Pope Francis Recognizes Nurses’ “Healing Power of Listening and Touch”

This story reblogged from nurse.org.
March 6, 2018

Pope Francis Calls Nurses, “Experts In Humanity” – Thanks Nurse Who Saved His Life

Pope Francis Calls Nurses, "Experts In Humanity" - Thanks Nurse Who Saved His Life

By Angelina Gibson 

VATICAN CITY, Mar 3, 2018 – “I thank her and I want you to know her name: Sister Cornelia Caraglio,” said Pope Francis as he remembered the nurse who saved his life at 20 years old.

“When, at the age of 20, I was on the verge of death, she was the one who told the doctors, even arguing with them, ‘No, this isn’t working. You must give more,'” the Pope said during a meeting with thousands of nurses – members of Italy’s national association of nursing professionals.

“And thanks to those things [her suggestions], I survived,” recalled the Pope.

The Pope Thanks Nurses

Pope Francis thanked all nurses in attendance, “you are there all day and you see what happens to the patient. Thank you for that!” he continued, “many lives, so many lives are saved thanks to you!”

He spoke about the importance of the nursing profession and the unique relationships nurses form with all members of the healthcare team – patients, families, and colleagues. Pope Francis stated that nurses are at “the crossroads” of all these relationships.

Furthermore, Pope Francis acknowledged the “truly irreplaceable” role nurses play in the lives of their patients. “Like no other, the nurse has a direct and continuous relationship with patients, takes care of them every day, listens to their needs and comes into contact with their very body, that he tends to,” stated Pope Francis.

The Pope called nurses, “promoters of the life and dignity of the persons.”

He spoke about the sensitivity they acquire from “being in contact with patients all day,” and addressed the healing power of listening and touch. Calling touch an important factor for demonstrating respect for the dignity of the person.

He praised nurse’s continuous and tiring commitment to their individual patients despite the patient’s societal status. Calling a nurse’s care particularly important in a society which often leaves weaker people on the margin, only giving worth to people who meet certain criteria or level of wealth.

Pope Francis called the nursing profession “a real mission,” and referred to nurses as, “experts in humanity.”

When speaking of touch, Pope Francis told the story of when Jesus healed the Leper through touch. Encouraging the nurses, “we must recognize the importance of this simple gesture,” Pope Francis said. “Mosaic law forbid touching lepers and banned them from approaching inhabited places. But Jesus went to the heart of the law, which is summarized in love for one’s neighbor,” stated Pope Francis.

While acknowledging the difficulty of the nursing profession, Pope Francis encouraged patients to have patience with nurses, to not demand things from nurses and to smile more at their nurses.

The Pope reminded nurses, “a caress, a smile, is full of meaning for one who is sick. It is a simple gesture, but encouraging, he or she feels accompanied, feels closer to being healed, feels like a person, not a number.”

Pope Francis encouraged nurses, to not forget the “medicine of caresses.”

One of Top 50 Fantastic Blogs for Nurses 2018: Nursingstories.org

I came across the Nurse.org Blog by chance. What a surprise to see that my nursingstories.org was named one of the “top 50 fantastic blogs of 2018.” I’m only a year late to appreciate the honor. And it is an honor to be in the company of the other 49 nursing blogs.

I think you will be impressed with nurse.org. The wealth of information covered is impressive: jobs, hospital reviews, career guides, nursing school programs, nursing organizations and available scholarships. Nurse.org also has a blog written by active, involved, compassionate nurses for other nurses and those outside the health care field. I’ve added the latest post below. Please visit this awesome website.

Reblogged from January 30, 2018

Nurse.org – Impacts the lives of nurses and nursing students by publishing thought-provoking content and launching culture-changing initiatives.

Top 50 Fantastic Blogs for Nurses 2018

Staying up to date on current news and topics in a field is an important task to keep the mind and tools sharp, and this is especially true for nurses! Whether you’re a working nurse, aspiring nurse, or simply interested in the topic of nursing, reading up on the happenings and opinions of the industry is a worthwhile endeavor. This is why we love and think nursing blogs are the perfect way to accomplish this task!

We’ve browsed through hundreds of nursing blogs, written by nurses or medical journals about nursing topics, and have hand selected the top fantastic 50 for your reading enjoyment.

We took a few factors into consideration when making our selections:

  • Quality of content and site
  • Frequency of posts
  • Credentials of the writer
  • Amount of interesting and/or helpful content
  • Personal selection (we personally enjoyed these blogs!)

These nursing blogs range from personal experiences to great resources for current nursing students and those looking for a new job. With something for everyone, you can’t go wrong with our list!

In no particular order, here are Nurse.org’s Top 50 Fantastic Blogs for Nurses 2018!

Nursing Stories

The voice of this blog belongs to Marianna. After four decades of being a nurse and nurse practitioner, Marianna wanted an outlet to share stories of patients she cared for. Her goal is to encourage nurses to tell their stories about the professional and personal difficulties they’ve encountered, as well as the times they have impacted their patients’ lives. Her experiences demonstrate how nurses develop a relationship with patients and their families that differ from the doctor/patient relationship. She also shows how nurses often struggle to be heard in a hierarchy that favors physicians.


Here is the latest Blog:

January 21, 2019

I’m A Nurse And I Grieve – How To Cope With Patient Death

By Wali Khan, BSN, RN 

Follow @Wali_khann on Instagram

Picture this, you arrive to work, receive the assignment and mentally begin to prepare for the task at hand. You create an outline in your mind and on paper of how the next twelve hours will go. You receive the report at the bedside, gather your supplies and prepare for your initial assessment. You’re told the family is in the waiting room and they want to see the patient. Your patient is ill but stable, for now. You check the patient, check the ventilator, check your drips and make your way out of the room to the supply closet.

The time now is 1930. Suddenly, you hear the central monitor alarming loudly with sirens of a fatal occurrence. Naturally, your stomach churns, your heart begins to rapidly beat, and you’re hoping it is not your room but deep down you know it may very well be. The charge nurse screams your name and you sprint back to your room to find your neighboring nurse performing compressions on your patient as every available body rushes to your and your patient’s rescue.

This is your first cardiac arrest.

You lock eyes with the clock in the room and realize life and death rest in the hands of the clock. You haven’t felt this before and feel the sweat trickling down your back. As the primary nurse, you are the recorder.

Arriving late, you begin to jumble times and medications on a paper. Each one of your feet feels like it’s buried in quicksand; pulling you deep into the ground as the feeling of paralysis settles in your legs. A momentary brain dump occurs as the whirlwind of events unfold.

The time now, after multiple rounds of epinephrine, defibrillation and compressions are 1943. The attending physician calls the time of death out loud. The team confirms and it is over.

5 Ways To Maintain Healthy Emotional Boundaries When Your Patient Dies

This is one of those occurrences that no institution, no book, and no rotation can ever prepare you for. This is a reality that inevitably comes upon us, sometimes forewarned and other times when we least expect it. If you’re like me, you’re a giver. Naturally, you develop love, an affection, a deep concern for those you are responsible for caring for. So, rightfully, it hurts to watch a patient go and to have the knowledge of the inevitable reality that the family has yet to accept or believe.

Image courtesy of @wali_khann Instagram

However, you also need to intuitively understand the need in professional life for a balance between compassion and healthy emotional boundaries. Because in this line of work, you must continue to love, to give, to heal, and to nurture, despite the unfavorable outcomes and endings. Here are 5 ways I’ve come to accept the process of letting go without experiencing emotional and mental paralysis.

  1. Practice silence.In this situation and many others, you won’t have the right words or any words at all. Having stood at this station multiple times over, I want you to know that this is normal and okay. Being present with your patient and their loved ones while accommodating them with anything they need is more than sufficient at this time. In many situations, the best way to intervene is to lend an attentive ear. You will not have all the answers but, you most certainly possess the ability to connect and heal through nonverbal communication.

As humans, we speak through our eyes, touch with our smiles and heal through our spirits.

These moments will serve as times of prayer, of silence, of smiles, of tears and of joy; all in one. Practice the art of silence.

  1. Be an advocate for all – the patient and the family.Your care extends beyond the bedside – for the patient and for the family. This is one of those times where your advocacy skills will come into play. Allow adequate time for grieving, extended visitation, chaplaincy/Imam involvement, extra tissue/water, and facilitation of open and sensitive communication between patient, family & the interdisciplinary team.

Understand that people from all walks of life come to the hospital to seek care. They present to us with their illnesses, but they also bring along their cultural and spiritual practices which to them, are an additional component of their healing and sometimes grieving. Having a comprehensive understanding of the sensitive nature and uniqueness each of your patients present will allow you to provide the necessary support they require.

  1. Convey empathy when interacting with the Family– share their feelings of loss, if they are open to it. It is a good idea to spend time with the family of the patient both at the bedside and in private throughout the duration of care rendered. This will help you to better understand the dynamics and communication style of the family. If the family has a designated spokesperson that relays information to the remainder of the family members, use them to effectively communicate with the family. High running emotions can lead to miscommunication and misdirected feelings.
  2. Treat your thoughts as guests– mortality is undoubtedly frightening but it reminds us to live a purposeful life. Every day of that which has been granted to us is a gift. A priceless gem. Remain in a state of gratitude. Talk to God. Be open to yourself and your thoughts.

It is important to accept and address the fact that negative outcomes will happen in your professional life. Know that grieving is natural, even in the context of the nurse-patient relationship. Patient deaths are never easy.

I want you to know it is okay to grieve and mourn. It is okay to feel for your patient. You may be a health care professional, but you’re still a human being capable of feeling pain, sadness, and hurt. It’s only natural.

  1. Seek assistance – death changes us.It brings forth unprecedented emotions and psychological consequences that we are never fully prepared for. If you need, use this time to seek out the social services provided by your respective institutions or a third party. The role of these professionals is to facilitate conversations and therapeutic modalities that will help you to address these unprecedented feelings and thoughts.

There is absolutely no shame in talking with other trained professionals to help you compartmentalize everything you have experienced. The name of the game is consistency and longevity. This may be the first time you’ve experienced the death of a patient, but it certainly won’t be the last.

Image courtesy of @wali_khann Instagram

Wali Khan, BSN, RN is a Chicago based trauma resuscitation & ICU nurse in one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in the country. His writing entails a powerful narrative and perspective on the balance between faith and medicine. Passionate about nursing, faith, community service, he uses his voice on social media to highlight the intersection between the three. As an immigrant and first generation college graduate, his journey entails a story of perseverance, balance, and compassion that students and practitioners can relate to. With a previous career as a personal trainer, his lifelong commitment to health and wellness, he inspires and encourages his fans and followers towards an empowered and healthier life.

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