398. Nursing a Faith in Healing
In nursing school on clinical rotations in a hospital, Sadie was assigned a patient with skin like leather who could neither talk nor swallow. She asked his permission to pray with him and he nodded O.K. The next day, the attending physician called her before his medical students and asked, “What are you doing with this patient?”
Sadie Mitchell has spent most of her life studying and sharing the Word of God. She is an ordained Christian minister and a registered nurse, with a Ph.D. specializing in geriatrics. She lives near Philadelphia, PA, with her husband and daughter. Dancing, writing, reading, and watching crime dramas are her favorites hobbies.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
As a girl of 12, Sadie witnessed her mother answer a call to come pray for a boy diagnosed with a hole in his heart. Sadie went with her. “When the boy went for his next check-up, the doctor said the hole in his heart had been healed.” Years later, on clinical rotation in nursing, Sadie was assigned to care for an older man with scleroderma, a disease that tightens the skin, making it look like leather. “He couldn’t swallow or talk, but he let me pray for him. The next day, I started feeding him ice chips. By the third day, he was eating grits!” The attending physician asked Sadie what she had done. The patient had already told the doctor she had prayed for him. “From that day on, that doctor would ask for me. He’d say, ‘I want that healing nurse to be assigned to my patients.’”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Mentors played essential roles at several stages of Sadie’s life and career. “At the beginning of my third year in a very difficult nursing program, I had earned C’s in my clinical classes, but I needed B’s to stay in the program. I remember meeting with my upcoming instructor, a lady formerly called Sister Margaret Ann. She was considered the toughest, meanest and most feared of all the instructors in the whole program. I sheepishly told her about my failing grades. She said, ‘I don’t care about your past. I don’t judge students on their past. Are you willing to do your best work for me?’ I sat up straight and said, “Yes!” She said, “Is that a promise?’ When I answered yes, she said, O.K., you do that and we’ll move on from here. You know what? I made A’s under that lady!”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“I have found many times that I’ve been able to provide more healing for people by attending to those spiritual needs than by giving them the right pill. I’ve used it covertly many times, and healed people, but it just wasn’t well accepted earlier in my nursing career. Now there is a lot of research that shows spirituality is a part of who a person is, and we need to address a person’s spiritual needs if we’re going to be effective in healing them.” Sadie believes spiritual care and prayer can bring dramatic results, both for the caregiver and the recipient of care. This fact is gradually being acknowledged by more of the mainstream as the research rolls in.
Steps to Success from Sadie Mitchell
1. Understand that spirituality is a vital dimension of every person, crucial to health and healing.
2. Learn to love people and see that everybody has something positive to contribute.
3. Realize that your happiness is important, it really does matter.
4. Find mentors to help you reach your goals.
On Her Bookshelf
Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale
How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
Miracles on Demand: Transform your Ordinary Struggles into Extraordinary Blessings, by Sadie Mitchell
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