by Sarah Mummert, Student Public Relations Writer
Providing proper care is pivotal in the healing of a patient who has had a near-death experience. But sometimes, the provider becomes the patient. George Huff, senior professor of social work at Cedarville University, survived a life-altering accident in 2014, allowing him to discuss near-death experiences from both a professional and personal standpoint.
An event titled “Near-Death Experience: Patient Perspective on Care and Long-Term Effects” will be held on Sep. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in room 251 of the Health Sciences Center at Cedarville University. This event will bring together Cedarville’s school of nursing and the social work program.
In this continuing education workshop, Huff will share about his unique experience, what it’s like to be cared for and how social workers and nurses can be sensitive in caring for others.
After being sideswiped by a construction truck while riding a bicycle, Huff was left stranded in a ditch on the side of a road. His near-death experience has helped lay the foundation for this event. Huff also shared his story on the Cedarville Stories Podcast in 2020.
Part of what Huff will address in the workshop is the need for social workers and nurses to understand the depth of care they’ll be giving to people as an extension of themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually.
While lying in the ditch, Huff was comforted by a stranger, a woman he has never seen since.
“There is so much significance in somebody extending themselves to somebody that they didn’t know, somebody that they probably never thought they would run across, like myself there in that ditch,” Huff explained. “And yet that lady took the time and interest to try to comfort me.”
In the past, Huff spoke in the junior-level nursing class Behavioral and Mental Healthcare. The school of nursing received positive feedback about his time in the classroom, leading Dr. Michele Dodds to employ Huff’s perspective for this event. Dodds is an assistant professor of nursing and co-advisor for the Nursing Honor Society, which developed the idea for this event last academic year.
“One of our goals is to promote and provide scholarly activities to encourage professional growth,” said Dodds. “Over the summer I worked on submitting applications to the National Association of Social Workers and the Ohio Nurses Association to get this approved for continuing education credits.”
This event is open to the public. It has been approved to fulfill required continuing education units (CEUs) for practicing social workers and nurses. Registration can be filled out on the Google form.
A serious accident like the one that Huff experienced changes a person’s life forever. He still struggles with PTSD, but the experience has impacted him in that he cares for his students because of how he’s been cared for. He continues hoping that his experience will take him to a deeper level of care for others. And though his injury was physical, it’s hard to separate the emotional from the physical.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,456 undergraduate, graduate, and dual-enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Bachelor of Science in social work and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.