Tender touch

Delicacy at work in the health care profession

Jan 29, 2024 | Reflective practice

It is so easy to get swooped up in the to do list at work as a health care professional because there is always something to do and pretty much always a time pressure in which to do it.

Many of us become very brilliant and efficient at doing all the tasks required of us to provide care, and this is great… this is the development of our clinical skills and expertise at work.

There is another something that really alerts my interest and that is the quality of touch as we move through our day. And not just the way we touch our clients but also the way we hold our pens, open doors, take ourselves to the toilet, prepare our food.

There is a quality of delicacy possible, which when experienced and felt in the body, is so exquisite and so impactful that it deserves consideration.

If you have ever held a newborn baby, observed the gentleness of their breath, or had a feather or leaf float into your hand, or stroked a loved one’s hair, you will know what delicacy feels like and that far from being something fluffy and airy it is very strong and profound.

It is the something that actually changes lives. That breaks through layers of hurt and/or protection so that we can truly be with one another as friends, colleagues, partners or health care professionals and patients.

And the interesting thing is that delicacy doesn’t take up any time. It is the same actions, with a different quality; the way we move, the way we feel as we prepare ourselves for our day and approach those we are caring for. It is in our every breath and it takes care to a whole new level. 

So even when things are really hairy on the ‘shop floor’, delicacy moved is a very present powerful holding quality. It is not soft or pathetic, it is solid and deeply loving. 

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