I have spent the better part of two decades working in the health care industry. In that time I have seen many advances in dealing with wounds. When I first started, all wounds were treated with some type of dressing. As time went on we began seeing more and more wounds being treated with wound vacuums. They help to heal the wound from the inside out. But there is ONE thing that has NOT changed over the years, and that is the healing power of compassion.

I have witnessed firsthand, what even a small amount of empathy can do for people. Because beneath the physical scars that illness creates, there is another layer of trauma that is not evident to the naked eye. Some people will give you a glimpse of the REAL pain they are in, IF you listen closely. Intermingled with their explanation of their physical status, lies a story that explains their situation.

A warm hand to hold or a sympathetic ear has transformed people from being in the constant medical loop. I once knew a woman who would have recurring visits to a rehab facility. She was constantly complaining about her shortness of breath, weight control, and just her life in general. On her last visit to the short term rehabilitation unit, she was so despondent that she was seriously considering making this place her permanent home.

And it would have been that way if not for the intervention from one of the nurses on staff. Every morning, the nurse would spend at least five minutes sitting by the woman’e bedside. The nurse was doing some paperwork. Neither of them spoke to one another during this time. But just that five minutes every day transformed this lady.

She came back to visit the facility six months after her discharge. And none of us recognized her. She no longer required oxygen, and she had shed 50 lbs. She lost the weight just be walking each and every day. She invested in a treadmill and started out walking for just two minutes.

All of this because of a kind gesture, where no words were ever exchanged. It healed more than just the superficial!!!