I am Afraid. Please Pray for Me. - page 3

by tnbutterfly Admin

11,481 Views | 34 Comments

Many of us view the healthcare setting as a place of employment where we we are comfortable. To patients, however, this medical setting is a maze with frightening and uncertain twists and turns, ups and downs into which they... Read More


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    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    One of my most unforgettable experiences with prayer happened at my first nursing job. We had a 53-year-old patient who was dying of pulmonary fibrosis; her family and friends gathered around her bed in a circle, and they invited me to join them in praying for her. I felt honored by this request, and so I did. Somewhere in the facility a radio was playing "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" from The Lion King. Oh yes, I could feel that energy in the room as we held hands and prayed for an easy journey to Heaven.....and she slipped away silently just as her priest said the final prayer of the Last Sacrament. I'll carry that memory to my own grave.
    Thank you for sharing this very touching and meaningful experience. I am sure you made a positive difference to the dying patient and the family.

    Those kinds of experiences do tend to etch a permanent spot in your memory.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
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    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    It is wild that our sermon today was on how sad it would be to have no one lifting you up in prayer.

    So many people facing overwhelming obstacles in their lives, and the horrid thought of them facing it alone is Boston's worst fear! I was blessed growing up, to always have someone there to putt a bandaid on me, pat the dust off of me when I fell flat-face-first, or became spiritually near death from all that we see.

    I had a small young boy enter the Emergency Room one night, having an exacerbation of Cystic Fibrosis, and obviously at the end of struggle. He was a preteen resident of a local Boys Home, and I had taken care of him on multiple visits. He said the the worst battles he fought were with loneliness, fear, and nightmares. I asked him what I could do to make him less afraid(leave a light on, leave the curtain open, or roll the TV into his compartment).

    He said, "just when your doing your paperwork, or not busy, will you set by me, I won't bother you."

    I was heartbroken this beautiful child had no one, how courageous a young man who had experienced such hardship to admit he was lonely and scared. I know this is a small example of nursing a patients spiritual needs, but it's amazing what healing power there is in silence, how therapeutic it can be to your patient's spiritual health by just being their.

    You all probably know if you know me, silence was a hard skill to master. I thought that this therapeutic communication skill was bogus- but once I was able to understand the time and place for it, it is one of the best tools in my Nursing Toolkit for spiritual wellness, and it works with every faith, religion, agnostic, and atheist patient, because I think every patient has a spiritual health- that if in need of treatment, we should aim to nurse it(and never forget the comfort that just "being there," can bring.
    What a fantastic post, Boston!!! For a believer, knowing that you are being lifted up in prayer is such a powerful thing.

    One of the worst times in my life was when my teen-aged daughter was in a horrific crash in which there was a fatality. My daughter and others suffered very serious injuries. It was very comforting to know that others were lifting her up in prayer.

    Thank you for being there for that young boy. The gift of presence at a time of crisis is a wonderful thing to give someone. You don't have to worry about what to say. You do not need to fill the silence with sometimes meaningless words. Just being there is enough.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
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    Quote from echoRNC711
    When I worked in the hospital I had several CD's of all faiths.If a patient appeared low I would offer them to pick from the selection By mistake my son's CDs "Chicken Soup for the Littlest Soul " ended up in the mix.Surprisingly, it was a huge hit and pts loved it. t )(Sometimes I noticed pt tearing up listening to it )Perhaps it was it's gentle message that was so soothing.

    I found these tapes were fantastic for pts with confusion or dementia ,it settled them into a peaceful center.The religious hymns with marching beat were great for confused parkinson pts plus it helped stabilize their balance and lift their spirit. (the only down side ::::chuckle :::is when the pts with the head phones sang very loudly...and yeah usually off tune!!

    I myself follow formal doctrine but would happily participate in any religious activity if it would help a pt. All roads lead home,For myself, I believe God looks at our heart,so that all thats needed to celebrate another's faith . I am very holistic so would comfortably do a rain dance if it would make a pt smile !
    The CD's are a wonderful way to provide spiritual care. I will have to get look for "Chicken Soup for the Littlest Soul." I love all of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
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    Quote from merlee
    I have supported patients in their need for spiritual comfort.

    Everyone is entitled to seek comfort in their own way. I hope that we can help them find it.
    Totally agree. We need to remember that one size does not fit all.

    Quote from BrandonLPN
    What we (nurses) believe isn't really the point. It's about the patient, not us.
    It isn't about us. True.

    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    I think it's also very important to use discretion, however faith, religion, and spirituality are three different animals.

    Even NANDA, bless their hearts, has picked up on the importance of one's "Spiritual Health" in addition to Physical and Mental Health. I think this is a wonderfully appropriate, timely needed, and reminder thread of the importance and necessity of Holistic Nursing Care.

    You Go TnButterfly!!!
    Body, mind, and soul.......they all go hand in hand when caring for our patients.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
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    Quote from lovebug0
    I do not believe it is the 'nurse's' responsibility to 'pray' with the patient. It depends on the relationship she/he has with the patient. The hospital might not be fond of nurses praying with patients. Know the policy of the hospital.
    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    This is one time I would actually be brazen enough to buck policy and risk termination if the patient requested, I would be on my knees in an instant with or by them, "fond" or not. Thank-God for a Bill of Rights that Supersede the hospital's policy.

    I bet they are not "fond" of being on a National News story either. Censoring a Patient's Rights is a slippery slope. "This just in, Nurse terminated for a patient requested prayer." -would be an honor.

    I choose to be a patient advocate in this important matter. I'm not trying to be divisive or rude- but if I couldn't meet a reasonable demand such as this, I've got pastors that volunteer, inpatient Chaplains, or Volunteer Layman/Deacons (male/female of each).
    Meeting the spiritual needs is the responsibility of the nurse......either directly or indirectly. The following is an excerpt from another article I wrote a couple of years ago, The Nurse's Role in Providing Spiritual Care - Is It OK to Pray?

    "In the United States, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHP) requires that a spiritual assessment be completed on every patient. Because nurses work closely with the sick and dying, they often find themselves called upon to address a patientís spiritual needs. At the same time, they may be concerned about the appropriateness of such activities, as well as have questions on how to proceed. Although not all nurses feel comfortable providing spiritual care in all situations, they should be sensitive to the spiritual needs of their patients."

    You might find some of the responses very interesting.

    I am quite fortunate in that my hospital is totally in favor of prayer and spiritual support, according to the patient's wishes. And, it is totally within my scope of practice to pray with patients.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
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    I believe that nurses should remember that spiritual needs are very important aspects of the patient's total healthcare. If a nurse is NOT of the same belief system as his/her patient, then get the designated "leader" of that belief system in for consult in order to meet that pt's spiritual need. I am a Christian and will most definitely pray with Christian patients if asked.
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    Very Much Enjoyed the Link, tnbutterfly, and printed it for my Scrapbook. Thanks for taking the time to be such a wonderful host to this thread, I won't forget it- or it's important message.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
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    I'm glad you liked the other article, Boston. Thank you for all of your kind comments in this thread.
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    I do not spout Bible verses or push my beliefs on others and would pray with a patient if they asked me to. I am not good at praying out loud off the cuff and have found that a general plea to the Almighty for support and help for the patient and the family in the situation consistent with God's plan suffices and covers almost all bases and most religions. I sometimes offer to pray for someone off the clock when they have some generic faith or ask if I believe but are not looking for a prayer. That kind of question can lead down Kubler-Ross Road, a real problem if you work on a busy "unit". I am greatful that in Home Care we have time to spend with individual patients and I remain alert for patients dealing with grief, death & dying issues, use therapeutic communication & make referrals where I can. I might add that I sure appreciated a prayer request from my surgeon prior to my CABG.
    I do not feel comfortable praying with a Wiccan or a Satan worshipper unless they wanted to ask for forgiveness from God but I would pray FOR them off the clock and include a fervent hope that they come to their senses. I would not express any judgement of them or their beliefs as that would be too much like an Atheist Nurse telling a patient "get over it." Praying to their "higher-power" seems like participating in devil worship. Can't do it. Maybe I'd call the Hospital Chaplain service instead. They are pros; let them figure it out...
    neverbethesame likes this.
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    Great article. Helping me gainning more insight. Many nurses in my section have been in little conflict when in rush hours any patient or family ask for prayer companion. Not easily saying yes or even no.


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