Its an awkward position to suddenly need to confront our personal spiritual hangups while trying to do the right thing and help the patient. Once in my clinical rotations I had a patient, extremely ill, no family in the US, and dying. One day after I finished cleaning her up and changed of bedding the patient gripped my arm and asked with tear filled eyes and a shaky voice, "could I pray for her?"
I was in a dilemma, what do i do? how do you pray with or for someone when one doesn't regularly pray and cannot remember what the words were. I couldn't run off and look for my professor to ask her what and how to pray and nor could i convert to a devout believer on the spot and I did not want to lie to a dying person. I told her the truth that I told her that I was not particularly religious, didn't know the words, rarely prayed but would she like me to sit with her for a few minuets. I sat with her quietly, each left to our own thoughts, I was thinking is this ok? wow this isn't something school prepare me for, I was the least qualified person in the building to be doing this, what else can I do to ease her suffering. Then after I ashed her if she would like a priest come visit her because hospitals can get access to those. She did. I told her nurse and also followed up on it after lunch, they had sent for a priest to visit the same day. Later I stopped by her room to say good bye she thanked she was crying me and that it meant a lot to her that i prayed with her. You see to her me just sitting with her was praying and me I well sat with her and did alot of thinking about all sorts of stuff and tried to do my best to ease her suffering the only way i knew how.
I keep my own beliefs to myself and could care less if another thinks that I should convert or not. If its something that clearly gives a patient peace by hearing their scriptures and I have a few minuets whats the harm. I get sermons yelled at me by street preachers all the time does that make me a convert?
Last edit by Inori on Aug 30, '12