The Bond Between Nurses and the Dying
The pandemic has made it evident that spiritual care isn’t the exclusive domain of the chaplaincy. Surely more patients have died in the presence of nurses than anyone else, making it crucial to help caregivers identify spiritual themes and needs. In fact, diagnostic models have been developed to give insight into the spiritual dimension of health care in clinical practice and to help caregivers respond to patients’ spiritual needs and desires. Nevertheless, the possibility that spirituality might also involve an unconscious process of connectedness is hardly considered.
Helping people deal with existential and spiritual issues today, when there isn’t time or opportunity to listen to their stories, is traumatic though rarely acknowledged by caregivers. This lack of acknowledgement makes it difficult, if not impossible, for you to reflect on and deal with that ineffable bond that forms when you accompany a person in death. Talking about and researching this bond may help nurse-survivors of the pandemic.