Bringing Purpose to Patient Interactions through Sacred Encounters

Nobl combines evidence-based practices with intuitive technology to help hospitals document and ultimately hardwire their rounding processes. But, no software, even with great prompts and customizable screens, will make a difference if we are doing the wrong things, or we are doing the right “things” with the wrong intent.

Through my Magnet consulting I have been in over 130 hospitals; a mix of academic medical centers, community-based and critical access settings, as well as not-for-profit, profit, and faith-based institutions. A long-term client system, the St Joseph Health System has enculturated a value-based practice known as “sacred encounters.”

A sacred encounter is when a task as commonplace as a patient assessment, bath or hourly round takes on new meaning. The practice of sacred encounters is a model that encourages the caregiver to pause and be mindful of the significance of the moment for the patient. This model promotes empathy and a genuine caring presence to the client and family. Within the faith-based context, the moment welcomes the presence and grace of the Holy Spirit to be with the caregiver and the cared for. Some non-faith based facilities embrace Kristen Swanson’s caring model components – knowing, being with, doing for, enabling, and maintaining belief.

To be emotionally present and sustaining faith are a critical component of patient care that we cannot forget. Regardless of whether a faith-based or non-faith based context applies – the key is to be in the moment and ensure that actions really are centered on the patient.

Blog written by Dr.Teresa Anderson, EdD, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Chief Nursing Officer, Nobl