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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: 650
Joined: Mar 2003

I'll offer some observations from the hospital bed. If I had known how to work the sides of the bed, I wouldn't have had so much difficulty getting up to go to the restroom when my catheter was removed. I really didn't want to call a nurse in to show me (and was probably pretty dopey anyway), so I squirmed around the side to get out a few times! I was offered pain killer one time, either orally or a shot "that would take effect sooner". I didn't think to ask what the shot was, and got very sick from the Demorol that it was. I would have not considered it if I had known what it was, but then again, I was probably dopey then, too!

Remember that your patients are likely to be slow and need to have things explained clearly.

I have to say I did like my nurses at the hospital that I had surgery at, and really appreciated their attentiveness to my needs!

pshnyc's picture
Posts: 45
Joined: Feb 2003

Thanks for asking. Best advice is to remember that there is a person in the hospital bed, not just a body. A person who has just heard that they have cancer...or who is in for a repeated hospital stay from cancer. A person who is experiencing a tramatic physical AND emotional time. Be kind, be gentle, offer a smile, even a "you're going to be OK." Something simple can mean so much to your patient. I can't tell what an awful experience I had with nurses during my hospitalization. A family member slept with me in my room every night of my hospital stay just to make sure I got what I needed when I was too doped up to advocate for myself. Just imagine that your patient is your loved one..your Mom, or sister...and treat them like you would want your loved one to be treated. If you can remember this, you will do well.

BonnieR's picture
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Thanks for asking us and I can tell you I've had some wonderful nurses and some awful nurses. One nurse in particular was heaven sent and she wouldn't just through a puke pan at me but stay by my side and hold the pillow on my stomach while I wretched and help me clean up. Another one would toss the dish at me and out she'd run not even make sure I was okay afterwards. Some other nightmares I'd hate to repeat. As pshnyc said just imagine that your patient is your loved one..your Mom, or sister...and treat them like you would want your loved one to be treated. If you can remember this, you will do well.

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

Thank you for have the desire to help people and work in one of the most difficult fields there is. Over the years I have had a great deal of experience with the medical profession, and I realize that nurses have a tremendous responsibility and work load. I know your hours are long and you're on your feet all day, non-stop. Most of my experiences are good regarding the care I or loved ones have received. But, a little compassion goes a long way. Some nurses just 'do their duty'. But it really helps if you seem like you care. Now, I realize you can't get emotionally involved with every detail - you'd be exhausted before 2 hours are up! And some people might not even care for the 'loving' attention. However, it makes a world of difference to me. At least in your position, you have an opportunity to really make a difference to someone who is in pain or just really depressed about their situation. Unfortunately, most doctors distance themselves so much from the patient, that one feels alienated and in the dark. So, if we ask you a ton of questions it's because we're not getting answers anywhere else. So, if you don't know the answer, please assure us that you will try to find out. You're our only connection to the doctor, except when he comes in maybe once or not at all!
Good luck finishing school. You have chosen a wonderful site to get feedback. Hope this all helps! Thank you for caring.

Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2004

Be caring and patient. We are all scared silly, when it happens. We cant think straight, the Docs are throwing so much info at you , its hard to digest . After surgery, you feel like a truck hit you, and then comes the diagnosis. Try to spend some time with your patients, hold their hand, and just be there. Good Luck !

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