About Me

My photo
My journey as a writer began as a child. I wrote poems and short stories which were my way of dealing with various life changing events. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Follow me on Twitter @KIngallsAuthor www.facebook.com/KarenIngalls, and you can find my books at www.amazon.com. My first book is Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir which received two awards. All proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. My second book is a novel Novy's Son, about one man's attempt to find love and acceptance from his father. This is an all too common problem in our society. My third book, Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is about the love affair between this great American sculptor and his model. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2017.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Medical Professionals and Touch

On August 29th, I spoke to a group at Mayo Clinic called "Bright Spots". The group included nurses, administrative personnel, a doctor, and other medical professionals, who work in the gynecology, oncology, and research departments. From my perspective as a cancer patient, I tried to convey to them the importance of how they touch patients physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Obviously physical touch involves anything from a gentle hand on the shoulder and up to a hug. The skin is our largest organ and affects the four senses. We need to be respectful of an individual's boundaries, and yet provide the type of touch that the patient needs. If we are sensitive to their body language, the patient's needs will be met without invading their boundaries.

Emotional touch is the smile, the warm look into the patient's eyes, listening, and sharing tears or laughter. A nurse is very busy and it is not always easy to take the time to listen or provide the patient with the necessary emotional support. Actually, I believe that if a nurse takes the extra few minutes to truly "touch" the patient, his or her professional duties will be actually decreased. Cancer patients in particular have many fears, and the medical profession needs to be sensitive to how a smile or compassionate eyes can relieve many fears.

Spiritual touch is demonstrated through prayer, acts of kindness and love, and such energy channels as Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, Kofutu, and Healing Touch. A nurse's prayer for her patients can be powerful. With my cancer, I knew that many people were praying for me, and still do.

How have you been touched? How do you "reach out and touch"? Share how a nurse's touch affected you. As a medical professional, how have you used touch to promote health and reduction of fear?

1 comment:

Dr. Margaret Aranda said...

As a medical professional, I have used Touch to connect with my patients, as well as to provide comfort. Over the years, I have concluded that light touch will send the patient's eyes straight to mine. They seek. They gravitate. It is powerful. The subsequent eye contact is elevated, intense, and profound. I can impart empathy or instruction with an elevated sense of impact. The patient knows that I care deeply.