By Lisa G. Smith, PhD, RN, CNE
Dean, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
Nurses and other health care providers spend countless hours caring for the needs of other people. In an effort to care for others, many times these same health care providers neglect caring for themselves.
You might think that how you care for yourself (body, mind and spirit) has no real impact on how effectively you care for the physical needs of others. Or, perhaps you believe it is a personal matter and no one else’s business.
But, what does God’s word say about our bodies?
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
One way to honor God with our bodies is to be mindful of how we care for ourselves. It is not about looking a certain way, but rather caring for your physical body in a healthy way.
This is not about following a particular diet, counting calories or joining a gym. Instead, it is about the foods, beverages and substances we consume on a daily basis. What type of nourishment, if any, do they provide?
Short-term effects of what we consume can give us energy or sometimes cause lethargy and impair our thought processes. If we are not functioning at full physical or mental capacity, how effective are we at providing safe and holistic care to patients?
Long-term effects of poor food choices are in many cases the result of why patients seek out medical care and treatment. Health care providers typically treat individuals who have not been a good steward of their body for years and, as a result, are suffering the consequences of those poor choices and decisions.
To honor God and to give patients the highest level of care, nurses and other providers should reflect on how well they care for their own bodies.
Making healthy food and fitness choices can be confusing and exhausting at times. However, consider this: If the same discipline and forethought was given to food planning as to other areas of life (professional life, recreational activities, hobbies, etc.) would people, including health care providers, make better choices?
Health professionals are role models and therefore, should model the health we teach our patients. God deserves our very best as well as the people entrusted to our care!
Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing and Health Care Professions strives to provide an education to nursing and health care students that reflects Christian values. Learn more about our college by visiting our website or contacting us using the Request More Information button at the top of this page.