Search Rhythm & Respiration blog

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Practicing authenticity


I am in awe of so many of my colleagues, practicing nurses who gift their skills, heart, and energy to patients. Their practice of caritas is far beyond the monetary exchange for which they are contracted as RN or NP.

One of these nurses, a new RN, Facebooked a comment on her day and it was so powerful a statement to me that I asked her for permission to share it. I sent this 'Midweek Encouragement' out to my student nurses, and am sharing it here, by permission of Grace who also provided a gentle encouragement for me to update my blog! (Thank you!)


Psalms

Chapter 13

How long must I carry sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look upon me, answer me, LORD, my God!
Give light to my eyes lest I sleep in death,
Lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed," lest my foes rejoice at my downfall.

So many times we think that a smile must be on our face in order for us to demonstrate that we are ‘victorious’ Christians. However, God is not impressed by our ability to look happy even when our hearts are breaking. As nurses, we strive to be professional and upbeat, not to let our personal pain show through to our patients and in the workplace. This is well and good! To be a professional nurse, we recognize that we are there first and foremost to do our job as nurses, not air our private miseries! However, as nurses, often in our professional work grief is the honest and authentic place to be. This often feels problematic for nurses of faith, because we understand the spiritual dimension that is at the heart’s gate, the center point of the person and very much tied in with emotions. 

 The following was written by a TWU nursing grad. I asked her for permission to share this because I think it shows that being authentic and being professional is possible! I also think it demonstrates how God uses our honesty and redeems our grief.

God's immeasurable love for me inspires me to love and care for my patients as He does for me every day. Each day, I hope that my patients experience God's love and that my care for them is adequate. Today is just one of those days when I question myself - am I doing enough for them? My emotions for one of my patients who passed away affected my care for the rest of my patients. Tears started falling as I was feeding another patient. This patient, who has severe dementia and is non-verbal, started tearing too. What I learned today is emotions are also gifts from God and break through any barriers between humans and also between God and His creations  (Grace, TWU Nursing Grad, 2010)

Thank you, Grace, for sharing this moment with us! How amazing that our Redeemer can create a bridge between souls out of tears.

Blessings on the rest of your week, nurses!