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A short description of caring presence

Patients visit healthcare services because they are in need of healing. One core gift that nurses can bring to facilitate healing, is the gift of a caring presence. A caring presence says: “I want to be here” and equally important, “I want to be here for you”. Being completely ‘here’ in the moment opens the door to authentic listening and a meaningful reply. A caring presence means being fully present with mind, body and spirit and being fully attentive to what is going on. To be present, nurses consider what they are doing to be the most important thing there is. All people need acknowledgement, it is one of our most fundamental needs. A caring presence provides us with the opportunity to communicate to the other: “I see you”. I really, do, see you. Therefore, a caring presence allows us to acknowledge others – for who they are, for what they do best, for their preferences, and not for what we think they should be thinking or doing. It is easy to disregard or deny someone else’s dreams, needs and behaviour just because we think it is not important or necessary. However, a caring presence requires of us to acknowledge the person in their fullness, just as they are.

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