Would You Pray if your Patient asked? - page 20

If a patient asked you to pray with or for them at the bedside, would you? I had this discussion with some other nurses and the responses were interesting. Some said they would have no problem,... Read More

  1. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from nursemike?
    Once, shortly after a code 99 (in which I typically have little or no part) a young chaplain and I were unwinding in the unit kitchenette with a cup of coffee and talking about old cars we'd owned. About the third time a nurse came in to get something and excused herself. it finally dawned on me they thought I was Talking To The Chaplain, rather than just talking to the chaplain.
    A year or so later, we'd had a patient expire--a teenager--and a chaplain intern had to accompany the body through the whole process, afterward. She looked a little shaky as she waited for the morgue cart, and I was having a slow evening, so I decided I ought to kind of stay close by and offer support. It wasn't until later that it dawned on me that I might be getting a little full of myself if I thought I needed to comfort the chaplain--even an intern. Still, it was interesting to me to learn about their training, and she didn't seem to mind the company.
    I think that's kind of the thing about prayer, too. If you're modest and your heart's in the right place, it will usually work out okay.
    When my dad had his CABG, a nurse offered to pray with him. He welcomed it. Had I been the pt., it might have made me a little uncomfortable, but I wouldn't have been offended. I was a little put out, though, at another nurse in pre-op who practically insisted I tell him I love him before they wheeled him away. Dad knows I love him, but neither of us was ready for final farewells, so I just said, "I'll see you soon."
    The thing is, you've either got to be very sensitive to what the patient (or family member) needs/wants, or else it may be better just to be quiet.
    Why is that, nursemike?
    Chaplains are human beings with emotions & fears just like the rest of us.
    It is just being considerate and kind to reach out to them in such a time.
  2. by   pnurseuwm
    I believe in a Universal Almightly being that rules all; however, though I was raised Baptist, I do not consider myself to be a Christian. As someone earlier said, a nice, non-denominational prayer would be nice, but I don't know if the patient would think I half-did the prayer to be rude and rush away.... I don't know if my prayer would be traditional or acceptable enough for them (i.e. I don't say "in Jesus name") and I would be afraid of offending them...
    But I would try something, I just can't see myself saying "No."
  3. by   nursemike
    Quote from RN4NICU
    Why is that, nursemike?
    Chaplains are human beings with emotions & fears just like the rest of us.
    It is just being considerate and kind to reach out to them in such a time.
    Thank you.
  4. by   eng_nurse
    I have to say yes, if asked I would pray with them. I hope that someday I have that privilage with one of my patients.
  5. by   All_Smiles_RN
    Without a doubt, I would.
  6. by   danu3
    I remembered a story by a doctor once in an ethics seminar about similar situation. It goes something like this as he was telling what happened to him...

    The doctor has the unpleasent task of informing his patient (an old gentle lady) that she has cancer. After he informed her, she did not say anything for a while. Then all of a sudden she asked the doc to pray with her.

    Now we have a slight problem here, the doc is Jewish and the lady is Catholic. Anyway the doc went ok. So they both closed their eyes and the doc was hoping the lady would start praying so he can sort of follow along. Nope... after about 2 minutes of silent, it was obviouisly the lady is expecting the doc to start!

    The doc was going I am Jewish and I don't know how to pray a Christian prayer. Then he decided to pray a prayer he remembered from the Psalm which should be generic enough. So he prayed it and thought he was done... nope... it is now her turn to pray! She prayed and then she asked the doc to pray with her the Lord's prayer. He said he does not really know the Lord's prayer. She said she can go one sentence at a time and he can follow. He went ok. And there we have it, she pray one sentence and he followed except the Catholic part where she invoked the Trinity... he just kept quiet.

    Despite the differences in their religious faith, the doctor was able to journey with this gentle lady for a little bit and gave her comfort.

  7. by   MichaelSSSS
    No - never would I do that! If they want to pray they can do it and I'll be respectful - but I would never say one myself. I don't believe it anything spiritual adn would be decieving them and myself.
  8. by   RN2B2009
    In a heartbeat! I look forward to the privilege!
  9. by   Deb123j
    I would definately pray for someone if they asked - and even if they didn't and didn't know it!!!
  10. by   Boo439
    I personally am not a very religious person. I work at a Seventh Day Adventist Hospital and prayer is very big there. We have many, many chaplains who pray with the patients. When we go trhough our orientation, we are given a choice to wear a "praying hands" pin on our badge if we feel comfortable praying with a patient if they need it. I think it's a great idea. I personally would not do it because I don't know what to say, I wouldn't feel comfortable and there are plenty of other nurses and aides on my floor who are very good at comforting our patients with a prayer.
  11. by   lawrencenightingale
    Yes, I would pray and I'm an agnostic.
  12. by   USA987
    I prayed with a patient and her family...came in having an MI and was getting shipped out to a facility where they had a cath lab. I'm not a very religous person, but I didn't hesitate when they asked me to join them. We all held hands and prayed.

    Two weeks later, I was called to a Code in the ER...it was the same patient. Found down in her bathroom for an unknown amount of time. Ran through the motions of the code to no avail. During their tremendous time of grief, her family approched me and thanked me for praying with them weeks before. It was very special moment for me....
  13. by   lovin3angels
    I personaly think if put in that situation it would be an honor, to give the patient peace both in his heart and mind.