President Joe Biden claimed this week that a nurse “breathed on him” to help while he was being treated for a brain aneurysm in the 1980s to speed up his coverage.
He made the bizarre claims Wednesday during a speech in Virginia Beach, Virginia, about access to health care in America.
“I had a nurse named Pearl Nelson. She came in and did things I don’t think you learn in nursing school,” he said. “She whispered in my ear, I couldn’t understand it, but she whispered and leaned forward. And actually breathe on me to make sure there was a connection, a human connection.”
Dr. April Haberyan, an associate professor of clinical nursing at the University of Rochester, in New York, told DailyMail.com that nurses will often work to develop “therapeutic relationships” with patients by making them feel comfortable.
While whispering can help a patient reduce anxiety, breathing on a patient would be an unusual tactic, she said. “We wouldn’t breathe on a patient. No,’ she said.
President Joe Biden gushed Tuesday about the good treatment he received from Walter Reed’s nurses at a health event in Virginia Beach, Virginia
She also said a nurse breathing directly on a patient to comfort them would be considered crossing the line.
President Biden’s comments related to the care he received for two life-threatening brain aneurysms he suffered in 1988.
He has recently been accused of misremembering details. This includes calling out Representative Jackie Waloski — who had recently been killed in a car accident — at an event in September and saying he attended a black church when he was younger.
Speaking on Tuesday about access to health care in America, the president said his nurse even gave him a pillow from her house in ’88 after he found it uncomfortable at the hospital.
Dr. April Haberyan (pictured), an associate professor of clinical nursing at the University of Rochester, told DailyMail.com that breathing on a patient would be unusual
He told the medical professionals in the crowd, “You doctors are good, but if there are angels in heaven, it’s the nurses, men and women.”
‘You know why?’ he asked. “You let us live, nurses make you want to live.”
“I’m not kidding,” he continued. “You lie there in the ICU, which I’ve been doing for a long time, and you look at those devices. And you know the line goes flat that it’s over. But you just get tired, you don’t care.’
He credited Walter Reed’s nursing staff for wanting to bring him back to life.
Dr. However, Haberyan explained that there are benefits for nurses to bond with their patients.
“There is tremendous power in a therapeutic nurse-patient relationship,” she explained.
‘Where you provide the care that the patient needs, you protect those boundaries and make sure that the safe space and that they don’t feel alone.
“It’s always about the patient. The nurse is not there to meet his or her needs. It really gives the patient a chance to talk about their concerns.
‘We shouldn’t judge. We really need to listen and give that care to that patient.
“Listen to their fears and their concerns, answer their questions, you know, and be honest and open with them about their concern.”
Previous studies have associated these kinds of relationships with shorter hospital stays and better health outcomes for patients.
Dr. Haberyan even said the breathing President Biden mentioned could ease feelings of anxiety and give them information while they’re panicking.
“Generally, you talk to the patient and if they’re scared, you go out of your way to make sure they have the right information,” she explained.
“Then we can do anxiety-reducing techniques. So maybe we’re talking quieter to someone; we don’t want to overstimulate them if they are very anxious.’