Lot’s Wife: An Exploration of Nursing and Calls, Guided by Two Poems


  • Dr. Graham McCaffrey University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing




The article is a discussion on the theme of "the call" that formed the basis for Dr. Ted George's series of presentations at the Canadian Hermeneutic Institute (CHI) in 2021. It takes up two poems, both entitled "Lot's Wife," that are interpreted from the point of view of nurses who have to make decisions routinely in response to the demands of patients in actual settings of practice. The poems, by Anna Akhmatova and Wislawa Szymborska, treat the theme in contrasting ways that allows for a series of interpretive reflections, first considering a two-sided contrast between external regulation and anguish, and secondly a diverse array of "calls" to decision and action. A version of the article was first presented at CHI 2021.

Author Biography

Dr. Graham McCaffrey, University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing

Dr. Graham McCaffrey is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary. He has written one book entitled "Nursing and Humanities" (Routledge, 2020) and co-authored one book: "Conducting Hermeneutic Research: From Philosophy to Practice" (Peter Lang, 2015). He was co-editor and co-author "On the Pedagogy of Suffering" (Peter Lang, 2015). Dr McCaffrey is a strong advocate for the relationship between nursing as a discipline and the humanities and is an award winning graduate teacher.