USC Aiken Nurses Dedicate Hands

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AIKEN, SC (02/27/2018) In a time-honored tradition, University of South Carolina Aiken nursing students participated in the symbolic hand dedication ceremony.

Before first-semester nursing students start their real-world education in local healthcare facilities, USC Aiken nursing faculty conduct a special ceremony, dedicating students' hands to the nursing profession.

"We are going to take you through a ceremonial hand dedication as a way of bringing to you the realization of the importance of your hands as they perform the skilled tasks associated with nursing care and bring healing and comfort to your patients," said Dr. Thayer McGahee, dean of the USC Aiken School of Nursing.

"Up until now, you have worked diligently in the classroom and lab. It is now time for application."

She reminded the students that as nurses, they will touch people they do not know - some of them during the most stressful and personal times of their lives.

"It is your hands guided by your innermost spirit and your heart, combined with the new knowledge and theories you are learning that will transform nursing tasks into nursing care.

"Not only must your hands be guided by your new nursing knowledge and theory, they must also be guided by your spirit and your heart as you touch and care for your patients," McGahee said.

The faculty say it's important to remind students that this special profession requires the whole being: hands, mind, heart and spirit.

"Your hands are the doing end of your heart and spirit which guide your brain to tell your hands what and how to do a nursing task and turn that task into nursing care. We wish to inculcate in you a caring spirit for everything you do both in clinical and in the classroom.

"We need you to think about the trust your patients will put in you and we need you to be worthy of that trust," the dean said.