We continue to highlight our Caritas Colleagues and share their contribution and commitment to Caring Science. This month we are celebrating: Kimberley “Jill” Hruska, RN, BSCN, CAE, Caritas Coach®, CCEP Faculty Coach.
The transpersonal Caritas Conscious nurse is more open, responsive to what is occurring — more able to read the field, to draw upon all ways of knowing even spiritual knowing (page 79, Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring, Jean Watson). The intuition and ways of knowing informs my practice in everyday life. Intuitive thoughts, that were once muffled by noise, despair and chaos can now be heard. The soft voice within my mind is my spiritual knowing; unitary caring consciousness has given me a foundation and context to understand the gifts we all naturally hold. The following personal experience was instrumental in transforming me personally and professionally. The names have been change to protect privacy.
Bathing Bella Donna: A Story of A Transpersonal Moment
Bella Donna was admitted to the oncology floor at 1237. My shift would be winding up by 1330 after an incredibly busy day, I was more than ready to go home. I entered the room to find a 47-year-old female, ten years my senior. I peered into the room and she seemed pleasant enough. I would do a quick overall assessment and would be free sailing on a passageway to home. Her eyes were cast downward. She gingerly lifted her gaze to meet mine and softly asked me to bathe her. My first thought was…seriously…bathe you this close to the end of my shift? Why weren’t you washed this morning?
Now, I have experienced many moments in my life where time stands still, and this was one of those moments. I had a choice to make. Deep down, I knew I did not have a choice.
I took a deep breath, paused, and exclaimed “sure”. I felt I had entered into a wave of something weird and conscious. A wave of something bigger and larger than I could at that moment comprehend. The near ending of my shift seemed to tiptoe away. I carefully and gracefully began to gather my supplies I would need to bathe Bella Donna. I slid my wrist into the warm water, took a slow deep breath and closed my eyes, and began to wash her with reverence. I completed the bath as if it were ritualistic and carefully dried her with a soft but not-so fluffy towel. I completed my task and she asked me to reach into her personal belongings to gather a pair of navy silk pajamas covered with teddy bears. A gold chain with a teddy bear pendant was selected and clasped behind the nape of her neck. I could not help but notice the soft tendrils of hair that fell softly across her jawline.
In the stillness of that moment, a voice in my mind revealed that Bella Donna was going to die today. The voice could be easily mistaken for the voice you hear when talking to yourself. My voice but not my thoughts. The thoughts were carefully placed and could easily be cast aside with a distracted mind. She is going to die today and you have been given the honor of preparing her for her great transition. My eyes widened as I continued to carefully cover her with a soft fleecy moss green blanket. I placed a pair of earbuds into her ears with her favorite song cascading sweet notes into her ears. The bedside table was pulled closely with a fresh pitcher of ice and water and her call light was attached. I stood for a moment and gently and quietly squeezed her hand to let her know I was leaving and would return tomorrow.
As I left the room, I saw the Dr. sitting dictating at the desk. I shared my thoughts that Bella Donna might pass over today. I was assured that death today was not a possibility. Although unwell, she was very stable. Down the hall, off the floor, and out of the building I proceeded. Upon arrival to shift the next morning I was met with the news that Bella Donna had passed at 14:40 the prior afternoon shortly after the end of my shift. Gratitude filled my heart knowing I had been given the honor as an intimate stranger to spend those last moments with her and prepare her for her transition.
The soft voice within my mind is my spiritual knowing; unitary caring consciousness has given me a foundation and context to understand the gifts we all naturally hold.
Areas of Expertise
With over 30 years of experience in health and education, Jill incorporates Unitary Caring Science by combining best practices based on Western and traditional health modalities. Unitary Caring Science informs both physical and virtual classrooms and healthcare settings.
Contributions to the Legacy of Caring Science
Jill has presented nationally and internationally on the topic of Unitary Caring Science and the caring curriculum. She follows Unitary Caring Science in her personal, health and education practices to ensure all human beings feel valued and respected in their diversity. She grounds her life and her teachings in Caritas Process® 1: Cultivating the practice of loving-kindness and equanimity toward self and others. Process one recalibrates and recommits her, allows her to reflect on past and present experiences through the lens of Caring Science, thus, allowing her experiences to teach her and unitary caritas consciousness to evolve.
Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
Caritas Coaching: A Journey Toward Transpersonal Caring for Informed Moral Action in Healthcare, Jan Anderson, Sara Horton-Deutsch, contributing author sharing personal story how Unitary Caring Science has impacted me personally and professionally (chapter 4).