Delaware Gazette: Grady Memorial Hospital Blessing Of Hands
OhioHealth Tradition Mirrors National Nurses' Week
It’s National Nurses’ Week. This year the national theme is Nursing: Balancing mind, body and spirit.
It’s certainly a special week for the nurses at OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital. Not only for the recognition of the work they do each and every day for patients and their families, but this week is also the yearly blessing of the hands.
“This is one of my favorite things to do for the whole year,” said Jean Feeney, manager of pastoral care for OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital.
This week Feeney goes floor to floor throughout Grady, taking hands, saying a blessing, rubbing an essential oil on either the top or bottom of their hands and sharing a word with each team member.
“We bless the hands of all the staff. It’s a way to recognize their healing touch,” Feeney said. “Especially with nurses - lifting someone up, giving medicine, charting on medical records - wanting to bless them and recognize the work they do.”
Sometimes she is met with a smile, other times, it’s a simple thank you, and on occasion, it will be greeted with a great big hug.
“Doing that ritual for me is just a powerful way for me to say – stop - just for this one moment, and know that you are a gift to this hospital, to the patients, to the families and this staff and bless you for all that you do,” Feeney said.
Feeney says it’s a great reminder for her, and important for the nursing staff to understand just how much their hands can be instruments of healing.
She believes this is a great way to honor what they do, and how they do it.
“We want this to be meaningful for them. An opportunity to not only remind them, but to speak to their hearts and minds at a deeper level than just words alone,” Feeney said.
Nurses at Grady say the blessing of the hands experience was nice for them.
“As nurses, we work with our hands so much, especially in the ICU, whether it’s holding someone’s hand as they talk about fears, or using our hands with chest compressions to save a life,” Rachel Hartley, a nurse in the Grady ICU said.
Hartley says they know they are supported as a nursing staff throughout the hospital, and not just this week.
“Jean has come up and just asked me how I was doing, before going in and talking with patients.”
Feeney also goes back for the evening shift to make sure every person in the hospital is given the opportunity to have their hands blessed.
“We have some that ask, when are you coming? I don’t want to be gone or at lunch when you come by for the blessing,” Feeney said.
Staff members at Grady also get a card to take with them, keep with them, or even put up in their workstation or at home.
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OhioHealth Media Relations Manager Marcus Thorpe submitted this article to the Delaware Gazette. The story was published May 12, 2017.