First Semester Nursing Students Dedicate Hands to Patient Care
Aiken, SC (10/03/2018) — The University of South Carolina Aiken School of Nursing held its fall Dedication of Hands ceremony for first semester nursing students.
"It is our desire that today, you symbolically begin the process of connecting to the profession of nursing," said Dr. Thayer McGahee, dean of the school of nursing.
"We feel you are ready to work with patients under the guidance of your clinical faculty, so we have designed a special ceremony for the dedication of your hands to the nursing profession."
She explained that before going into healthcare facilities, the faculty want to make sure these students understand, are prepared, and are willing to take on the crucial task of providing nursing care for another human being.
"We take you through a ceremonial hand dedication as a way of bringing to you the realization of the importance of your hands as they perform the skilled tasks associated with nursing care and bring healing and comfort to your patients," McGahee told the students.
"It is your hands, guided by your innermost spirit and your heart, combined with the new knowledge and theories you are learning, that will transform nursing tasks into nursing care.
"Not only must your hands be guided by your new nursing knowledge and theory, they must also be guided by your spirit and your heart as you touch and care for your patients."
During the ceremony, students were reminded of the Nursing Code of Ethics. Those in the profession embrace the values of: integrity and self-care; concern for the welfare, human dignity, and equal treatment of all who come into your care, while being thoughtful of each person's right to autonomy in healthcare decisions and to accepted standards of practice and nursing care.
"Our hope for you is that strength of integrity will shine within you and guide you; that compassion, love, and caring will guide your actions; that openness, understanding, and respect will be evident in all your interactions and that you will have the courage and daring to be the best that you can be," said Dr. Katie Chargualaf a member of the USC Aiken nursing faculty.
During the ceremony, water was poured over each student's hands. While washing the students' hands, one faculty member said, "May your hands provide skillful nursing care." While drying students' hands, another said, "May the spirit of compassion and gentleness guide your hands." Finally, while applying oil to students' hands, a professor said, "May your hands bring comfort and promote healing to all who come into your care."
At the end of the ceremony, all first-semester nursing students, faculty and mentors formed a circle in the middle of event, in front of family members, friends and special guests.
"We have joined hands to form a continuous circle where there is no beginning and there is no end. This is symbolic of nursing. Nurses have been present since the beginning of time, and nurses will be present until the end of time," Chargualaf said.
"May the circle of nursing and caring be always open but never be broken."
First semester nursing students who participated in the event were: