Nursing is an art and a science and exists to promote health and well being for patients and their families. Nursing school prepares new graduates with a foundation to which they can build upon in the world of patient care. By keeping in mind the patient care needs in all aspects of consideration through the mind; body and soul nurses can be more proactive in-patient centered care in their approach to nursing. Through subjective and objective, data nurses can strive to provide high quality care. Nursing instinct is crafted from learned knowledge, real experiences and the development of personal experiences as well as personal and learned philosophies by incorporating evidence based observations, testing and proven theories. Nursing is not for the weak. Nurses need to be strong, independent and ready to advocate for the patients as well as their profession. Nurses are selfless, trusted caretakers with a title that comes with great responsibility as well as great personal satisfaction.
As a new nurse, I was not prepared for the level of caring I would be faced with as an associate degree nurse. There are some things nursing school simply cannot teach in a two-year program. I was fresh off orientation when I had the patient of a lifetime. He was an older gentleman who was considered by the nursing staff on my unit as “impossible to please”. Being new to nursing and concerned with pleasing everyone as well as, applying everything I learned in nursing school and orientation at the hospital, I worked I barely got to know the patients and families I cared for.
All the new tasks, information and double checks left little time for psychosocial issues. I knew these were important, but I was overwhelmed with new experiences and information that required lots of questions and investigate. I was in awe of the seasoned nurses that would seemingly glide through their day effortlessly, I knew I would get there someday, but for now I needed to learn, ask questions, build upon my knowledge base and be all business. Until I met my “game changer” and realized I was not caring for the whole person.
I will call him, Mr. Smith, not his real name, he was my first challenge with daily dressing changes, cardiac monitoring and an attitude that made Oscar the grouch look pleasant, and a family that cared deeply and had lots of questions all hours of the day and night. One day while doing a one of the many complex-dressing changes we started talking about the Iditarod that was on the television. He told me he raised and raced dogs for competition. I found this interesting and asked many questions while I carefully worked on his leg. At that moment we bonded and soon I was the nurse requested by the patient as well as, family every time I worked.
I probably got a little too involved with this family almost treating them as my own at times fiercely protective and always willing to advocate for the smallest of...