Two of our most basic and valuable tools and interventions as a nurse are warmth and ice. I have come to learn that in my first year if practice.
Let me explain. (I am not a very good writer but I will try) First, warmth. No I don’t necessarily mean physical heat. Although I have been known to apply heated blankets to aching joints. I am talking about warmth of spirit. A friendly smile, a genuine greeting, a well timed patient appropriate joke. Warmth.
Then we come to ice. Again not literally ice, but rather the three qualities that make a great nurse aside from knowledge.
1. Intuition: I have seen post after post and heard story after story about “my gut feeling said.” Or as I call it my “spidey sense.” Intuition is real. If your guy is tingling…… Pay attention!
2. Compassion: I think everyone can agree this is a quality all nurses need to possess. yes that can be difficult. Especially when you have frequent flyers that are demanding and/or just plain rude. I always try to think of what must have happened in tier life to make them act the way they do. If someone is a miserable person, chances are there is a reason for it.
3. Empathy: try to view the world from in the bed instead of standing above it. Can you imagine some of the things that our patients face? Put yourself in their shoes. Instead if being irritated that your elderly patient is overly concerned with their Ativan or aspirin or whatever, make a list if the other things that they control in their life at that moment. It is difficult to go from independent and going about your daily life to being ill to the point of hospitalization or placement in a facility. We go to work for 8 or 12 hours a few days a week…… Then we go home. To family. Independence, relaxation, privacy. Our patients stay behind. Missing the things we take for granted.
Have you been using your warmth and ice effectively??
Food for thought.
Very well written.
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