Nun wanting to give NPO patient wafer

  1. 0 I was approached yesterday by a nun wanting to give my NPO patient a wafer (or whatever you call it...sorry). The patient was NPO for a surgery scheduled that morning so I politely said no and apologized. What would you do? I'm a new nurse.
  2. Enjoy this?

    Join thousands and get our weekly Nursing Insights newsletter with the hottest discussions, articles, and toons.

  3. Visit  Are-En-Fla profile page

    About Are-En-Fla

    From 'Hudson, FL, US'; Joined Jun '12; Posts: 16; Likes: 11.

    12 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  caliotter3 profile page
    6
    I would have thought that she could have touched the Host to the patient's mouth or lips for several seconds, and then removed it for safety's sake.
  5. Visit  Are-En-Fla profile page
    0
    I didn't think about that. I will know for next time to make that suggestion. Thank you!
  6. Visit  elkpark profile page
    5
    I agree with caliotter3's suggestion, or suggesting that the nun break off a tiny crumb of the wafer and give that (small enough that it couldn't make any difference biologically, but that would still count as receiving the Host).
  7. Visit  canned_bread profile page
    0
    For some strict Catholics, breaking of the wafer (or indeed chewing it) is disrespectful. The wafer basically dissolves in the mouth so I wouldn't think it would matter to much as far as surgery wise, however I would do the same thing in case the surgeon was anal.
  8. Visit  thrn30 profile page
    0
    ask the patient. explain what NPO means and if it was so important to him.her, then allowing it to dissolve in mouth is proabably OK< it was most liekly the NIN who was insisting...... LOL.....
  9. Visit  sharpeimom profile page
    4
    i received last rites in 2003. i wasn't npo, but was unable to swallow, so the priest soaked the wafer in a
    small amount of wine until it was mushy, then put just the tiniest bit onto my upper lip.

    he told me much later that, in his opinion, when someone is gravely ill, cannot take anything by mouth, the body
    and the blood of christ become interchangable and the deacon or priest may use whichever is safest and the most
    doable and that intermingling them is an option.

    another day, that same kind young priest wetted my lips with a few drops of wine during the administration of
    the sacrament and skipped the host.

    one suggestion made by our priest during one especially bad cold and flu season is to only allow the host to be
    placed on your tongue and skip the wine, this avoiding contaminating the chalice, and sharing your plague.
  10. Visit  amoLucia profile page
    0
    I know where the Host has been broken into a tiny peice to then be administered without problem.
  11. Visit  VivaLasViejas profile page
    0
    I'd hate to see anyone denied the Eucharist because of being NPO.

    One of my friends who is an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist visits the hospital every few days to take Communion to patients. Those who are NPO are given a tiny piece of the Host on the tongue, where it melts quickly. They are considered to have received, because Jesus is present in both the bread and wine---you can take either the Body or the Blood and still be in full communion with the Church.

    Which brings to mind the subject of chewing the Host---I see people do it all the time, and it bothers me because I was taught NEVER to do this because it's disrespectful. Has that teaching changed, I wonder? Does anyone know?
  12. Visit  elkpark profile page
    1
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    Which brings to mind the subject of chewing the Host---I see people do it all the time, and it bothers me because I was taught NEVER to do this because it's disrespectful. Has that teaching changed, I wonder? Does anyone know?
    Different denominations have different positions on this. The two theological principles are transubstantiation and consubstantiation. Transubstantiation (Roman Catholic doctrine (and maybe some other churches, I don't know) holds that consecration turns the wafer into the actual, physical body of Christ and they don't chew (some of the really hard core folks say that the reason you don't chew is because the wafer would bleed if you bit down on it -- they are that literal about it). Consubstantiation (the doctrine of most of the mainline Protestant denominations, AFAIK) holds that the wafer represents the body of Christ -- He is present spiritually in the Host and wine, but not physically. Those groups chew, and sometimes use "regular" bread (that you would have to chew) for the Eucharist. I grew up Lutheran and have been an Episcopalian most of my adult life, and chewing is acceptable/standard in both denominations.

    Also, some of the nonliturgical denominations (Baptist, maybe Methodists (not sure about that), etc.) don't buy either concept and see the Eucharist as simply a memorial or reminder of the Last Supper, but don't consider either the bread or wine (juice) to have any special spiritual properties.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  13. Visit  VivaLasViejas profile page
    0
    Thank you, elkpark. Your post is very informative! I didn't know how the different liturgical churches view the sacrament; all I know is the Catholic tradition, and I'm always surprised when I see communicants chewing the Host because we believe in transubstantiation. It makes sense to do it differently if your belief system is that the Host represents Christ's Body.

    I did know that about Biblical churches using bits of unflavored bread and grape juice to commemorate the Last Supper, and in fact used to participate before I converted to Catholicism some 25 years ago.
  14. Visit  lemur00 profile page
    0
    This is partially correct. Transub is held by Rome as the teaching of Aquinas. It holds that though the bread and wine hold the outward appearance of bread and wine they are in reality the physical body and blood of Christ. It's more complex than that, but that's the basic jist.

    However, the word consubstantiation is typically used to describe the Lutheran position (though they prefer the term "sacramental union"). In this view the body and blood of Christ are also physically present, though through a mystery of being hidden with, in, and under the material elements. EOs hold a somewhat similar view, in that the bread and wine are both bread and wine as well as the physical body and blood of Christ through a mysterious operation of the Spirit. Some Anglicans hold to this also.

    The view you are describing as consub is the view of Calvin and many Reformed, and is known as pneumatic presence. That is Christ is present by the power of the Holy Spirit rather than physically. The Reformed would say they do believe in real presence, but not in physical presence. Many of the more reformed Anglicans held to some type of pneumatic presence, but Anglicanism has on the whole tried to kind of pretend they're not there being embarrassing.

    Memorialism is the most common protestant view (especially since the term "protestant" is distasteful to modern Lutherans and Anglicans). This view is more along the lines of what we would today understand as "representational", though it isn't necessarily wrong to say the other views are also representational by medieaval standards.

    Yeah yeah I know: old thread and not to the point. But I'm a nerd. I would say to the op that like all things, this is really dependent on the way the patient perceives what he or she believes. And the only way to know that is to ask. Some would have a problem with chewing but wouldn't have a problem with the officiant breaking the wafer. There are a few ways to get around it, as have been mentioned.

    Quote from elkpark
    Different denominations have different positions on this. The two theological principles are transubstantiation and consubstantiation. Transubstantiation (Roman Catholic doctrine (and maybe some other churches, I don't know) holds that consecration turns the wafer into the actual, physical body of Christ and they don't chew (some of the really hard core folks say that the reason you don't chew is because the wafer would bleed if you bit down on it -- they are that literal about it). Consubstantiation (the doctrine of most of the mainline Protestant denominations, AFAIK) holds that the wafer represents the body of Christ -- He is present spiritually in the Host and wine, but not physically. Those groups chew, and sometimes use "regular" bread (that you would have to chew) for the Eucharist. I grew up Lutheran and have been an Episcopalian most of my adult life, and chewing is acceptable/standard in both denominations.

    Also, some of the nonliturgical denominations (Baptist, maybe Methodists (not sure about that), etc.) don't buy either concept and see the Eucharist as simply a memorial or reminder of the Last Supper, but don't consider either the bread or wine (juice) to have any special spiritual properties.
    Last edit by lemur00 on Nov 6, '12 : Reason: correction
  15. Visit  KelRN215 profile page
    0
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    I'd hate to see anyone denied the Eucharist because of being NPO.

    One of my friends who is an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist visits the hospital every few days to take Communion to patients. Those who are NPO are given a tiny piece of the Host on the tongue, where it melts quickly. They are considered to have received, because Jesus is present in both the bread and wine---you can take either the Body or the Blood and still be in full communion with the Church.

    Which brings to mind the subject of chewing the Host---I see people do it all the time, and it bothers me because I was taught NEVER to do this because it's disrespectful. Has that teaching changed, I wonder? Does anyone know?
    I haven't accepted communion in probably ten years because I do not believe that the Host is the body of Jesus. I was, however, raised Catholic and took communion (because I was forced to) every Sunday for ten years. I was never taught not to chew it and probably always did.

Must Read Topics



Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and find your dream job.

Top