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I want to tell your readers about the "blessing of the hands," a ritual practiced in some health care settings to affirm and empower health care workers in their healing care.


At our hospital, all workers are welcome to partake of this ritual, including nurses, physicians, support staff, and volunteers. We believe that everyone is an important part of the "chain of care." When workers ask to be blessed, our chaplain anoints their hands with oil in a brief interfaith ceremony.


On a recent ceremony day, besides nurses and physicians, a member of the business office wanted a blessing to help her take care of indigent patients' bills. An environmental services employee wanted to have her hands blessed so she could provide a safe environment for each patient. A dietary aide wanted to help heal patients by serving their meals. Our chaplain then prayed for each one to help heal, console, and nurture patients. The loving glow of faith in their faces warmed my heart.


Francine K. Zabkar, RN, PCCN, TNCC, BSN


Cape Coral, Fla.