Caring for Patients and Others, Are They Nourished?

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Eating out can be a nightmare for me and anyone brave enough to join me. I don’t eat meat AND I have crazy DEATH allergies. I’m allergic to sesame seeds/sesame oil, tree nuts, quinoa, and flax seeds. I carry a double pack of epinephrine with me at all times and rarely go a year without using it.

My sister once said that if she were me, she would never eat out! Well, I travel 80% of the time. If I didn’t eat out, I’d starve to death!

Over the years I’ve learned to be very careful – even asking the server to check with the chef to make sure he/she didn’t use sesame oil in the coleslaw (happened to me one time. Who put sesame oil in coleslaw???!!!).

Even though I emphasize that I have a DEATH allergy to sesame, I still worry just a bit.

This past week I attended the National Speakers Association Annual Convention in Phoenix AZ. It was amazing! I learned so much about how to continue growing my business as a speaker.  On the last evening, they held a really nice banquet. On the table, the menu showed we were either getting steak and potatoes or a cauliflower steak over quinoa.


I called our table server over to our table. I explained my food issues and how I couldn’t eat either menu item. She looked me in the eye, put her hand on my shoulder, smiled and said,

“Tell me what you would like to eat and I’ll make it happen.”

She had the chef prepare a cauliflower steak over roasted potatoes for me. She then told me how she explained to the chef that I would DIE if I had any exposure to sesame and so he prepared my meal separately.  Keep in mind, there were over 1200 people dining at this banquet but I felt as though I was important.

Caring for Patients and Others, Are They Nourished?

It was delicious!

She came back to our table 6 times throughout the night to make sure I was okay and happy (breathing too).


The next morning at breakfast, the same server came over to my table. I don’t know how she found me but she said she had been looking for me ever since they opened breakfast. She wanted to make sure I had something to eat.

When I thanked and hugged her (many of you know I’m a big hugger!!), she said something simple yet remarkable,

“When you come to my house, I feed you.”

Limona has been working at the JW Marriott in Phoenix AZ for a while now and always makes sure her guests are fed. She reminded me of my Italian Grandmother (Nonnie) and aunts who always fed their guests.


Yet she also reminded me of some of my colleagues and friends who always “feed” me – not with food but with their words of encouragement, by sharing their knowledge, and by always supporting me.

PEOPLE WANT TO BE “FED” whether it’s with food or words.

How can nurses adopt the same philosophy when caring for patients?

How can we make our patients and their families feel like guests in our homes?

How can we “feed” our coworkers so that they feel nourished?

How can we “feed” ourselves so that we have the mental, physical, and emotional energy to make a difference in the lives of other people?

As nurses, we are in the service industry like Limona. When guests enter into our homes, let’s make sure we feed them!

What are your thoughts on this topic. Let me know by commenting below.

ReneeThompson_013_HRThanks so much for reading. Take care, be kind, and stay connected.


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Dr. Renee Thompson works with healthcare organizations who want to overcome the leadership and clinical challenges their people face every day. If you’d like to find out more about her programs, please visit her website

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