Absolutely. As humans, when faced with the stress we must deal with in our over worked and frequently under staffed jobs, it is often easy to become task oriented if faced with an overload. As I am going to work everyday, I pray a simple prayer, asking God to fill my heart with compassion, love, understanding, tolerance and to help me remember that nothing will happen that day that I cannot handle with His help. I always pray to stay focused on Him for this keeps my eyes looking upward and soothes my tired and weary heart. I take my position very seroiusly because in LTC, it is frequently me or my staff that is holding the hands of the dying. Because of how I feel about the Lord, I do my very best to always give every person the chance to make certain that they are ready to continue their journey to the next life. If I am not able to sit with my resident, then I call our wonderful Chaplains and they do it for me. I do not ever want to feel that anyone dies without the chance to set anything right. I could not do this job without knowing I wasn't alone. I have lost so many of my residents through the years, and constantly dealing with death makes me feel the need to provide them with that extra assurance that what is here does not end it all and it will get better when they move on. I am frequently asked, "Why does God leave me here to live like this?" This is not an easy thing to understand when you see 20 year olds dying and 90 year olds in geri chairs with no quality of life. I always tell them that God isn't finished with them yet and someone must need them still. Perhaps it's not the correct answer but it's the best one I can say to them that I feel in my heart.
May 24, '01
That was so beautifully said, and I know that I couldn't have said it any better than that. God will truely reward us when our time comes. That is one reason why I think nursing is a spiritual calling because it is thru Him that we do his work here on earth. I only wish that I could make them "all better" like He did, but I try as best as I know how each and every day that I walk onto the unit I too say a prayer as I'm driving to work asking God to PLEASE MAKE IT A QUIET NIGHT FOR ALL OF US, and to give me the wisdom and the strength to show my residents that someone cares enough for them and to guide me with His love, His patience and His understanding...
May 24, '01
I don't believe in God. I mean I can buy that there could be a superior being out there, but I don't have any inclination to believe that he/she has our best interests at heart.
I think the "blessing" that we can give our patients and coworkers is our sincere wish for their physical and spiritual wellbeing, and showing that wish with compassionate care. Patients who can see we are not able to change their situation, or that something has been screwed up royally, but they can also see if we are caring for them in spite of the situation with a giving and loving heart, and I think that makes a world of difference.
My practice has changed because it is impossible to get everything done perfectly and on time but if I give it my best effort and with a loving heart then I have given excellent, and usually more effective care.
I enjoy my job more now, and feel like I have something to offer the people I work with even on terrible, horrible days.
May 24, '01
A little off the subject, BUT do any of you watch, or have any of you seen "CROSSING OVER WITH JOHN EDWARD" On the Sci-fi channel? It certainly opens your mind and makes you ask some long overdue questions regarding your religious beliefs. I would love some feedback on this from other nurses, christian and non-christian alike.
May 24, '01
YES! GI Nurse, I have watched that show. I was addicted to it before they became re-runs. I have always been absolutely fascinated with near death experiences and the like. John Edwards seems especially connected. I don't for one minute believe it is not real, he can give details like what is hanging on someone's refridgerator at home, how can he fake that?? I'm in NJ and I really want to get tickets to that show, but something keeps me from doing it. Maybe I am afraid of what I would hear?.
If you are a Christian, you should read the book "A window to Heaven" It is written by a pediatric oncologist. She describes childrens' near death experiences and pre-death visions. When it comes from children, it seems especially pure and beautiful. My Pastor gave me this book to read when I was having an especially hard time with an 8-year-old pt of mine, who was dying. I had become so attached to her, and this book really gave me peace.
Has anyone ever read Betty Eadie, "Embraced by the Light"? Another excellent book, though many have criticized her for not being able to prove a biological death via her medical records, it is still a wonderful book.
May 24, '01
I am not a Christian. I am one of the most compassionate and genuinely caring nurses that I know. I sometimes feel that nurses who are outspoken Christians think that they have more or better insight into the human condition, suffering and merciful attention to the needy. This attitude puts down everyone who is not a Christian. As if believing in God makes you a better person. Many Christians that I have known over the year are hypocritical in their actions. What about people who have different beliefs? If believing in God makes you a better nurse, can you honestly say that you are totally supportive to someone who does not believe? I sometimes worry about being seriously ill and having someone at my bedside trying to impart their religious beliefs on me. In my opinion (which was solicited on the BB), religious convictions may very well drive your professional choice and the way you practice but should not be "shared" with patients or coworkers. Nurses work with people who are in a position of dependency who may not feel comfortable voicing their different religious convictions.
May 24, '01
The only way that my religion has impacted on my nursing is to make me interested in Parish nursing. I do not share my religion with my patients, it is not appropriate to do so. I seldom share it with my co-workers unless they are curious as to why I have a priest that dresses like a priest that is also a female. They know that because I ask her or someone who can give communion to bring it to me when I have to work on Sundays. I did that for some time before my coworkers even realized what I was doing. It is done very low key. As an Episcolpalian we have female priests. I have had patients ask me to pray with them, I do so if I feel comfortable, if not I ask for pastoral care. I once had a patient ask me to pray the rosery with her, but I couldn't because I didn't know how. So I found a Catholic orderly who could and felt comfortable with doing so. It has also been my experience that most nurses that I have worked with do believe in a higher power, Christian or not. But I have rarely seen it influence how they do their practice. Perhaps it has allowed some to see a bigger picture, I don't know for sure. Some things are simply private, and better kept that way. Kind of like politics, some things are better not discussed at work unless someone asks specifically.
May 25, '01
If you live your life as a Christian, then of course it will impact the way you perform your job; it impacts everything in your life. I don't believe Panda said a word in the topic about Christians being superior or being the only compassionate people. Chrn, where is the logic that if being a christian makes me a better nurse, then I can't support a non-bleiever? That's what Christianity is built on..acceptance and love of all. Whatever makes ME a better person/nurse can do nothing but benefit my patients. However, I agree with the other posts that religion should never be shared with patients, nor should it be pushed on anyone.
Duckie, I can't come up with a better reply. If anything can be added, nursing has made me a better Christian. Faced daily with life, death, and disease, my faith in God grows stronger. There's been many instances in my career & life that can only be explained as God's intervention.
May 25, '01
Well said, nurskids, and you as well Duckie. You are right though, I know that we are not "holier than thou". Christians are put on this earth to love everyone!
And I love ALL this feedback, please keep it coming!