Nurses have used the intervention of presence for centuries, but only recently has attention been given to defining and describing this intervention that conveys much of the caring aspect of nursing. Presence is more than a nurse’s being with a patient physically. Researchers have found that patients recognize and value nurses who are present with their whole beings and are attuned to patients’ needs and concerns. When critical care nurses use the intervention of presence, findings have shown that they make a connection with the patient that can lead to earlier identification of patients’ problems. Further, critical care nurses can use presence in interactions with patients to avoid the perception by patients and their families that the nurse is emotionally distant or is there just to do a job. By incorporating presence as an integral part of all patient interactions, critical care nurses have the privilege of transforming a technical, potentially impersonal setting into a humane, healing place.

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