Intensive Prayer Unit
- 4 When considering a holistic approach to healthcare, it is important to realize the vital role that spiritual care plays in healing and in coping with health crisis. It is important to provide the patient and the family links to the care and support they need. Many patients find prayer to be very comforting and uplifting.
Several hospitals, such as Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, utilize a program called Intensive Prayer Unit to help address oneís spiritual needs. The programís goal is to provide prayer support, upon request, to patients and families who want to receive a spiritual expression of love and concern. This program provides a way of sharing the hope and strength that goes beyond our technical limitations.
Volunteers from area churches commit to pray each day for specific patients who have requested prayer. Upon admission, patients are given an Intensive Prayer Unit information packet. If they desire to participate in the program, they complete the application form that asks for the patientís first name, a brief description of the patient, his or her medical situation, and what specific prayer requests may be in order. The completed form is directed to the Pastoral Care Department and then to a specific prayer-giver in a participating local congregation. The prayer-giver agrees to pray for the anonymous patient daily for 15 days.
For many, prayer is communication to a higher power when all else seems powerless. Prayer can offer any of us hope and healing in the darkest times. Prayer helps us to reach out to something greater and wiser than our limited selves.
The Intensive Prayer Unit is ecumenical and voluntary. It is not meant to take the place of a patient's church or family. Prayers for the patients and families are lifted up by strangers out of love and a genuine sense of faith in God's healing power.
For more discussion about meeting the patient's spiritual needs, please read the following threads in my blog:
The Nurse's Role in Providing Spiritual Care - Is It OK to Pray?
What is Parish Nursing?
About tnbutterfly, BSN, RN
tnbutterfly has 'More than 35 years' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Parish Nsg, Disaster Nsg, Peds, Med-Surg'. From 'TN'; Joined Jun '06; Posts: 22,222; Likes: 12,845.3Feb 11, '09 by judybsnI often pray for one of my elderly patients who is extremely anxious (probably part of her dementia). I know her religious background and know she is comfortable with it. Offering to pray aloud for her calms her right down and is a wonderful therapeutic tool. If someone had no religious background I might wait till things were quite desperate before I would ask. If they agreed I would keep the prayer pretty general, as suggested in one of the other posts.