Athletic Trainers Encouraged Through Blessing of Hands Ceremony at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton
04/05/2011

DENTON, Texas — For more than 10 years, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton has hosted an athletic trainer appreciation event. This year, the recognition program included something extra special — an official Blessing of Hands ceremony. Much like those in the health care industry, an athletic trainer’s hands are of great importance to their work.

Blessing of Hands ceremony
Texas Health Denton Chaplain Trish Williamson (left) blesses the hands of Kathy Dieringer, EdD, ATC, LAT.

“I’ve worked in the athletic training profession for more than 20 years," said Kathy Dieringer, EdD, ATC, LAT. "The Blessing of Hands ceremony was meaningful to me because I use my hands to help patients heal. It can be easy to take our hands for granted, and the ceremony helped me to pause and appreciate how very important my hands are to the work I do every day.”

The ritual of the Blessing of Hands, like many faith traditions, uses oil as a symbol of God’s presence as well as His healing power. Trish Williamson, chaplain at Texas Health Denton, had the oil specifically made for the ceremony. She encourages people to let the fragrance remind them that they are blessed and to share that blessing with others.

The hospital began performing Blessing of Hands for its employees in 2010. The ceremony provides a way for individuals to take a few minutes away from their busy day and give thanks for their hands.

“It seems so simple, but the ceremony is a powerful way to remind folks of the meaningful difference their touch makes to patients and their family members each day,” said Williamson, who officially became a part of the Texas Health Denton family a year ago. “While taking the Blessing of Hands ceremony to employees, I was reminded how unique it is to work in a faith-based organization. The compassion and love our staff gives to those in need is extraordinary.”

During the recent athletic trainer appreciation event, which recognized many of the trainers who work at the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University and several school districts, Williamson expressed that the experience was a wonderful way to serve those who serve our community’s athletes so completely.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton is a 255-bed acute-care, full-service hospital that has served North Texas and southern Oklahoma since 1987. The hospital’s services include: heart and vascular; a Level III neonatal intensive care unit; orthopedics and sports medicine; neck, spine and pain management; emergency medicine; an accredited sleep center; women’s services; and a weight loss surgery program that has been designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. As one of the largest employers in Denton County, Texas Health Denton has more than 1,000 employees and more than 300 physicians on the medical staff practicing in more than 43 specialties.

Texas Health Denton is an accredited chest pain center and an affiliate of Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Denton.