He was approached by a leper who desired healing. In the context of this man’s experience, he never experienced the warmth and acceptance of human touch since he became a leper. Instead, he heard daily the loud cries of Unclean! Unclean!” as people moved out of their way to avoid his presence. Recognizing not only his need to be healed, but also his deep unmet emotional need of acceptance that only human touch could communicate, Jesus reached out and TOUCHED him who was “untouchable” and “unclean.”

What can we as caregivers learn from His example? With the increasing prevalence of patients who are in various forms of contact precautions that require the nurse to wear a gown and gloves, what do you think the patient over time feels in this experience? Do they too feel unclean? Recognize the power of touch and be sensitive to the needs of those in contact precautions as well as anyone else whose illness has a similar stigma and is considered “untouchable” or “unclean” by cultural norms today.

The following is an excerpt from my new book: THINK Like a Nurse: Practical Preparation for Professional Practice/chapter 1: Foundation: The “Art” of Nursing