Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hugs and kisses

In clinical this past week I may not have expressed feelings of warmth but I know they were shown unto me. As I entered my patient's room to check in on her she greeted me warmly and opened her arms to a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I was hesitant at first having known that her breathe was anything but pleasant first thing in the morning but I let go of my inhibitions and embraced her as well. This was a positive way to start the day and I remembered how important a simple human touch can be. In interacting with one of the nurses this week I received warmth and respect from her. When I came fully prepared to address an issue with her I had confidence in myself and discernment. In return she responded to me with respect and understanding. I noticed that she valued my input by looking me in the eye, taking the time to talk to me and giving me directions as what to do next. I felt that she trusted me with the action given me to do for my patient. I also had to receive some criticism this past week on some of my actions which was disheartening because I really was trying to do the right thing. I had to learn to accept the criticism gracefully and respect the person who gave it to me because I know it benefits me in the long run.
It is important to let go of our inhibitions we hold sometimes in ourselves. We can be a germ-phobic and should wear gloves at appropriate times but sometimes we have to let down the nursing barrier and just be there for our patients. They need to know that we can laugh with them and spend time getting to know them, not just what their chart says. They need to know that even though we feel a sense of urgency our tone does not reflect it. I found this to be a challenge in trying to get everything done but in remaining calm and mostly confident in my skills I was able to create a sense of warmth.

In future practice it is important to take the time and be with your patient. You may feel rushed or tired but be there when you are there. Your encounters with your patient will be brief and you only get that once chance in aiding them to heal. You have to let your guard down and not hide behind barriers especially if you are feeling insecure. You must be confident or else they will see right through you and not trust you in your care for them. It is important to remember that everyone is on the same team in trying to help the patients and each other. Criticism should be accepted in a non-offensive manner, learn from your mistakes. It is often through criticism that the most important lessons learned will forever be remembered.

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