A need for Compassion 101

Stories - Heart StethoscopeI lost my job. Not because I didn’t know what I was doing. Not because I wasn’t good at being a nurse. I was dismissed because I couldn’t play nice in the sandbox.

I was so busy being the best technical, clinical nurse, I never learned how to care for people.

Caring for disease and trauma, I can do that blindfolded. But when it comes to the human element of insanity, I am ashamedly terrible.

Just once I would love to see a class on how to care for people that don’t trust you or have crazy families or guilt or fear that makes them suspicious and unkind.

Not to change them, mind you. Maybe to help change me.

The only thing that I have found that truly works consistently is that you need to love these complete strangers and bestow upon them all of your compassion, warmth, truth, integrity, and intelligence.

And we need this not only in our nurses, but our administrators, too. If they approached every patient, family member and staff with these elements as part of their human nature, we may change a few things around here. But as long as administrators and supervisors view nurses as expendable throw-aways, we’re going to have problems. We have to stop having favorites and treat everyone the same, and if so, there may be hope for me yet.

I wish I could have a day or two being a director and prove my point.

Science isn’t meant to be a cold, dark place of definitives and exacts; it is based on the human element and that can never be exact.

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