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!
Kindness. You can change a person's whole experience.
I am a RN student too, and a thryroid cancer patient also! I wish I would have had more teaching for the scan procedure. It's really stressful when you go into something in the dark. Education helps me as a patient prepare and handle the situation better.
Be kind, be compassionate but most of all be empathetic. Remember that many patients are at your mercy. A little kindness goes a long way.
Be more knowledgeable about your patients conditions. Following my surgery, I needed help getting to the restroom while still in the hospital (unplugging my IV). Everytime I pushed the nurse "help" button, the nurse would ask what I wanted. I had vocal cord damage from the removal of my thyroid, and could not answer loud enough. The nurse would always say "please speak up". I couldn't! Only one nurse was astute enough to figure out that she needed to come to my room when the buzzer rang. She even told her fellow nurses and they still didn't get it!
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You can help me anytime. I need information. What is normal for recovery? Patients need understanding and compassion and information and to feel normal or to know what is going on is in line with normal and not abnormal. Likewise, knowing what the warning signs are. I did not know that the tingling around my lips was an early sign of calcium deficit. I ended up in tetany before I said anything. That was scary. Also, please listen to us. When I tell you I eat a vegan diet, eggs on by breakfast try is just upsetting. Seems little, but in light of everything else going on, it is huge. Thank you for caring enough to ask.
Gosh... was she ever the best nurse I've ever had in my entire life... She'd give me many many hot chocolate ( it worked the best for my sore throat for some reasons) and she invited me to sit in her station so we'd have convo during wee hours while I couldn't be able to sleep! Oh man she was so awesome!
I remember the nurses that meant the most to me were the 2 that were paitent with me. As a lot of my complications with hospitals/treatment have to do with post traumatic stress and other issues... if I seemed uneasy or slow to respond they would ask if I was okay and if there was anything they could do to help me through. One nurse even brought me a coloring book and crayons lol Also, i always take a stuffed animal with me for surgeries... and inform my nurses before I go under that when i wake up from anesthesia I will most likely want the stuffed animal as soon as possible to calm down. One nurse took it upon himself (as his shift was alomost over) to write on my chart where the stuffed animal was for the following nurse to know how to help me lol
But I think for me as there are so many other factors/issues around treatment alone... that the fact that my nurses were patient, and willing to help me as was appropriate even if things didn't quite make sense to them (ie coloring book/crayons / stuffed animals) truly made me feel at ease.
I'm lucky if I get even 2 hours of sleep at home... so you can imagine how difficult it was to sleep at the hospital, and one nurse even came in and sat with me for a few minutes and looked at a photo album I had brought with me because i was feeling scared and sad.
I believe the TINITEST things can almost always make the difference between feeling like a lab rat and a respected human being.