Essential Tools for Whole Person Healthcare: Part 3 of 3

Essential Tools for Whole Person Healthcare: Part 3 of 3

by Marilyn Schlitz & Elizabeth ValentinaFountain-small


Welcome to Part Three of three. In Part Two we reviewed 5 – 8 of twelve basic tools that are important in practicing whole person healthcare, based on the tremendous insights of health care practitioners. These include: cultivate loving kindness, model optimal health, develop a support system, and create healing rituals.

Tools: 9 – 12 (visit Part One for 1 – 4; visit Part Two for 5 – 8)

9. Set intentions for optimal healing. Ask yourself, “What matters most?  What values do I want to adhere to?”  Based on these reflections, you can craft an intentionality statement so that when challenges and opportunities arise, you will have developed an inner compass with which to navigate and make more conscious life choices.  As Mary Jo Krietzer, PhD, RN, founder and director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota suggests, prior to engaging with a patient, whether listening, inserting an IV, changing a bed pan, or completing procedures, setting intentions increases presence, attentiveness and effectiveness.  Using affirmations will reinforce the intention.  This simple practice can provide you with a rich dimension of “highest purpose healing.”

10. Stay informed. The internet is a great source of both information and confusion.  Patients come to the health care environment with access to more information than ever before.  Nurses become valuable coaches and guides helping the patient navigate and discriminate through the internet.  Both nurse educators Jean Watson, PhD, RN and Mary Jo Kreitzer recommend using the internet to stay up to date and maintain a curious and open mindset toward your patient’s use of social media.

11. Re-center yourself throughout the day.  Remember to take a few deep breaths and center yourself in your own heart space.  Jean Watson encourages the return to the heart of your practice–that sacred place within you where the impulse to serve as a health care practitioner originated.  Offering gentle tenderness and open compassion can be the gift you first give yourself in order to offer compassionate, healing service to human kind.  Nurturing this sensitivity to self can provide you with greater sensitivity toward others.

12. Death makes life possible.  Your role as health and healing practitioners involves a reflection on your own views of death and what you believe happens after you die.  There are many maps or worldviews on this matter, revealing a wide range of viewpoints.  In considering them, people can find comfort and a set of possibilities for their understanding of their lives and their own mortality.  As care givers, understanding your own worldview about death and the afterlife, as well as those of your patients, can ease the fear, anxiety, and suffering of all your patients, especially those that are approaching end of life.

Again, the series of interviews that inspired this 3-part blog series are available free online from the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Visit the IONS website, create an account (username and password), and when prompted enter passcode (different from “password”) “noetichealing.” Thank you for journeying with us to more deeply understand whole person health care!