In the Neuroscience Intermediate Care Unit on Tower 12B, you’ll find one of the ten Caritas processes at the entrance to each patient’s room.
Katherine Belategui, BSN, RN, a nurse-in-charge and Caritas Coach, came up with the idea to introduce staff to Jean Watson’s theory of Caring Science and Caritas processes as a guide to nursing practice.
“Staff can read the process before going into the patient’s room,” said Belategui. “And during challenging times, staff can read the process and be reminded of why we are here and why we do this work.”
The new decor has sparked conversations not only among staff, but also with patients and families.
According to Belategui, the first and last Caritas processes, which focus on practicing loving-kindness and allowing for miracles, respectively, are the most commented on among patients and families.
“Sometimes it’s hard to explain all that we do as nurses, so having the processes so visible ignites conversations with patients and families around our purpose,” said Belategui.
To further spread Caritas and Caring Science throughout the unit, Belategui and Mary Pennington, MS, RN, nurse director on 10CD and 12B, started a unit-based Caring Science group, the first of its kind in the hospital. During each meeting, the group focuses on a different process and uses a variety of activities to explore it more fully. For example, the group might offer a reiki session, discuss “sharing, caring moments,” or have an open discussion about what the selected Caritas process means and how to apply it to nursing practice. A majority of the group’s members have attended HeartMath sessions.
Belategui and Pennington, who is also one of the eight Caritas coaches at BWH, have noticed more interest in Caritas and Caring Science among staff since the launch of both of these initiatives.
Belategui and other members from the unit’s Caritas group will be presenting on Caring Science at Nursing Grand Rounds on Feb. 16.