You are reading page 3 of HUGS?!


64 Posts

Specializes in N/A.

I love this post. I too wondered about the appropriateness of healing touch. I very much believe that touch is super therapeutic and can do more than medication for some people. I also have the red flags etched in my mind because I worked in admin for so long and with developmentally disabled adults...that side hug could turn into a boob grab or a headlock if you weren't careful :cautious:. But I think I will always wait for the patient to ask for a hug, but I'm sure I'll give lots of hand/arm pats unless they are infectious or sketchy lol.

psu_213, BSN, RN

3,878 Posts

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant. Has 14 years experience.

First, let me say, I am not a hugger…at all. If, however, the person is clean and decent (i.e., not a drunk that I have been "nursing" for the past 6 hours), I will hug them if they initiate it. This is not a hug that is high on contact, it is going to last a matter of 1-3 seconds. Note: if it is family of someone who just died, or there are other extreme circumstances surrounding the hug, I will allow it to last longer. In terms of infection control, I figure it is no more dirty than a hand shake with the arm grab or being bumped into at the grocery store. If it helps a patient/family feel better, then I say go for it.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.
th_hiding.gif I'm a hugger
Specializes in ED. Has 5 years experience.

I am not a hugger by a long shot. Roughly a year ago my community had a devastating tornado. Our ER was a madhouse. I ended up with two patients in the same room, their home was destroyed. They were so worried about their pets and one another, neither one was actually concerned about themselves. They were eventually discharged, and I jumped through some hoops to get boyfriend his Coumadin as he could not go home. Sent them to the lobby to wait for pharmacy to send me a two day supply of his meds. Oh god the feels. He grabbed me up in a tight hug, he was crying and thanking me. No way would I refuse that hug.


844 Posts

I too am a...hugger. I don't go around grabbing patients and hugging them ;) but there have been plenty of times that I have hugged patients or family member of patients. I had a patient in clinicals about two weeks ago who grabbed me in a bear hug and planted a kiss on my cheek (all for getting her a gown that was a better fit and more comfortable for her LOL). In our clinical rotations we have had families making decisions about end-of-life care, families coming to the realization that their loved one IS at the end of life, and by golly if they want to hug, they'll get a hug :)


136 Posts

as long as theyre not on contact precaution or isolation

Fruit Sucker

262 Posts

I'm a hugger. I don't get a lot of patients asking for hugs, but I routinely squeeze my patients' shoulders lightly, stroke their heads, or hold their hand if they're having something painful done. Like someone mentioned, emotional well-being leads to better healing.

Just in general, I'm a fan of giving out hugs. People don't get enough love, and it doesn't cost me anything. At school I'm known for hugging people when they're feeling low, and I also have a "hug dance" that I do with people in times of joy.

I definitely would hold back if it is a creepy male patient though, or someone who is in a state of uncleanliness that's problematic, and obviously those on contact precautions. It's up to you, but I encourage hugging. If you don't feel right, then holding someone's hand and giving a warm light squeeze is good too.


256 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

I have given out hugs on many discharges I've had. I worked in a short stay rehab unit in a nursing home so my residents were there from a few weeks to a few months and I usually had the same ones. The ones that really felt that i had played a major role in their care or the ones who just for some reason really liked me, they would grab me into a hug during their discharge before they left and thank me profusely. I didn't mind that. I'm not much of a hugger but I'm always so glad to see these residents go back to their normal lives. I've had moments where family members have hugged me and one surprising one where I thought the woman (a family member) hated me but when her husband passed away, she embraced me and thanked me for taking care of him so well.

I'm not a big hugger but there are times where it helps more than any clinical attempt could, and those warm fuzzy moments do make you feel like you're making some sort of a difference...after all, that's what we're here to do...right?

I have had behavioral and creepy ones try to hug me, and those I just kind of duck out of and turn into a handshake.