People often think that nurses were fundamentally the doctor’s handmaidens. I do not believe in that stereotype on nurses. Nurses do more than the people know. Nurses provides support to patients and their families in emotional, physiological, and religious ways. Many other studies or professions can make a connection to the life of Francis or Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, the fact is that nurses and any other jobs in medical field can relate their work with Christianity more deeply. Nurses are the ones who are able to share her experience as a Christian with patients and follow the steps of Francis and Jesus Christ.
Francis followed and imitate the love of Jesus Christ. Both loved others without judging. Jesus Christ healed patients without consideration or hesitation because of their diseases’ contagiousness. He sees all of us in the same way without favoritism. And He equally loves us. Christian nurses need to apply that unconditional and equal affection towards their patients. Without judging where the patients are coming from, how much money the patients have, nurses provide the best medical and social care for them.
Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Clinic has [nurses and doctors who] find time to donate their talents and knowledge to people who aren’t able to afford health insurance” (Thomas). The article does not specify that the nurses’ actions were affected by their religion. However, VIM. nurses show that their profession was for every patient whom they can reach out for. Despite of having patients without money to pay for their health care, nurses did their best for the patients to fulfill the sweet and heart-warming moment.
As we follow and imitate Jesus Christ’s action in providing services to others without judging, we are able to have joyful achievement that follows. When Francis”… [continued] to purge his revulsion of lepers, he moved in among them a time, distributing alms and kissing the hand of each until ‘what before had been bitter … Was tuned into sweetness” (Galli 49). When Francis focused on imitating Jesus’ strong sense of service to society, he tasted the “sweetness” (Galli 49) in his life.
Carlos Maldonado, MD who has been providing his service with VIM for six month, also mentioned how “he’s been pleased with his efforts … (Thomas). Service requires tremendous amount of effort, time, and passion. After all, unexplainable sweetness and comforting moment will be followed. In following the steps of Francis, nurses need to respect the patients from different culture and religious background. When Francis preached to the Egyptian sultan and other Muslims, he could not convert their religious faith in Christ. Francis accused and punished himself for failing evangelism, yet he accepted and became aware of difference in his culture and religion from Muslims’.
As our country develops into more diverse, so does patients’ community. It is common to have a collision of opinions between the nurse and the patient because of different religious attitude of each. When there is a collision, “Acceptance becomes a powerful tool, but one that demands solidarity between nurse and patient” (Mararac). When the nurse respects and accepts patient’s different religion from her or his, the patient becomes to chuff up himself during his or her stressful time at hospital. That acceptance will provide the patient comfortable environment under the nurse’s care.
By setting the patient at ease, there is no doubt that patient’s health will be improve in double time. Jesus Christ already practice the act of acceptance. Jesus’ movement as always with “the undeniable centrality of love command” (Pregeant 331). When Jesus was proliferating the word of God, He accepted the company of the outcasts who were minorities of society. When Christian nurses face with patients with different religion, the patient’s religion is often contradicted in our society. Even the patients believe in different religion, we all are made in the image of God.
We are sisters and brothers. Jesus also came to our world with the image of God. Jesus was meant for us to follow not only in a physical way but also in spiritual way. Those patients are the outcasts in our society. They may look unfamiliar and being unable to mingle with Christians because of their difference in culture and religion. Yet, if Jesus was one of the nurses, He would serve those outcasts with unconditional love. Overcoming injustice and struggles by siding with the unpopular and outcast, is what a follower of Jesus Christ would do as a nurse.
Francis showed his “Love of nature” during his time of clergy (Galli 153). “From a reflection on the primary source of all things, filled with even more abundant piety, he would call all creatures, no matter how small, by the name of ‘brother’ or ‘sister'” (Galli 153). It was a reasonable action of Francis loving the nature and animals. God, people, and the land are the three pillars of Christian’s world view. Each of which affected and interacted with both the others. I believe that the nature and animals are the gift from God.
We, the humans, often conclude that humans are to “… fill the earth and subdue it… ” (Gen. 1:28) and to become the dominion. However, Francis showed that we are the “caretakers” for God’s creations (Fedler 76). Animals may be less intelligible than humans, and may not be the dominions, yet God also saw them “very good” (Gen. 1:31). If our God created them, they are also sons and daughters of God. Then talking broadly, we may say that we are supposed to look after our brothers and sisters who do not have the same image as us. Humans are the dominion of all other God’s creations.
God gave us that special responsibility when He created Adam and Eve. The dominions are “called to cultivate and take care of creation” (Edwards 26), not to dominate in their way. God gave each animal and human the value, purpose, and own right to exist. He created the whole world with his fondness. If God really cares His every single creation with love, Christians, the nurses with Christianity, also need to understand the love of God and continue God’s affection for the animals.
About a month ago, a premature baby hippo was born at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Premature baby hippo [got] care package from children’s hospital NICU staff” (Earl). People, including myself, easily concluded that primary nurses’ care is only limited to humans. Nevertheless, those NICU nurses extended their care to animals and showed fondness for preemies. Their action reflects the love and care of nature that God commend us to do. As Francis followed the God’s order of becoming a caretaker of animals and His creation, Christians nurses also need to extensively cherish affection and care towards them.
There is more thing that nurses can reflect from Francis’ and Jesus Christ’s action. It is their teamwork and respect that were shared with their followers. When Francis devoted himself and obeyed Christ telling him to rebuild the Christian Church and to live a life of utmost poverty, his 12 loyal followers and himself worked together to rebuild church. They all together, walked for days and nights to raise money by collecting alms. Other than the necessities of life, they were not allowed to have money in their pockets.
They were in extreme poverty, yet they surmounted and endeavored their ordeals by praying together and advising each other. Without their breathtaking teamwork and respect towards each other, they would had not been able to achieve God’s command and spread the love and words of God. Jesus Christ, as a team leader, led His twelve disciples with using teaching to spiritually form His team. Jesus picked uneducated and ordinary people as His disciples. Despite of them being ignorant, uneducated, and bookless, Jesus still showed His affection and respect them with all His heart.
Jesus and His disciples worked to build trust with them. The disciples following Jesus’s orders, teachings and gospel made them to have undeniable transformation. Every one of disciples came from different background, politics, and occupations, still Jesus Christ and each of them “[did not] underestimate anyone” (Ortberg). This team successfully saved and increased the number of God’s children. Their outstanding teamwork and respect to each teammate contributed a glorious page of Christian history. The nurses can learn about this teamwork and apply into their filed.
Collaboration and working together effectively are essential between nurses, doctors, and any other health care staffs. “Teamwork'[can save] the Life of [any patients)” (Hospital). To improve patient’s health state, teamwork between nurse and patient, constant communication between nurse and nurse, and collaboration with other organizations are needed. The nurse can learn to be a good team player like how Franciscans and the Disciples did. Teamwork between nurses involves shared problem solving, decision making and accountability.
When nurses collaborate and labor together, they can “achieve best possible outcomes that reflect the particular needs of the patient, family, or community, requiring an understating of what others have to offer” (Giddens 438). Since Francis, his followers, Jesus Christ and the Disciples already have showed the best example of teamwork, the nurses just need to set that as their “wannabe” model to imitate. Because nurses are one of professions that is focusing on giving proper service to patients, they can reflect the work of Francis and Jesus Christ at their clinical settings..
They need to love and care about the patient without judging where patients are coming from. They still need to love and care about the animals, another creation of God, which are also our brothers and sisters. Accepting patient’s different culture and religion is also needed to become successful nurses. At last, nurses require to have great teamwork to provide sufficient and effective care for the patient. These requirements can be imitated from our Christian teachers: Francis and Jesus Christ.
When they struggle with making the right decision for patient’s care, imitating Jesus Christ and remembering the love-sharing that was given, will give the solution. It is important to remind ourselves we are the image of God and our purpose is to fulfill the imitation of Jesus’ action. If the nurses do everything with love, just like Jesus and Francis practiced their love for humanity, they will not need to undergo the devastating issues they need to fast at hospital. Christian nurses must remember to “Love one another. As [He] loved [them], so [they] must love one another” and do their best in care of patients (John 13:34).