We hunt for extra pillows. We totally believe your comfort is a priority, so we will spend time searching for an extra pillow or two (or calling central supply to bring us more) in order to secure a little extra comfort for you….or your family. There’s not much that can make our beds or bedside chair feel better, except maybe a couple of extra pillows!
We’ll pray with you and for you. We understand that your devotion to any particular faith or religion may be slightly influenced by whatever reason brought you to the hospital. And we’re okay with that, regardless of our own level of devotion. We will genuinely pray for the same fortune you and your loved ones seek: good health and a speedy recovery, or a peaceful death when the time is right.
We will cry for you. If your outcome was unexpected, or if your outcome was totally expected, we will cry for you. Sometimes we cry when our patients are blindsided by news. Sometimes we cry with our patient and their loved ones. Sometimes we cry at home for you, on in the breakroom, or alone in the employee bathroom. And other times we cry when everything we all wish for is granted.
We give a lot of hugs. Sometimes we don’t know what to say, and sometimes there just aren’t any words to adequately say what we are trying to express, so we’ll just hug you or your family. Often, all you need is a hug. Hugs can tell you that you’re important, that your feelings are validated, that we care, and that we’re rooting for you.
We give free massages. We may not be a professional masseuse or masseur, but we have been known to provide a little massage (especially in labor and delivery!). We may give your arm a little rub after starting an IV, or we may massage your back during labor. After all, it’s all about relaxing, being comfortable, and getting well.
We comfort. Our entire shift, we comfort in so many different ways. We literally comfort all.day.long. We understand that comfort allows you to heal, helps you to get better, and makes you more receptive to information being thrown your way.
We include family (and friends that should be). Nurses not only treat the patient, we include their loved ones in the plan of care. We understand that it takes a village, and if your mother/brother/sister/friend can help you get better (and stay better!) we are grateful for their presence.
We encourage rest. We know that rest is crucial to healing, so we will encourage you to rest when you can. We’ll cluster tasks so we don’t disturb you as often, we’ll dim your lights and adjust your room temperature, and we’ll tell your guests that you need rest when you don’t know how to say it.
We’re concerned about mental health. Nurses are not just concerned about physical health, we’re very aware that mental health is vital. If you need someone to talk to, we’ll provide a listening ear. If we think you need more professional help, we’ll make sure someone is consulted to better assist you.
Until my next delivery <3