Dear Anonymous Reader,
I wrote this, because last night I had a patient that told his son that she wants to hold his hand. While the patient is holding his son’s hand she said, “I feel very sad, this is the first human touch I had today”. This lady is dying. As a nurse it breaks my heart, we used to be called the “Angel of the sick room” but why can’t we offer a healing touch anymore? Why can’t we spend 10 seconds of our time to let our patient hold our hand and tell them everything will be alright.
What happened last night is a wake up call to me as a nurse. It seems that we as nurses turned out to be cold and automated like robots, because of these too much pressure and standards that we are trying to meet in our workplace.
… and because of this I APOLOGIZE :
- If you see us JUST SITTING DOWN in front of the computer and not running around to take care of patient – we are checking our patient’s records. We are trying to understand what’s the reason why the patient came, why this medication is ordered, what’s the doctor’s plan for him or her. We are double checking if the doctor’s order are correct and safe for the patient. We are reviewing your scans, blood work results, and making sure that your doctors are aware of it and all the appropriate treatment are ordered and done. We are making sure that you are getting the best and safest care.
- If we CAN’T COME RIGHT AWAY to bring you blankets, water, or pain medications – we are in the middle of an emergency. We probably in the room of a patient that is having a chest pain, profusely bleeding, can’t breath, or somebody fell under our watch. Sometimes all these emergencies happen at the same time, and we are trying to keep everything under control.
- If you are calling us and we CAN’T COME BECAUSE WE ARE ON BREAK, we are trying to finish our food as quick as possible. We know that we can ask the nurse covering us to attend your needs, but we know that they are also very busy that’s why we do cut our lunch break short so we can assist you.
- If we DON’T SPEND TIME TALKING TO YOU, trust me we would like to sit and have a chat to all of our patients. However, we can’t do it because we are making sure that we are able to pass medications on time to all of our patients. We have things to do that are time sensitive.
- If we are in a HURRY TO LEAVE AFTER ENDORSEMENT – as much as we wanted to help you brushing your teeth during shift change, we can’t. We have to pass it to the next shift, because we need to minimize our over time as much as possible.
- If we DON’T LOOK OUR BEST all the time – we usually come to work well dressed and groomed, red lips and well kept hair. Then after 2 hours our face is oily, our hair is messy, our shoe laces are untied and we look awful. The truth is, we as nurses do things other than just our usual nursing tasks. We collect food trays that were not collected by the dietary personnel in the patient’s room. We pick up trash in the patient’s room. We clean urine, vomit, blood spills on the floor. We transport patient by pushing beds. We meet UBER EATS drivers on the hospital main entrance to get the food and deliver to the patient. I know it does not sound too much, but when there are major things that are going on and we still have to deal with these small little things – it is hard.
- If we are MAKING YOU FEEL THAT WE DON’T CARE, we are sorry. We nurses are always in a hurry, because we are dealing with too much pressure. We are trying to meet the standards set by the administration. We are trying to please our patient as much as possible. We are trying to collaborate with the doctors and other members of the health care team – which is sometimes the hardest part. We are dealing with dying patients. We are saving lives, while neglecting our basic needs. There are times in our 12 hour shift we can’t drink water, we can’t sit, or we can’t pee. We really do care.
We nurses are sometimes misunderstood. We also have so many shortcomings. However, we are trying to be perfect as much as we can because we know we are dealing with human lives, and there’s no room for mistakes. At the end of the day, a simple “thank you” won’t hurt, trust me it doesn’t come more often.
If you are a Nurse, please share…