Nurses as Part of the Healing Process

Healing is defined as the process leading to the recovery from a trauma or illness by setting realistic goals, restoring function, and regaining physical and mental competence. The various nursing roles often share the common trait of spending a significant amount of face time with their patients.

A Shared Vision by Patients and Healthcare Staff

An article published in the Annals of Family Medicine explains that most patients and healthcare teams share a vision on the definition of healing and agree on ways to use healing concepts to enhance primary care delivery. In general, healing is considered a multidimensional process that requires taking physical, emotional and spiritual considerations into account. This helps promote the idea that healing isn't instantaneous, but rather a process. Ultimately, patients must come to a place of acceptance to recover. An understanding that medicine is simply one vehicle toward recovery is crucial.

Nursing Roles in Healing

A major barrier to healing is logistics: Limited high-quality time with health professionals hinders the healing process. This means that every healthcare provider who interacts with a patient has a measure of responsibility in that patient's healing. This can be a tall order when taking a patient's cultural background into consideration.

An Educated Healer

Registered nurses (RNs) who received their associate degree years ago may have not taken courses that explore the role of healers in cross-cultural settings. Understanding how different cultures engage in the healing process allows nurses to better treat a wider array of patients. Today, some Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs, including the CSUSM online RN to BSN program, offer courses that examine the different approaches to illness and healing throughout various cultures. Programs focus on nursing roles in the context of healers throughout history.

The healing process is an important part of many nursing roles. It is important for nurses to understand their place in this process, specifically in regard to recovery through the combination of culturally appropriate methods.

Learn more about the CSUSM online RN to BSN program.

Hsu, C., Phillips, W., Sherman, K., Hawkes, R., & Cherkin, D. (n.d.). Healing in Primary Care: A Vision Shared by Patients, Physicians, Nurses, and Clinical Staff. Retrieved May 11, 2016, from

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