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.

11 Responses to “I Want to Listen”

  1. April 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    nice one bro! you make a great nurse bro!


  2. 2 JHOHAN
    April 24, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    I loved reading this post and as a nurse, it makes me realize all the more the need to give time for our patients. Sometimes it gets really busy in the unit and we tend to neglect to check out details.


  3. June 22, 2011 at 11:04 am

    i admire you for being this kind of nurse..tama minsan talaga we need someone to listen..i was happy nong si Iris is nasa hospital..i mean of course I am not happy kasi after i give birth kelangan nyang maiwan sa hospital..i was happy kasi nurse assign to us is very caring and passionate like you..kahit nung nanganak ako i think I have mention it here din na..galing ng nurse na- assign sa akin..


  4. June 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I wish ikaw rin ang magiging nurse namin kasi maalaga ka sa mga patient mo 🙂


  5. June 24, 2011 at 7:04 am

    Nakakatuwa talaga makipagkwentuhan sa mga patients. When I was still a student, patients like to interview us, but we always say, “kayo na lang po magkwento. I’d like to know you better,” kasi it was really an instruction to us so that we would be therapeutic. And patients really have so many great stories and advice in life, na kulang pa yung duty hours namin to be able to listen to so much!


  6. 6 kat
    June 27, 2011 at 8:14 am

    wow! sana marami kang katulad Nelson.


  7. July 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Hi, I was looking for a photo of a male nurse for a hub am writing about male nurses…and I was taken to your site. Am not a nurse but my younger sister is and I have seen how much she enjoys talking with patients. I think that it is very important that nurses are able to do that, I know because I have been a patient so many times and I have seen nurses and would-be nurses always in a rush, focus on getting the stats, doing their tasks, that they totally miss the bedroom manner nurses are known for. I can understand that with time constraints they need to be able to finish their responsibilities but patients, especially those without families, need the “human touch”. Your patients are really lucky to have you as a nurse. BTW, hope it’s okay with you that I use your photo, of course I would link to your site. Thanks in advance. Will be back to read more.


    • 8 nelson RN
      July 2, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks for your kind words, foxydeltan! I really appreciate it. I have to admit that sometimes I’m one of those nurses who’s always in a rush, but it’s because I wanted to be able to attend to all my patients’ needs, and not to concentrate in one patient only. It happens when I have a really bad and heavy patient load. I feel so guilty when it happens, but I could not help it. But as much a spossible, I always try to sit down and listen and converse to them.
      And yes, you can use my photo.
      Thanks for the visit 🙂


  8. 9 Anonymous
    December 22, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Great post. I teach nurses Therapeutic communication. It is so good to read things like this. I would also like to use your photo with the elderly lady in presentations and on YouTube it is one of my favorites. Do you have the copyright to it?


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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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