli, D.N.P., APRN
Director, Advanced Practice Providers, Division of Hospital Medicine
University of Miami Medical Group

Pamela Dudkiewicz, D.N.P., APRN, BC, AOCNP
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Hematology/Oncology
University of Miami Medical Group

Rebecca Budyszewick, B.S.N., RN
Registered Nurse 2, Outpatient
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Marcia Johnson, M.S.N.-Ed., PMC, AGNP-C, APRN, OCN
Director, Nursing

Sylvia Mendes, B.S.N., RN, CPN, CPHON
Nurse Specialist, Pediatric Hematology

Elizabeth L. Vieito-Smith, D.N.P, RN
Chief Nursing Officer
UHealth – University of Miami Health System

Jeannette Garcia-Slanker, D.N.P., APRN, FNP, PMHNP, CPON
Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Ambulatory Clinics, Infusion Centers and Pediatric Services
UHealth – University of Miami Health System

Vanessa Motel, B.S.N., RN, CEN, PMD
Discharge Specialist, Emergency Department
UHealth Tower

Deborah Piehl, M.S.N.-Adm.Ed., RN
Nurse Specialist, Professional Development
UHealth – University of Miami Health System

Snezana Radnovic, M.S.N., APRN, CAPA
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Anesthesia
Bascom Palmer

Hilda Brito, M.S.N., RN, NPD-BC
Executive Director, Professional Development
UHealth – University of Miami Health System

Karleen Bien-Aime, M.S.N., RN-OCN
Nurse Director, Infusion Services Administration
UHealth – University of Miami Health System

Joy Goodie, B.S.N., RN, MA, LCPC
University of Miami School of Nursing
Doctor of Nursing Practice Student