Some find inspiration in an Olympic moment, or the beauty of nature or by consulting a creative muse. Brian takes his inspiration from the people he loves and serves. His wife, Patti, for instance. A therapist who specializes in child trauma, Patti’s work turned very personal when her sister was dying of breast cancer. Moving across the country, Patti became the guardian of her 2-year-old nephew, Jack, in order to lovingly support her sister’s family after her death.
Patti must be good at what she does, because little Jack has been overheard to report, “She’s nice and takes good care of me.”
Brian honors his wife’s dedication to her nephew, and those of us who know him recognize that same loyalty showing up in his care of patients. Brian remembers a patient who was suffering from abdominal cancer and many other complications. Inspired by the man’s buoyancy of spirit, Brian acknowledged and affirmed this quality in the patient.
“I always try to speak what I am feeling to my patients because it’s important that they know I sympathize with them,” Brian explains.
To inspire means, “to breathe into.” It also means “to impart an idea or truth to some-one.” Even at the time of breathing one’s last breath, a patient of Brian’s may feel inspired.
Brian Jensen is an ICU nurse at St. Mark’s Hospital.
St. Mark’s Hospital Chaplain Saundra Shanti wanted to connect patients to their caregivers and employees to each other. That’s why she created the Healing Hands portrait series, featuring black and white photographs and stories of St. Mark’s employees at all levels.
“Our patients and families who go in and out know that this is a nurse, and this is a housekeeper, but they don’t know them as people,” Saundra said. “I wanted to humanize our healthcare community to one another and to our families and patients.”
Each photo is accompanied by a story; some biographical, others are anecdotes of experiences that led employees to become caregivers and healthcare professionals. Twelve portraits are currently displayed throughout the hospital, but a total of 36 photos will be rotated throughout the exhibit for the next two months.
By highlighting personal, inspiring and real stories about the staff who will be caring for patients during what can often be an emotional time, the exhibit builds a sense of community. Patients and families will be able to view caregivers as real people with real stories whom they can relate to and connect with, making the hospital experience more personal.
“When we humanize each other, we care more for one another,” Saundra said. “I wanted our employees to be recognized as valuable human beings apart from their professional titles. I wanted to cultivate interaction and respect across our departments and services.”