Archive for April 20th, 2010


I Want to Listen

Yesterday’s shift was one of the best for me. Not only because I had less patient load, but also because I had more time for the patients under my care.

Usually I get 5-7 patients per shift. Depending on the cases, I sometimes feel that it is an overload because I don’t get to really give the best care that I want to give to my patients. When I get heavy patient loads, I just go to my patient rooms, greet them, give their medications, and leave. I would come back later on to assist them with morning care or if there will be procedures to be done for them. And if it’s really really busy, I would only be able to come back when they call using the buzzer system.

There was adequate staffing yesterday, and so I got a light patient load. I will not mention what kind of cases I had coz some might say it is still a heavy load. But I would just say that it is a light load in my opinion. And because of that, I was able to do something that I always want to do with my patients. And that is – TO LISTEN.

Having enough time to spend to each of my patients, I was able to sit down and converse with them. I mean, a really quality talk. Not just banging into their rooms with orders to do this and that because they need to go to a procedure. Not a hurried way of speaking having in mind that I have so many other things to do after talking to this patient.

While emptying Patient X’s drain bags yesterday, I got him into a conversation – about his family, his work and how he perceive his illness. He has cancer and his being able to openly share his feelings was a sign of acceptance about his condition. I was glad to be able to listen, because I know that helped him in some ways.

I took time giving a bed bath for patient Y, while his brother helped. Patient X had a head injury at work and is now bed ridden. He can’t even talk. His brother talked about the patient and how important he is to their family. My patient may not be able to speak, but I know he can hear. And if he fully understood what his brother was saying, I’m sure he’ll be proud of himself and will thank him for making him feel better.

Being into a busy surgical unit, it is sometimes impossible to be able to sit down and listen to each and every one under my care. My work ticks like a clock and most of the time I have to hurry things up because there are so many other activities to attend to. Sometimes I feel that there’s not much time to accomplish everything. 

But being able to talk and  listen to my patients are the things that make me feel more like a real nurse. I want my patients to be heard coz I know that it makes them feel that they are important. That they do exist. That they matter. That they are not just “one of the patients” in the hospital  that I need to attend to because I am being paid for my work.

There’s nothing worst than being a patient in a hospital where there is no one who would like to listen to your story. You are unheard. You feel that you are unimportant. I wish that none of my patients feel that way because of me.

No one person can ever experience all that life has to offer. It is only through sharing - experiences, feelings, insights - that we can hope to grow beyond our own meager lifetime.

Nurses are tough people. But behind great nurses are inspirations to keep them doing what they need to do - TO CARE.

Nurse or non-nurse, please feel free to move around the site. Everybody needs inspirations to be encouraged every now and then.

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Health posts here are the author's opinion and should not be taken as professional advice. It is still best to consult your physician. Posts in this site protect patient confidentiality, so if you have any concerns regarding any of the nursing posts, please send me a message and I will be happy to address them.

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