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Authors

  1. Nussbaum, Gloria B. RN, MSN

Abstract

Creating an environment of compassion where patients feel that their emotional and spiritual needs are met is at the heart of holistic care. Patient satisfaction surveys address this powerful aspect of care and nurses find themselves in the position of making an impact. The nurse is at the bedside when crisis occurs, both physical and spiritual. Superficial attention to matters of spirituality is no longer acceptable. Nurses need to examine spirituality within themselves and be available when the patients give the invitation to join them in the struggle for peace. The critical care unit is most vulnerable because the intensity of illness is so great. Conscious or unconscious, the patient needs human touch and consolation, which transcends technology. Indifference to this is all but negligence on the part of the nurse. Addressing this through careful care planning and joining the "fellowship of pain" brings the nurse into the healing process. "Burnout" decreases as care increases, and nurses experience the healing process themselves as well.