Hugs Heal People

touch Hugs Heal People


From the time we are infants – toddlers – teenagers (well maybe not then always) to adults some of the best medicine is human connections

I shared one of my nursing stories that taught me so much that day and you can read that here 

In the south we are huggers and hand shakers, we wave at people we don’t know as we drive down the road and talk to folks standing in line when we shop. The small connections make us not feel alone. 

For punishment in prisons and jails they put prisoners in the “hole” or in an area with very limited connection to other people other than meals and the one hour out of the hole again in an area with no connection to others.

In mental hospitals many clients feel as if they are also in confinement due to not being able to handle the outside world and family don’t come to visit because of the past behaviors or because they are fearful of the environment itself.

Many times in my nursing career I given hugs and received hugs that healed us both. The simple gesture has made a difference in nurse patient relationship. 

However in the world of mental health you have to be careful who you choose to hug or allow to put their hands on you. Sad but true. We as nurses get attached to our patients and we all – at one time or another – want to show compassion and caring to the ones we take care of.

Adults need touch too, but social inhibitions sometimes get in the way. You may find yourself hesitating between a handshake and a hug when greeting or saying goodbye casual friends or business partners because adults tend to equate touch with sexuality. Some people reach out and touch a friend’s lower arm, hand or shoulder lightly during a conversation. Both you and your friend will benefit from this tactile form of touch.

I have watched our patients over the years as the linger because they are not sure what they have permission to do and some will even ask. “Can I give you hug” and I have never turned one down from someone who was stable and I felt safe. The gentlemen I extend my hand or will even hook my arm in theirs as I walk to them to the door.

As I left work the other afternoon I walk by the discharge office on the way out, greeted with a big grin and “Hey look at me!! I am going home” We walked out of the door into beautiful sunshine and chatted like ole friends going to the taxi that was waiting. I wished her well and told her I hope it is along time before I see you back. She laughed and said “Me too!! Maybe I will run into you at Wal mart or the dollar store.” I laughed and said “DEAL!” she wrapped both arms around my neck for a tight squeeze before she climbed into the taxi. I stood there as they pulled away and smiled. Some hugs just stop you in your tracks and make you really appreciate what you do.

I am blessed to share with other nurses the passion I have for people and the ability I now have to share with them how to give to others even more doing what they love doing and making a living outside the nursing world using the nursing skills.

Author information

Angela Brooks

founder + creator at of

Angela Brooks is transitioning from nursing to business online without giving up her day job. Working part time using a smart phone, social media and a blog. Helping #nurses reinvent their calling, showing them how to step out of the box, creating a #business that they love and having a blast during the process!

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Angela teaches women how to turn burnout & hustle into a part-time business. She shares how she used her lunch break to build a 6-figure business.

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