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What can nurses do to better help you?

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!

Posts: 69
Joined: Dec 2003

I think the best thing a nurse can do is treat us all like human beings and not just a patient. We are more than our disease and we may just want to talk about things that have nothing to do with being sick. I remember when I had my bone marrow biopsy we had rock and roll christmas music going and we were talking about how we would celebrate the holiday. I don't think we talked about the biopsy once while I was in the middle of it, including my doctor. It was great I felt real, human not like a patient. It made the experience more personal and not as scarey. Just remember we all have our own personalities and some may be easier going than others, but with humor and kindness we all react the same. Human

Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2004

Thank you so much for your insight. If I were in your "shoes" I know I would feel the same way. That is how we feel anyway, in life, before illness happens. Right? Thank you. I will do that. Best of everything to you! If you have questions of me, just ask. K?

Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2004

I definitely agree with Stepet.....I had the best oncology nurse. She did not treat me like a patient, we became friends. That's the best approach,,,,I know you can't be friends with everyone but you can develop some kind of relationship with the person. Just be compassionate and imagine if you were in that person's shoes--treat them how you would want to be treated if you were in their situation.

Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2004

Your are right! I can't say that I know what you are going through, because I have never had cancer, but I certainly can try to immagine it. I can also imagine how I would want to be treated. Thank you for your reply. I will remember what you said. Best wishes!

Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2003

My "chemo" nurse was a huge inspiration in my life. One of the things that she did was take the time to sit down and talk with me. And not just about my treatment. To this day, over 5 years since I had chemo, I still look forward to seeing her at my check ups. She keeps up with my family and I always ask about hers. I think making yourself open to your patient is very important. Take the time to listen and honestly care what your patient says. Best of luck to you.

Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2004

Thank you for sharing your experience with me. From the nurses end, there are patients (people) that we never forget. I had an eleven-year-old girl bring me her school picture the next time she came to the hospital because I was her favorite nurse. I cary her picture in my wallet next to my children's pictures. The personal connection is very important. Thank you again and best wishes!

Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2003

All I know is that my dads oncologist nurse is amazing. She treats my dad like he's family. He opens up to her, just a little conversation with a nurse makes you feel a whole lot better. I think people like to be asked how are you feeling it gives them a chance to express themselves. Being a nurse takes a special kind of person. My dads nurse is very upbeat and positive and that reflects on my dad. She's always telling how great he's doing and that he's her best patient. I think mental is 1/2 the battle to fighting cancer, nurses have a great impact on there patients. I think they look forward to seeing you more than anything, because they are treated so special and nurses make you feel better, especially in the oncology field. Good Luck

Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi kitchell and thank you for doing the work you do. My mother was a nurse and my best friend is one as well, so I had an appreciation for nurses even before I got sick. It is an incredibly unselfish job that requires the right person to do it well. As well as the others who responded, I have had wonderful experiences and friendships made with nurses at my cancer hospital. I just also feel that everyone needs to remember that nurses are human too...( not that the profession needs defending). I know that as a patient I appreciate a good nurse but to a degree I think we also expect it, and when a nurse is having a "down" day, or may not have the time for a conversation...that needs to be ok.
I am so pleased to read so many positive stories of patients and their nurses. We are going through a horrible ordeal, it is nice to hear we are all being well taken care of. good luck and best wishes to everyone.KLKer
In my journal I wrote, "the nurses on the transplant floor are angels on earth."

Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2004

I have had issues with nurses for many years before I became ill. It goes way back to when my son was in the hospital for kidney problems and later difficulties with his asthma.
In general, the ones I have had the most problems with did not listen to me or were so rigid in following the "rules" that caused problems where they didn't need to.
For example, they would wake up my kids to give them their scheduled medicine. If they had told my husband and I that they were planning to do that, we could have kept our child awake or worked out a better time frame to do it. Instead, they had to wake up our sleep-deprived child in order to give them the medicine.
Another instance came when my son was in the hospital and was dehydrated. He had thrown up for 15 hours straight. They gave him an IV and instructed the staff to not give him fluids so his stomach could rest, unless he specifically asked for something to drink. I left the room and came back and found that they had given him a big glass of water. While I was arguing with them about that, he threw up all over the bed and himself. I then had to call the doctor to remind the staff not to give him any more fluids as they had promised to be back in a half an hour to try again.
Lastly, in another example of what not to do, I had a nurse friend who cautioned me not to take a specific medicine during my cancer treatment. It was for nausea and was potentially an addictive substance. I listened to her fear and did not take the medicine as often. I was miserable.
I know that these people probably meant well, but either did not really think out what their actions would do, or they allowed their own personal concerns and beliefs influence them, which was not good for the patient.
I feel that for nurses to do their job and deal with doctors (which is not an easy thing, I know) they need to be emotionally and mentally present with a patient. They need to find a balance between what is required medically with where the patient is psychologically.
The nurses I had while I was going through chemo were awesome. I know that they are typically different than other nurses and I didn't expect it to be such a wonderful change.
They did not argue with me when I was not cooperative or speak down to me. They treated me with respect, because it was my body that we were dealing with. They also left whatever personal differences they had with each other for when I wasn't around. I say that because I never saw a disagreement or reluctance to work with each other. They were always cheerful and took the time to answer any question or concern I had. And they let me be who I was and have whatever feelings I was having.
I think you should check out a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. It is the one that is called Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul. There are many stories on people and the ones around them surviving cancer, but there is also an important article toward the end of the book for nurses. It speaks of the very thing you are looking for.
Thanks for asking your question. I think you will have a long and successful career and I wish you well with it.

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