“I was honored when my friend Christina asked me to write a blog post sharing my experience as a Christian nurse. I thought it was only fitting to start out by telling how I came to the decision to pursue nursing as my career. Before my grandpa passed away, he was a Hospice patient. The nurse’s that helped care for him made a very difficult time for my family a bit easier. I truly appreciated the respect and dignity they showed him at the end of his time here on Earth. They also supported my grandma and extended family not only during the time leading up to my grandpa’s death but for the year afterwards by sending well wishes via cards. It was at this time that I decided that I would become a nurse. I thought to myself that I would like to be that person of comfort for patients and their families during difficult and challenging times. I believe that everyone deserves respect and dignity, especially at the end, and I knew that I was capable of providing it. So when I interviewed for the position I currently hold, I was excited to learn that end of life patients were part of the patient population.
When people ask me about my work, I share that some of my favorite patient interactions have been those I’ve had with end of life patients and their families. Many people comment that it must take a special kind of person to deal with death, and I believe that one of the reasons that I am capable of dealing with death on a daily basis is because I have a very strong Christian faith. I know what I believe personally and where I stand on issues of life and afterlife and that gives me a sturdy foundation from which to work. In addition, I know God blessed me with certain gifts that enable me to not only do my job but love doing it. These gifts include: my nurturing demeanor, patience, empathy, kindness, and happiness. Each day that I come to work, I feel grateful that I am in a position where I can put my strengths into action. On my way to each shift, I make a point to pray a prayer that I might use my gifts to serve those around me, patients, and coworkers alike. Likewise, I ask that I might, through my actions, be a light shining for God. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. And if I start becoming overwhelmed during my shift, I take a moment to say another prayer. A verse I often recite, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. Such a beautiful promise from a beautiful father who has blessed me with a beautiful life of doing what I love!”
–Kathleen Arnts, RN