Musings and a Blessing for Nurses
To all my friends who deal with chronic pain (from A to Z and back) through Facebook, email, my books, personal conversations, and more: Before I discontinue the Facebook posts I want to make sure that you have made the transition with me to the new blog space. Would you do me a favor? If you are now watching/reading through this site please respond below with a comment or email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
Nothing is quite like seeing a tornado (in person). I saw one as a kid a few miles from our house (where there are now houses), then looked up to notice the clouds moving in an odd circular pattern (duh). Our nature is to think first of family then friends and (then) others. I’m thankful to hear safe reports from Oklahoma to Texas this morning.
Those following my personal space on Facebook are aware that I decided to have complications after routine office-surgery on my sinuses last week. I’ll spare the squeamish the details. Enough to say that I got to spend three fabulous nights in a very expensive hotel with nurses making it impossible to sleep at night – the same nurses who acted with speed in the ER (one in particular who I remember encouraging me when it was hard to breathe), and then those upstairs who made it possible to rest, heal, and come home on Sunday.
I wrote the following prayer a couple of years ago when asked to give a blessing over students entering the final program years of their degree at ACU. I affirm these words even more today and thank God for these students and nurses who hear the same call to ministry.
Thank you Lord for these students,
and the decision they have made:
the path they have chosen,
the gifts you have given.
Thank you Lord for the special way
they take up your own ministry:
to those who are sick,
to those who cry in pain,
to those who face death,
to those who are afraid,
to those who have lost hope.
Oh Lord, give them the inner-strength
they will need in times to come,
especially when they are weary.
Help them to always see the person
behind the pain, behind the illness,
one you made in your likeness;
Help them to listen to the patient,
to really hear what they say,
even to hear what is not said.
Help them to maintain a spirit of peace,
when patients are frustrated, angry,
and nurses are an easy target.
Help them to be agents of grace,
who heal the physical and spiritual,
through intentional presence.
Help them when everything has been done,
and they give that final injection,
turn off the machines and remove tubes.
Help them when they are with families
in the presence of death,
bless every motion, every word.
Help them to remember that to be a healer,
they must first take care of themselves:
physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Keep them from the evil one,
who would distract them
from the importance of their work.
Keep them from bitterness,
the practices that will turn them sour,
the places that will turn them bitter.
Keep them from harmful anger that comes
from bureaucracy and new policies,
from federal and insurance mandates.
May they experience the joy of seeing
patients healed in ways they expect –
and in ways they could never explain.
May they experience the joy of relationships
with the colleagues they work with
and the patients they attend.
May they experience the joy of seeing
new life born into this world,
a claim of hope upon the future.
May they, as students, realize the magnitude
of what they are studying and learning.
May they grasp the principles and actions,
for which they can see relevance;
and may they work even harder to master
concepts for which they see no relevance.
May they never burn out, lose their way,
or see their work as just another job;
and may they always, always keep the words *
they have pledged today in your presence.
* The Nightingale Pledge: I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.
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