1. Juarez, Maureen J.
  2. Friesen, Pamela K.
  3. Missal, Bernita E.

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On the first day of their obstetrics clinical rotation, the students arrive excited, begging for opportunities to care for moms and newborns. As we walk through the nursery for an initial tour, they barely hear what I am explaining because they are enthralled with the new lives they see lying in the bassinets. Each student picks up a newborn to hold for a few seconds before we continue the orientation. Before the students go to the maternity units and begin caring for the postpartum moms and their babies, I share a Scripture passage with them:


The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: "Don't push these children away. Don't ever get between them and me. These children are the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in." Then gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them (Mark 10:13-16, The Message).


The students and I reflect together about this passage and what it means as they begin their clinical days of caring for newborns and their mothers. We discuss the uncertainty of these babies' lives. Some may have a secure home with loving parents and family members, an excellent education, and multiple resources available for a bright future. Others may have minimal love shown to them, be in abusive situations, or experience health challenges that hinder their growth and development. Some will hear of Christ's love from their families, and others will never hear his name spoken in their homes. The future lies unknown.

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We talk about opportunities before the students in the next 8 hours to touch the newborns as they take vital signs and perform assessments, change diapers, hold babies when they are crying, or help their mothers with breastfeeding. I ask, "How can we be Jesus in skin to these new families?" Just as Jesus laid hands on children and blessed them with a prayer, we can lift up a silent prayer for the future of these children each time we touch them. We can pray God's protection for them and that they will hear of his great love for them at some point in their lives.


Our preconference time is over, and the students are eager to begin caring for their assigned families. On this day, the newborns will begin the first hours of their lives being bathed not just with water and love from their families, but with the love of their Heavenly Father through the prayers of student nurses.


To Bless and Be Blessed

What does it mean to give a blessing? Who blesses you? How can we bless the ones for whom we offer care?


Jesus modeled communicating blessings to others. He was a master of communicating acceptance and love to all he encountered in his years of ministry on earth. Jesus himself received a significant blessing as a newborn. When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple at 8 days of age, an elderly man named Simeon realized who he was, took Jesus into his arms, and prayed a prayer of blessing and prophecy of what Christ's role would be on earth. Luke 2:25-38 relates how the Holy Spirit had shown Simeon that he would see the Messiah before he died. They were joined in this prayer by Anna, a prophetess who continually was at the temple worshipping God.


The word blessing has been defined as "prayer asking God to show his favor, the giving of God's favor" (Barnhart & Barnhart, 1993). Proverbs 11:25 (The Message) tells us, "The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped." Like Simeon and Anna, we can encourage others and in turn be blessed.


Barnhart, C., & Barnhart R. (1993). World book dictionary. Chicago: World Book, Inc., p. 213. [Context Link]


Wireless Healthcare

The use of wireless technology in healthcare settings (e.g., Bluetooth, RFID, Zigbee, UWB WWAN, WMAN, WLAN) is skyrocketing. In 2003, 25% of U.S. hospitals used wireless technology. That figure is expected to be 80% to 90% in 2010. Staff shortages, budget crunches, and concern for error are driving the growth. Implementing WPAN-enabled PDA units, RFID wands and other wireless devices are thought to help fewer personnel serve a growing number of patients in a more effective and efficient manner. Time will tell (Pizzi, 2008, May 12).


Pizzi, R. (2008, May 12). Healthcare wireless market to approach $10 billion by 2012. HealthcareIT News. Retrieved June 25, 2008 at [Context Link]