The following are excerpts from my new book: THINK Like a Nurse: Practical Preparation for Professional Practice/chapter 1: Foundation: The “Art” of Nursing
It is essential for a nurse to remain clinically curious and responsive to the patient’s story and situation. When distracted and not engaged, you will be unable to invest the energy needed to recognize what is currently relevant and urgent that may require intervention. When nurses are not engaged with the patient and their clinical problem, patient outcomes will suffer.
By providing compassionate care, the nurse directly impacts the patient’s physical and emotional needs, but holistic care also involves caring for the spirit. Though spiritual care may include prayer, it is actually so much more. The essence of spiritual care is caring and serving the whole person: the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of their being.
Power of Presence
Did you know that how you use your physical presence while providing care can meet the emotional and even spiritual needs of your patient? To be present means that you are readily AVAILABLE and ACCESSIBLE. This must be done with a spirit that acknowledges your shared humanity with those you care for. Presence can also be defined as “being with” and “being there” for the purpose of
meeting the needs of your patient in a time of need.
Power of Touch
Another intervention that can minister to the spirit and the heart-felt needs of those you care for is the affection and acceptance that can be communicated by physical touch. The power of physical touch to bring healing and acceptance is powerfully demonstrated in the life and ministry of Jesus.