The Ministry of Health and Healing


The Care of the Sick

Chapter 15—In the Sickroom

Those who minister to the sick should understand the importance of careful attention to the laws of health. Nowhere is obedience to these laws more important than in the sickroom. Nowhere does so much depend upon faithfulness in little things on the part of caregivers. In cases of serious illness, a little neglect, a slight inattention to a patient’s special needs or dangers, the manifestation of fear, excitement, or petulance, even a lack of sympathy may tip the scale that is balancing life against death and send to the grave a patient who otherwise might have recovered. MHH 119.1

The efficiency of nurses depends, to a great degree, upon physical vigor. The better the health, the better will they be able to endure the strain of attendance upon the sick, and the more successfully can they perform their duties. Those who care for the sick at home should give special attention to diet, cleanliness, fresh air, and exercise. The same kind of carefulness on the part of the family will enable them also to endure the extra burdens brought upon them and will help prevent them from contracting disease. MHH 119.2

Where the illness is serious, requiring round-the-clock nursing, the work should be shared by at least two efficient nurses, so that each may have opportunity for rest and for exercise in the open air. This is especially important in some homes where it is difficult to secure an abundance of fresh air in the sickroom. Sometimes, because the importance of fresh air is not understood, ventilation is restricted, and the lives of both patient and caregiver are endangered. MHH 119.3

If proper precautions are observed, the disease need not be taken by others. Let the habits be correct, and by cleanliness and proper ventilation keep the sickroom free from poisonous elements. Under such conditions, the sick are much more likely to recover, and in most cases neither caregivers nor the members of the family will contract the disease. MHH 119.4