Integrative medicine nurse earns honor as ‘Guardian Angel’

Karen Pausch, LPN, HTCP/I, provides Healing Touch therapy to patients

Integrative medicine nurse earns honor as ‘Guardian Angel’

Nurses help patients in countless ways. While many may think of them most often as caregivers in hospital rooms and clinics throughout the communities Sanford Health serves, others provide care in such places as operating rooms, hospice, senior living facilities or — in the case of Karen Pausch — integrative medicine.

“I’ve been a nurse for about 45 years now, so that puts me in the, I will say, I’m an old nurse,” said Pausch, a licensed practical nurse and Healing Touch certified practitioner and instructor at Sanford Fargo.

Explore nursing careers: Nursing jobs at Sanford Health and Good Samaritan Society

“I went into nursing just to help people, and I guess I feel like we all do for that basic reason, that caring and wanting to do more.”

Healing Touch

Twenty years ago, Pausch wanted to try something new. So she became a certified practitioner of Healing Touch therapy, a holistic therapy that seeks to improve physical and mental health while complementing traditional medicine.

In Healing Touch, the practitioner passes their hands above different parts of the patient’s body to induce relaxation, reduce pain, and promote healing.

For her care, Pausch was recently honored with a Guardian Angel award, after being nominated by a patient.

“Karen is my Healing Touch provider in the Department of Integrative Medicine,” the nomination said. “She has quite literally saved my life. She helped bring about drastic improvements and changes to both my physical and mental health that I wouldn’t have thought possible. So Karen, thanks for all you do. Thanks for your dedication to health and healing today and forever.”

Guardian Angel

The Guardian Angel program allows patients to honor their caregivers, while also providing a monetary donation of their choosing to the Sanford Health Foundation. Pausch said she was honored to receive her first Guardian Angel award.

“It was very emotional, actually. This particular person that nominated me has expressed this to me over the time that we’ve been working with her, what a change Healing Touch has made to her and her life, and I feel that’s why I do it,” said Pausch. “I’m just happy she’s had the results she has. It’s very humbling. … I’m very appreciative of it.”

Pausch is one of many Guardian Angels throughout Sanford Health, all of whom have been nominated by the very patients they care for each and every day.

“Guardian Angel is one of the best programs I think we do,” said Tim Hiller, a major gifts officer for the Sanford Health Foundation. “It provides patients the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to good care they’ve received.”

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Posted In Awards & Recognition, Fargo, Nursing and Nursing Support, Symptom Management