Someof you may remember my wish to bring Reiki or, more generally speaking, Therapeutic Touch into hospitals and particularly to cancer patients here in the Republic of Ireland.
Over the past 18 months, I have campaigned for this (if you want to call it that) with everything I could. I have brought my flyers and leaflets into every hospital I could think of, which, given my vision impairment, was a little difficult at first until, a couple of months ago, I met a lovely lady from the UK who wanted to do Reiki training with me because she wanted to work with hospital staff, so I trained her and she became in some ways my assistant because now I was able to go around the hospitals with her and sometimes sneak in and put leaflets in waiting rooms or the cantine or into places where I on my own would never get to.
Two weeks ago, I went into the hospital where Paul died. I hadn't been back since the day of my last counselling session in September of 2018. So of course I was curious to see how I would feel. Well, I felt exactly as I had imagined: like I was at home; walking along the corridors to the familiar Day Ward felt like, yes, this was my place to work. And, yes, I do want to work there. It is the place where I feel my work would have the most meaning. And, yes, of course my own personal connection with the hospital is there too and makes this wish even stronger. But I don't see anything bad in this. In fact, I think the fact that I know the hospital well and know so many members of staff there and that I have this deep heart-connection with the place would actually really benefit everyone. Anyway, I spoke to some lovely nurses about my plan. They seemed interested. And one of them is currently trying to talk to the Director of Nursing again I hope.
I have taken part in a first aid course and in an anatomy and physiology course to get as much training as close to medical training as I can get. I would love to participate in palliative care courses but it would be difficult to get in there as I have no previous medical training.
I have signed up for a course to become an End Of Life Companion or End Of Life Doula and I am really excited about that.
The course will start in January and I will come to the UK for that.
I have taken part in two fora organised by the Irish Hospice Foundation - because I was interested but also of course because I wanted to show myself and advertise my idea and my service.
Actually, during one of the fora I met Cathryn Mannix which was really lovely. She wrote that wonderful book "With The End In Mind".
Why am I telling you all this? Well, I wanted to update you on my unfortunately very small progress with this matter but also in the hope that some of you here might point me in a direction or two that I may not have considered yet.
I suppose what I find most frustrating is that, in Ireland, only people who are trained nurses can become complementary therapists in hospitals. So if I want to get into the hospitals, I either have to train as a nurse (which would be difficult, if perhaps not impossible, with my vision impairment) or I wuill have to find some way (usually this works with connections here) to get in. But I think it is so wrong to say that only nursing staff can offer complementary therapies in our hospitals. Why not let the nurses do the medical work that they are trained to do and employ one or two complementary therapists per hospital, of whom we have enough in this country, to do the complementary or holistic therapy work? I know it has to do with founding, which is why I have already suggested to offer my service on a voluntary basis. Also, by the way, I have written an extensive paper on the benefit of using Reiki and therapeutic touch in a hospital setting for terminally ill patients. I can send it to those of you who are interested. However, I can't share my email address here. But you can find my contact details and write a private message and I'll send the paper to you no problem.
Well done you. It does seem wrong that only nurses can offer treatments.
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