Full Text for The Minister in the Sick-Room (Text)

er die Scbafe ull terweise. wi. 5ie rfcbte Cbri,ten sollen soin. sondern auch dnnebcn den Woollen w.hr .... dass ie die Scbafo nicbt angrelfen und mit fnIscher Lohre verfuehren und Irrtum einĀ· fllehren. - Luther. Es i,t kein Ding. das die Leute mebr bei der Kirche behaelt denn die gute Predigt. - Apo/Ollie. Art. 2.+. II the trumpet give an uncertain Bound. who 'hall prepare himself to tbe battle! 1 Cor. L+. 8. Published for the E v. Luth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States CONCORDIA PU:BLISHI NG HOUSE, St. Louis, Mo. 442 The Minister in the Sick-Room. However, if some congTegation, for reasons which seem valid enough to its membership, desires to use the basis of the 1.1:atins liturgy to build up a form for the chief service of the day, the follow- ing points might be considered. Opening Sentences of an appropriate nature may be used. The Oonfession of Sins may precede the opening Versicles. In that case it may be well to add the Kyrie and also the Suffrages at this point; for the Kyrie is best connected with the Oon- fession, if the sacramental nature of the service is to be brought out more strongly. Following the Venite and the l1ymn, the number of psalms may be reduced to two or even to one, so that the lessons of the day may by an means be read. The Oreed should follow the lessons, since it represents the confession of the congregation as con- nected with the lessons, preceding the Sermon. And let us by an means, give proper attention to the principles of Lutheran liturgics as stated above lest a greater confusion than ever be caused by various home-made orders of services. P. E. RRETZMANN. The Minister in the Sick-Room. * Disease, that indefinable, inexplicable foe of the mind and body, has challenged the thought and faith of humanity since the beginning of time. The mysteriousness of its origin, the uncertainty of its out- come, the destructive result of its ravages - these are the factors that have led men to question the ways of God. It has driven men, through fear and apprehension, into every kind of superstitious prac- tise, secret cults, charms and magic potions, votive offering or weary pilgrimages, in a pathetic attempt to appease angry spirits, to ward off noxious influences, or to counteract unknown evils. With Ohrist's coming our whole conception of the care of the sick was utterly changed. Since then the ministry of healing has had an important place in the program of the Ohristian Ohurch. In this the minister has an important part to play. In addition to directing the way to salvation and comforting the dying, he may be a help and stimulus in speeding the recovery of the patient with his cheerfulness and well-balanced optimism. Well-directed, normal suggestions will leave new, helpful thoughts with the sick long after the minister has gone. Physicians employ suggestion habitually, usually unconsciously, but effectively. The mind influences the physical condition of every patient, no matter what his ailment. Even incurable cases are kept comfortable by simple and proper means which affect the mental processes. * This short article from extra-Lutheran sources may be of interest. The Minister in the Sick-Room. 443 Belief in eventual recovery affects the patient's general condition and nutrition. He eats better and sleeps better [!]; even his heart action is promoted by this hopeful and contented attitude of mind. His symptoms present themselves to him in a less exaggerated and distorted form. The nervous system affects every structure of the body. Every tissue has a dominating nerve supply, and direct nervous control is evidenced in the circulatory apparatus - the glands, the muscles, and the bones and joints. The effect of the mind on the nervous system is proved by numerous physiological facts and by a still greater num- ber of clinical facts. Direct suggestion consists in the frank statement to the patient that he is improving or will get well. [The opposite statement will often be in order.] It should be made moderately, as the patient leadily builds upon, and adds to, the suggestion himself. The patient may, for instance, be led to expect a change of symptoms before a sufficient time has elapsed for a c~ange to ensue. Under these circum- stances the influence of the physician, pastor, or friend and the con- fidence reposed in him by the patient may be shaken. Nevertheless, direct suggestion is of utmost value, especially if the friend be one whose personality is forcible and impressive. The pastor's visit is expected and eagerly anticipated by the patient; but care should be taken that he be cool and calm. He should have presence of mind under all circumstances, using good judgment in moments of danger, excitement, or distress. A doctor of medicine brings calmness and a sense of security by his very presence. Do not stay long with the sick. One should be as deliberate in enter- ing the sick-room as if he were going to stay all day, but aft~r a few moments, before the patient becomes wearied (which is usually very quickly), he should go. The sick, like the aged, are hungry for per- sonal attention and should be made to feel that they are the center of the stage. Oentering the conversation on the sick will itself demand a short rather than a long visit. There is an art in leaving properly and "retreating in good order." Not "Thank Heaven, that is over," nor "Well, I must be going," but still drag on in a gloomy manner. If it is time to go, say go and go. I believe it should be the rule and not the exception for the minister to pray in the sick-room for forgiveness of sins and renewed faith and hope. The patient in a hospital the evening before an operation is usually in a solemn mood, especially if alone. The normal man is not afraid, but he is glad to see his pastor and take refuge in a strength not his own. During convalescence, time hangs heavy, and company is appreciated. During the time of serious illness and a few 444 The Minister in the Sick-Room. days following an operation when patients are still weak, they are usually overvisited by friends, who unknowingly and unintentionally do them real harm. ~When a minister visits a hospital, he shollld, if he is not ac- qu&inted with the authorities, make himself known. The visiting rules of the hospital should be regarded. Usually a minister is allowed some latitude as to his hours of visiting; but he should let this permission come from the proper authorities and not take it for granted. It is important to report to the nurse in charge of the ward or room at every visit. Although the office may permit one to enter and give the number of the patient's ward or room, it is courteous to report to the nurse in charge before entering. In visiting a ward, speak a word to all other patients. [A general greeting.] It will please them. When a person's days are known to be numbered, the pastor should spend more time with the patient. The conversation should be such as becometh godliness. Let faith be strengthened; let hope be in the atmosphere and trust in the prayer. It is not always best to talk of death except in extremes or at the insistence of the dying. Prayer with the dying is a very delicate ordeal [1J, and no rules can be made for it. In answer to the specific question, ~What should one do when vis- iting a person sick with a contagious disease to avoid contagion per- sonally and pTevcnt the carrying of contagion to others? I would say: Wear a gauze mask over the mouth and nose, especially when visiting a patient with influenza or pneumonia. Avoid shaking hands with the patient, nurse, or family. Do not handle objects in the sick-room or house. Do not eat or drink in a home where there is a contagious disease. Insist that the patient cover the nose and mouth with a hand- kerchief when coughing or sneezing. Keep at least five feet away from the patient when he is talking, as five feet is considered the minimum safety zone for spray infection dUTing ordinaTY conversation; when he coughs, it is greater. vVash your hands with soap and water (prefeTably running water under a faucet) just before leaving the honse. Upon arrival home hang the outer coat outdoors for an airing in the sunshine and again wash the hands. There is much less danger of contagion in attcnding a funeral when death was due to a contagious diseasc than in the visiting of a person sick with a contagious disease. ROBERT EARL, M. D., in Watchman-Examiner.