If every child had a mother to hug, a hand to touch, a smile to give, and a kiss to receive; would their lives be blissful? I pondered about this as I sat and waited for my next patient to arrive. Today is Wednesday, June 5th my third day working in Moultrie, Ga. with migrant farm workers and their families. My objective for the day was to provide healing foot care to the farm workers, in which I was very excited to provide. As I sat and pondered, a young man by the age of 31 sat in front of me looking eager to get his feet cared for. Well equipped and prepared with a basin of Epsom salt water near my feet, I said, “sentarse y relajarse”. I allowed him to soak his feet in the water for a few minutes and then propped his feet on my lap and proceeded to examine them. As soon as I touched his feet the biggest smile lit up across his face. It was as if he’d never been touched before! I washed and scrubbed the dead skin off of his feet and gently rinsed them. Next, I moisturized and massaged his feet while explaining to him the importance of keeping his feet clean and dry. The look of pure pleasure and satisfaction was confirmed by his wide smile. The look he gave me was similar to the look that a husband gives his wife after she has prepared for him a delicious home cooked meal. He continued to smile and couldn’t stop blushing. He stared at me with eyes of gratitude and admiration throughout the entire process.
I thought to myself: if everyone had a person to hug, a hand to touch, a smile to give, and a kiss to receive, would they be in better health? Farm workers stand on their feet all hours of the day. When they do get the chance to go home, they have very little time in their schedules to care for their bodies like they should. Their wives may work on the farms with them in addition to cooking and cleaning at the house. Even though my patient was married, it is possible that his wife did not have the time to provide the care that I was able to provide for him today. The care that I was able to provide for my patient was very unique. I was able to give my patient a warm touch of physical comfort. Sometimes all it takes is a simple touch to relieve tension and stress. In the article, “A Conceptual Model of Intentional Comfort Touch”, Dr. Connor and Dr. Howett talked about the importance of intentional comfort touch while caring for patients. The application of intentional touch in the healthcare setting has many positive effects on the health of an individual. I found that intentional comfort touch was very useful for me while working with this patient because of the huge language barrier between the two of us. Verbally communicating with my patient was a big challenge for me because he only spoke Spanish. Because of the lack of verbal communication, nonverbal intentional touch was put at the forefront. Today, I learned so much about how a simple hug or touch can be so uplifting and valuable. I know now that providing comfort for migrant farm workers is a great way to provide optimum care. I will continue to implement this action into my practice while caring for other farmers in the future.