In the current era of nursing, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the job. It may be easy some days to forget about the basic driving forces that brought us to the bedside years ago. In order to get back to the grass roots of practice, I interviewed a flight nurse of Air Medical, John Rhodes, a bachelor’s prepared nurse from State University, Alumni 1990. Following the interview, I observed him giving direct care to a couple of patients during flight. By doing the stated tasks, I was able to unveil the theories for which one member of our nursing community lives out.
The daily configuration of the helicopter bedside includes two flight nurses or one flight nurse and a flight paramedic to provide patient care. Due to this, I have had worked alongside Flight Nurse (FN) Rhodes for two years at an intimate level. Even though he may think that he does not follow the ideals of nursing, he is an exemplary example. “I learned nursing theories over thirty years ago. I don’t think I use any of them” (M. Rhodes, personal communication, August 13, 2011). When I asked FN Rhodes what informs him to care for patients he told me that “the patient, conscious or unconscious, tells us what to do for them with their assessment.”
I found that FN Rhodes embodies the theory of Faye G. Abdellah who stresses “Patient-Centered Approaches to Nursing” (McEwen & Wills, 2011, p. 129). This is emphasized by the most important aspect of nursing care to John which is “doing the right or best thing for the patient, whatever that may be” (M. Rhodes, personal communication, August 13, 2011). Abdellah’s theory has identified twenty-one nursing problems and a list of ten items that nurses should include in their encounters with patients (McEwen & Wills, 2011, p. 129). Many of these items were observed as John cared for an elderly woman who was suffering from acute stroke symptoms with expressive aphasia. In order to assess the patient, he immediately began to alter his typical communication style to asking questions that she could answer with yes or no head nods or by writing down brief phrases on a piece of paper. By making this care plan during flight, any generalizations that were made were able to be tested as the patient reacted (p. 129). Her response included a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate along with eliciting a one-sided smile for us. Overall, this patient encounter was very positive.
An additional observation of FN Rhodes was during the scene care and transport of a young male who sustained a high-speed motor vehicle collision (MVC). During this time John thoroughly addressed many of...