Medicine

Healing Hands: A Nurse’s Perspective on the Power to Alter Fate in Healthcare | by Sandra Cares | Jan, 2024

Not my image. 🙂

When we, or a loved one, or an acquaintance we barely know on social media fall ill, depending on the severity of illness or lets be honest ‘degree of likability’ of the person, many of us are inspired to pray. I have been thinking about this in regards to these prayers in a way that I thought might be helpful or inspirational due to my observations as a Registered Nurse who has worked in the hospital setting for the last six years who has seen all sorts of stuff. We have all heard the phrases ‘we are praying for you’ ‘we pray Gods hand touches you’ ‘we lift you up in prayer’ and my favorite is the ambiguous two hands pressed together prayer emoji someone sends that takes the place of having to actually come up with something to say to someone when they fall on hard times.

I think what people are hoping to happen is that God reaches down and zaps some magical effect on the cells and molecules within the body that were causing bad things to happen in such a way that they suddenly dissolve and the patient cartwheels out of the hospital throwing their wheelchair out the window as they go. Before I lose any fundamentalist religious readers who may be put off by the tone of the last sentence, stick with me, I too have prayed those prayers, and am all for them! However, as a nurse and as someone who is privy to how a hospital works and all the different factors that could go into a person’s hospital stay that would potentially make them or break them, I feel that our prayers and well wishes for an ill loved one can be elevated in realizing a concept that has become glaringly obvious to me as of late. Nurses are in a unique position to propel someone’s fate into health and recovery, or doom them into the dark vortex of complication after complication that could be the end.

Some days at work I feel the Butterfly Effect at play when I catch something minuscule, or do something good by them that I know will set them up for success even after my shift is over…these moments are celebrated! At other times I have inherited a patient who has had an unfortunate and unlucky sequence of events happen to them where one thing led to another and things have snowballed out of control. These moments are met with sadness…that moment where you realize the broken healthcare system got them.


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