Connections that Heal

Program SCP 8


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At the typical nursing station of today’s hospitals, it can sometimes seem like high-tech medical machinery supersedes a personal connection between the patient and nurse or other health care professional. But for many caregivers, that one-to-one relationship is the essence of their service. This episode of  The Spiritual Care Podcast  considers how connections can uplift the patient being cared for, as well as nurses – who spend more time with patients than other medical professionals. It also can help to sustain and revitalize nurses, who often are called to their work through a powerful drive to serve people.

How does a caring relationship with patients help them feel less alone while undergoing a health crisis? When is it appropriate for caregivers to show personal emotion at a moment of vulnerability for the patient? How can nurses respond to the spiritual needs of patients?

We hear from Connie Delaney, Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She’s a leader in the movement to reinforce the role of nursing – in today’s complex health care setting – in genuinely compassionate, patient-centered care. We also listen to the experiences of Wanda Baker, a pediatric nurse and native Canadian who has worked in critical care and palliative care in Canada and the United States.

The connection that you have with people is a connection that seals the deal, in terms of our oneness. We are bearing witness to one another. And if we are honest and open to that experience, that is where we all find our strength.”

— Wanda Baker

I find it curious in nursing that for such a deeply intimate profession and a deeply caring profession, we almost have an allergic reaction to using the word ‘love.’ Love so defines how we relate to patients and each other.”

— Connie Delaney


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