by Sharon Williamson, RN, Wayzata EFC Health Ministries
“God doesn’t look for outcomes; he looks for faithfulness,” said our speaker, Dr. Kamalini Kumar. More than 80 nurses gathered last month for the 4th annual NCF Nurses Breakfast Seminar in the Twin Cities area (MN).
Dr. Kumar was a great inspiration to us. She understands the joys and frustrations of the nursing profession. She also works with Caring Ministries in her church in a parish nursing capacity.
I appreciated her comments on compassionate caring. We cannot give away what we have not received from the Lord. We get compassion at the feet of Jesus.
Dr. Kumar reminded us that there is so much in this world that we have no control over. Yet our circle of influence – for good or evil – is great. Jesus told his followers they are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. We must ask ourselves, “Is my influence healing?”
These are more highlights of our seminar that I want to remember in my nursing practice:
- To earn respect, we must first give it away. What is our attitude toward others? We can only be gracious in our responses to others (patients, parishioners, superiors) if God is working in us.
- What happens to our passion and enthusiasm when we are in a dry desert experience? Acknowledge the feelings of discouragement or disillusionment and seek help if necessary. The Lord can restore new insight and passion in us.
- Be fully attuned and present in each encounter so that person feels emotionally safe. Try “wondering” as another way to get information or understand a patient or a person. This is a state of mind characterized by curiosity, openness and acceptance:
- Become empty.
- Use “wide eyes.”
- Listen and watch with curiosity, not rushing to conclusions.
- Suspend judgment. Everyone has a story to tell.
By doing this, we create new ways of understanding and trust. In her closing comments, Dr. Kumar prayed, “Lord, today let me be Christ to someone -- and let someone be Christ to me.” Amen!
--Special thanks to Mary Van Der Werf and the Elim Faith Community Nurse Communique.
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