The nurse, the patient and treatment

Five qualities needed to attend to the sick.

Five qualities of a patient

Numerous people from every background came to the Buddha with questions on every conceivable issue. For example, he said five qualities were needed to attend the sick whether doctors, nurses, attendants, friends or family members. The qualities were the capacity to:

  • offer the proper medicine
  • knows what is beneficial for the patient
  • gives loving kindness to the patient (rather than just working for money)
  • does not experience repulsion at the sight of faeces, urine and vomit
  • and inspire and gladden the patient with words of wisdom.

The Buddha said such an attendant is qualified to serve the needs of the patient. (A. iii 145).

He went onto say that a patient is easy to take care of who does:

  • what is beneficial
  • observes moderation
  • takes her/his medicine
  • discloses all her/his  symptoms to the kind attendant
  • reporting if s/he is getting better or worse
  • and patiently endures the different kinds of bodily pain.

May all beings live in peace

May all beings live in harmony

May all beings live with clarity and empathy

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