Honoring Relationship

Relationship. Human connection. In diverse settings from hospitals to clinics, caregivers are honoring the importance of the relational part of their professional role. A beautiful example is this reflection from Tina Martin, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Magnet Program Coordinator and facilitator of See Me as a Person   Thank you Tina and all caregivers everywhere for your care and compassion.

Week of July 25, 2016 – Relationship Based Care SMAAP Thought for the Week Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine

Have you ever considered illAlthough the world is full of SufferingIt is Full Also of the overcoming of it (1)ness as a “non-ordinary state?” And as with many other things, illness and a “non-ordinary” state can take on many degrees of severity. It can be a minor illness, such as a headache. It can be a chronic illness that never can be cured. Or it can be a devastating, life-ending illness. Being in a “non-ordinary” state causes us to behave and act in “non-ordinary” ways (Koloroutis and Trout, n.d.).  Being in this “non-ordinary state” creates in us a feeling of vulnerability, helplessness, fear, sometimes anger. It also creates a need for human connection. Being aware of this “non-ordinary state” and being attuned to your patient enhances the connection you will have with your patient. That connection….that therapeutic relationship…is what is needed to help your patient and their family feel safe and held in your care.

The following note was left on the door of a patient who was dying in an ICU (Koloroutis & Trout, 2016)

“This may be a typical stressed out day for you…

But our lives have been turned upside down.

Please take a breath.

With deep appreciation, Carol’s Family”

Koloroutis, M. & Trout, M. (unpublished). Attunement as the doorway to human connection. In M. Koloroutis & D. Abelson (Eds.), Creating Relationship-Based Cultures.
Koloroutis, M. & Trout, M. (2016) See Me as a Person Facilitator Manual (3rd ed).  Minneapolis, MN: CHCM.




2 thoughts on “Honoring Relationship

  1. This is a powerful reminder of how a hospital stay affects the patient, their families and friends. I have to share a story about my father when he was in an Alzheimer’s unit and became nonverbal. I was talking to some of his caregivers and they did not know “who” my dad was. That is when I put a sign up in his room that explained to “his caregivers” who this man was. It was also very empowering as I could include his history so they could see the man behind the disease state he was in. It was extremely hard to see this wonderful example of a husband, father, brother, uncle being seen as only a disease. I so love the Book “See Me As a Person”. Thank you for all the work that you do to highlight the person who is a patient.

    • Diana,
      Thank you so much for your comment. When we or someone we love is in the hospital we are especially vulnerable. Those caring for us see only a snapshot in time of the person – not the whole of the person’s life experience. Thank you for sharing. We wish you and your family well.

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