Patient as Healer

As a part of the 50th anniversary of the BYU College of Nursing, a book was compiled called “The Healer’s Art: 50 stories for 50 years.” It has been 15 years since this book was first published and these stories were shared. We plan to regularly post selections from this book to help each of us remember and cherish the experiences of nursing and learning the Healer’s art. 

Julie and her grandchildren in Berlin, Germany with the #YNursing52 logo. There is still time to send images of your travels with the logo; send them to

Patient as Healer

Julie Price (BS ’85)

One experience that meant so much to me personally during nursing school involved a patient “healing” me.  I had gone through the entire secondary education program, hoping to become a high school biology teacher. During my final semester of student teaching, however, I decided I did not want to become a high school teacher.  I had all of the prerequisites for nursing so I applied for the program and was accepted.

As I started the program, I was feeling a bit discouraged: I was older than most of the students and couldn’t decide what I really wanted out of life. Most of my friends were married. Was I supposed to go on a mission? Was I a loser?

Those were my feelings when I met one of my first patients at the hospital.  He was an older dignified gentleman.  After chatting with him a bit and going in and out of the room a few times, he stopped me and told me to come closer to him.

I will never forget his words to me.  He looked me right in the eye and said, “You are a really good girl, aren’t you?”

I didn’t know where he was going with that kind of question.  I answered, “Well, I’m trying to be.”

He patted my hand and said, “I am a Stake Patriarch and I can tell those kinds of things.  You are well loved.”

My eyes filled with tears as he confirmed what I already knew, but was beginning to doubt.  I left the hospital that day feeling so much better about myself.  God loved me and in the eternal scheme of things, whatever happened, it would be all right.

I have thought of that conversation often over the years and it always fills me with joy and hope.  That patient taught me the art of healing.

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