A Therapeutic Sighting: We All Know “Holding” when we See It

Holding when we see itThis therapeutic sighting came from a friend and colleague, Mary Del Guidice.  Mary sent this story out to her entire nursing staff as a source of inspiration and confirmation of the sacred nature of caring for others. 

My dad is in a hospital in New Jersey, and I went to visit with him. When I arrived he was just returning from a stress test, EEG, and MRI. My twin sister, Marjorie, was with him and had travelled with him to each test.

After saying hello and getting settled, my sister began to share the experience of the morning. She described the experience of my father’s care as he was moved from one testing area to another as “Being Held”…….can’t make that up….I know we are twins and share thoughts, but I have not shared the term….“Holding” with her.

She described how the transport team was so very engaging and never left my dad until they were sure that the next person had greeted him and was taking care of him. She said it was like handing off a football…..he was never dropped; they held him close and didn’t let go until the next person had him in their hands.

As my sister shared the experience I could tell that she was deeply impacted by the care and concern she experienced.

We all have our turns on the other side of the bed as patients or family members. Last night I left the hospital knowing that my dad would be “held” through the night.

The sacred work we have undertaken to enculturate our organization utilizing the framework of Relationship Based Care is so important.

Attuning……Wondering…….Following……and Holding.

“Just as it would never be thought acceptable that a clinician would fail to be technically proficient, it can never be thought acceptable that a clinician be permitted to lack relational proficiency.”

—Koloroutis and Trout in See Me as a Person

Mary Del Guidice, MSN, BS, RN, CENP
Chief Nursing Officer, Pennsylvania Hospital