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I am glad to see that so many are in favor of prayer. I agree, it should not hinder the treatment process at all, but I am more than willing to pray with any patient that asks me. I have personally seen a patients vitals improve after prayer. They became less agitated and calmed down greatly. What a comfort for them to know that those taking care of them are not above being willing to pray.

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Some good discussion! Great points by Ridryder and EMS49393 about treating the total patient, I whole heartedly agree.

I have prayed for patients in the past, but it isn't frequent. When it is of my own choosing, it is usually because it is the type of call where only God or a miracle will save them. Most often if I pray with patients, it is at their request but I do sometimes I feel led to ask them the question and every time they have said yes. I have found regardless of it being their request or my question, you can see the burden lifted from their shoulders. IMHO, regardless of everything else you did or do, that is what they will remember and that is what makes the most improvement in their overall condition.

Ruff, I can relate. I have shared this story before. As I indicated above, on one of those only God or a miracle will save them calls, I felt the same thing. We transported a guy that was one of the few people that actually was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and happened to an innocent guy. Long story short, single penetrating injury to his left sternal border, just below the nipple line. He looked like death, pressure of 60/50ish (I didn't really care and didn't fully trust the value).

Taken to trauma centre, intubation and thoracotomy done (while still aware of his surroundings :shock:) to find a through and through injury to his left ventricle. I actually had to hold his right arm to keep from reaching into the sterile (loose term) field. He had two 1/2 inch holes in the myocardium. Devastating injury right, with a high mortality rate >95%? I'm thinking that there is no way he can survive this kind of injury, especially because they couldn't occlude or close the holes. They tried everything from sutures, fingers, to foleys (incisions were too large, they just flopped out).

Now I'm thining he won't make it becuase nothing was going right in the immediate interventions, because of that prayed for him (also due to the fact he wasn't a gang banger, dealer, etc, he was a good guy). Despite thinking that he wouldn't make it, I knew that he would. I had such a strong feeling that he would, the hair on the back of my neck stood up, I had goose bumps, and I heard a voice say that he will live. The odd thing is, after he was up in the O.R, everyone from the ER and trauma team that was there during the resucitation had stayed in the theatre and I said, "he's going to survive, neurologically intact". Everyone in the room that I could see either said yes, I agree or nodded their head. Others said that they too had such an overwhelming feeling that he was going to live. Three actually said they felt that there was something in the room watching over him and others nodded their heads.

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I have had the fortune of observing a local ER doc a number of times in this situation.

He "goes with the flow". He always readily agrees if asked to join in prayer. If people are holding hands, he does so.

He bows his head in respect and doesn't say anything. He offers a few non-religous words of encouragement post-prayer depending on the situation (" It's good to have such a strong family, good friends" etc) He then departs. It seems to give comfort to the family and patient that the care providers are involved.

I have no idea what his personal beliefs are but I have seen him do this with many faiths and I plan to model my own methods on his as I also believe that we have to treat the whole patient.

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yes I got them and the familiy really appreciated them. they say thanks to all who responded.

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On duty, I will not discuss religion, sex, or politics in any context. I have no religious beliefs, and will not pretend to just to please someone else, even a patient. I can't imagine a Muslim or a Christian denouncing his/her belief system by word or deed to please anyone. I am not a reptile however, and I assure my patients who have a prayer request (only 1 in 20 years), that I will have a chaplain summoned in the ER if they desire. I empathize with their desires, but I don't do so apologetically. My views are just as valid as theirs. I've had 1 partner who whated me to join him in a 'sinner's prayer' . I politely declined without elaboration.

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I can't repeat this 100% but my partner told me a story about Jewish beliefs that he did, but he's not Jewish. After someone passed away, he did the pronouncement. He covered the body, and then covered the mirrors in the room, because something in their beliefs says this is basically bad. I won't act like I know it completely. Something to do with them not wanting the deceased to see themselves in the mirror or something like that. Kind of like needing to be buried before sunset. Anyway, even though he didn't pray, the family was grateful for his utmost respect that he took the time to show.

Anyway, if someone asks me, I might. I not much on prayer, but I'll do whatever it takes to makes someone's life easier when they're in a crisis.

Bob, elighten me.

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covered the mirrors in the room, because something in their beliefs says this is basically bad. I won't act like I know it completely. Something to do with them not wanting the deceased to see themselves in the mirror or something like that. Kind of like needing to be buried before sunset

A logical inference, yet factually wanting. Here's why observant Jews cover their mirrors during the seven-day period of mourning that begins with a person's death.

As to burial before sunset, that probably concerns someone who dies on Friday, since Jewish law prohibits funerals on Saturday, the festive Jewish Sabbath, and the preference is to bury sooner rather than later (which is that case would be Sunday at the earliest). This is why the body of Jesus was buried on Good Friday, the day He died.

Judaism arose in the context of ancient near-eastern religions, such as the Egyptian, which valued life-after-death more highly that earthly life. Judaism was the minority exception, and many Jewish laws and traditions emphasize the value of earthly life in deliberate, articulate contrast to its devaluing by other-worldly philosophies. Prompt burial (and omitting mummification/embalming), and a finite period of intensive mourning followed by recovery and return to daily life, as opposed to an extended concern with the departed, is one example of the Jewish recognition/acceptance of a divinely ordained finite life-cycle "from dust to dust."

Oscillating between mundane and spiritual values, expressed for example in the practice during grieving of temporarily covering mirrors that easily support an exaggerated preoccupation with superficial vanities, reinforces a conscious human alignment with the orderliness, however unfathomable, of the wisdom of God. He is understood to breathe us through the alternations of sorrow and joy in our lives, offering human beings the experience of fulfillment, which can be meaningful only when juxtaposed to loss. Hence Judaism celebrates both, often in outwardly visible signs.

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I remain respectful of a patient's religion and religious practices but I will not pray with them. Personally I do not like to become emotionally involved on any level with my patients, which helps me immensely in dealing with death. I empathize with a patient, but not sympathize, and the emotional dettachment enables me to watch a patient die without being bothered.

However, I do try to learn as much about the religious and cultural values of the communities in my response area. I find it very interesting and it helps me remain respectful of their wishes at the time of death. I'm actually writing a paper for my Emergency Management masters on how cross cultural mourning and funeral practices are impacted by mass fatality investigations.

Devin

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For a minute then I thought the post said when is it ok to play with a patient I nearly fell off of my chair :shock:

Don't people get arrested for that sort of thing?

I would never pray with a patient because I am an atheist but I suppose if someone else wanted to that kind of thing I can't see any harm in it.

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