“There's Just Something About Ron”: One Nurse's Healing Presence Amidst Failing Hearts

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Chronic disease can be devastating to the patient, family, and nurses who care for them. Patients and family members struggle with the debilitating effects and uncertainties that abound in living with a chronic disease, such as heart failure. The nurse has a unique opportunity to foster a therapeutic relationship through the use of nursing presence. The phenomenon of nursing presence has been defined in the literature by six features: uniqueness, connecting with the patient's experience, sensing, going beyond the scientific data, knowing (what will work and when to act), and being with the patient. Nursing presence, when exhibited, may facilitate healing, promote comfort, and improve patient satisfaction. The story in the article depicts how one professional nurse in a heart failure clinic exemplified the nurse as a healing presence. Through his example, nurses may better understand the significance that their presence may have when caring for patients diagnosed with a chronic illness.

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