Relationships Between Patient and Healer – That’s Us


Institutions have been preparing for healthcare reform for decades.

The idea has been that with the shift to broader financial coverage for care, more support for preventative care and complementary care would be available. And the expectation was that this would open the door for the mind body research to permeate healthcare and the way care is provided.images-4

Of course, this is not happening fast enough.

However, there are two points that are emerging from this vast mind body research:

  1. Healthcare will shift

from the traditional medical paradigm that separates bodily conditions from mental states, life events, relationships and the environment to one of integration of mind and body.

  1. Education and re-education of health professions will be required

to assist health professions to be responsive to changing individual and societal healthcare needs.

This understanding of integration of the mind and body…

“has implications for our notions of disease causation, therapy, healing, and the relationship between healer and patient” (Pew-Fetzer*).

That time has come as seen in patient satisfaction scores and in the growing wellness consciousness around us.images-1

Jean Watson was a member of the Pew-Fetzer Task Force team. And her Caring Science leads us further into our relationships with our patients, with ourselves and with each other.

I remember being shocked when learning that our mind is in every cell of our body.     

It’s amazing to me that our minds impact our cells.  It is known that there are neural networks and receptors in the cells of our immune system. Therefore, how the patient’s nervous system reacts, impacts their immune system.

As nurses we are NOT outside each patients health-illness experience, we are within their experiences.

It is our job to identify factors inhibiting healing and help patients strengthen and release their own healing powers, even in those fleeting, yet powerful, caring moments.


* Tressolini and Pew-Fetzer Task Force . Health Professions Education and Relationship-centered Care. 1994. Report of the Pew-Fetzer Task Force. 1994. Accessed March, 2016.
Watson, J. (2008) NURSING- The Philosophy and Science of Caring, Revised Edition. University Press of Colorado.

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