Healing Ourselves, Healing Others
Nurses do healing work, yet most nurses have not been formally socialized to view themselves as healers. The title, “healer” is loaded with associations, meanings, and implications. By delving into the literature about nurses and healing, we begin to see the larger context in which nurses have struggled for identity. We see the roots of fear and frustration that so many in our profession experienced. Exploring further, we realize a path that may lead nurses out of this confusion toward greater role clarity and purpose. As we transform ourselves, we can begin to transform the environments in which we work, so they may become truly supportive of healing.
The history of women, nursing and healing is an ancient and complex story. The antecedents to many of the difficulties nurses experience today in their efforts to do healing work are ancient. The concept of modem nurses as healers has been emerging in the nursing literature over the past 25 years. Dominant themes in this literature include the notion of nurses as wounded healers, holism, relationships and caring connections in healing work, the use of CAM by nurse healers for self and others, the creation of healing environments. and the role of spirituality in healing work.
In articles 2 and 3 (below), recommendations and concrete strategies for developing nurses as healers in academic, clinical, and administrative environments are shared. In particular, brief healing relationships (healing moments), self-care, cocreative socialization of nursing students, and the creation of healing environments are addressed.