Alleth Anderson [MTS 2019] has been a nurse for 22 years and has cared for patients through healing as well as death. In their profession, nurses are taught to deliver holistic care to patients, including spiritual care. But Alleth stresses that nurses are often too burned out, too busy and simply unequipped to handle this level of care.
Coming to Tyndale, she initially hoped that studying towards her MTS would enrich her personally but soon found that it complemented her work as a nurse. She discovered that she could apply the knowledge gained from her studies to the spiritual care of her patients,particularly in the final stages of their lives. The nature of her work means that when a chaplain is not available, particularly during the night, she is able to step into that role to pray for and comfort her patients. “I find myself being more compassionate, not that I wasn’t before, and it helps me to understand a patient’s spiritual needs better and be more sensitive and compassionate in the time of dying and death,” she says.
[My studies] helps me to understand a patient’s spiritual needs better and be more sensitive and compassionate in the time of dying and death.
Alleth was grateful that Tyndale offered unique options for taking her courses, specifically Monday evening classes for her particular program. She overcame the challenges of balancing work, family and her studies through the encouragement and strength she received from God and her fellow classmates.
Alleth plans to continue her studies some day and is considering the new Pastoral Thanatology Program at Tyndale developed by Dr. David Sherbino; this program specifically focuses on the study of grief, bereavement, death and dying.