Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Praying with Patients

As nursing students at Liberty University, we have all heard our professors talk to us about providing spiritual care to our patients. One of the aspects of spiritual care that our instructors have emphasized is praying with our patients. I know some of us find the idea of praying with patients to be highly intimidating. But I would like to share from my own experience that praying with patients is not scary at all.

Ever since I started clinicals last year, I have made it a habit to pray with my patients at least once during my shift. I ordinarily wait until the end of my shift to ask my patient if I can pray with them because, at that point, I have developed a trusting relationship with them. I usually tell my patient that I make it a habit to pray with all my patients before I leave; I ask if they would like me to pray with them, and they are almost always happy that someone cares about them enough to take time out of their busy schedule in order to pray with them.

Now you might be wondering, what if the patient says they don’t want any prayer. In that case, you should respect the patient’s wishes and drop the subject. Even though there is always the possibility that your patient will say no, I have found that the response from patients has been overwhelmingly positive.

All things considered, I encourage you to make a habit of praying with your patients. It is just one more way we can be the hands and feet of Christ as we serve our patients in the clinical setting. 

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