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.

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  2. 12 Comments...

  3. 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.
  4. 0
    I didn't think about that. I will know for next time to make that suggestion. Thank you!
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.....
  8. 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.
  9. 0
    I know where the Host has been broken into a tiny peice to then be administered without problem.
  10. 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?
  11. 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.

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