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What can nurses do to better help you?

Kitchell
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2004

I am an RN student and I would like to know what the nurses who care for you could do to better help you? I'm anxious to get your feedback! Please reply!

grannyfranny
Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2004

Bless you for asking. At the top of my list are "Listen to the patient" and "Tell the truth (kindly, of course)."

I've had good experiences with most nurses. They've usually explained what they were doing and why, told me when I could have pain and/or stress medication, asked what would make me more comfortable, told me how much longer I had to put up with something painful, checked on pain levels, reassured me when I was embarrassed, comforted me when I was weepy, and gotten me food when I'd missed a meal.

There are two exceptions to the good experiences I mentioned. One, years ago, was a pair of nurses in a hospital cardio unit where I'd had a test. They insisted that they would catheterize me if I didn't use the bedpan when they wanted me to, and then stood side by side and watched me try. When I finally got rid of them and succeeded in using the wretched, sharp-edged object as requested, they were too busy to come and take it away. An orderly (or whatever they're called now) finally came 20 minutes later. Odd that the nurses had had time earlier to visit my room together and both wait while I tried to follow their orders.

The other bad experience I had was last summer. I called my internist's office on a Monday morning and told her nurse that I'd been short of breath for 5 days, so much so the previous morning in church that I couldn't even sing a whole line of a hymn. She said, "Well, who can?" She finally called back - at 5:38PM - to tell me that the doctor said to go to the ER if I got worse. I was already in the ER, had been since 5:15PM, with a pulmonary embolism.

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