Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Daily Diary of the Carative Factors

by Ria Valerie Cabanes
July 3, 2011, Philippines
#1 The formation of a humanistic- altruistic system of values

I really salute nurses, not because I am one of them, but because of their dedication. The risks of exposure for factors detrimental for health are greater apart from other emotional blows from doctors or patients or their relatives. Although there are personal protective equipments, we can
still acquire diseases; not to mention the side effects of nursing such as UTI (since we sometimes do not even have time to drink and urinate), varicose veins and more often than not muscle pain. These are some of the remarkable manifestations of how nurses can unconditionally sacrifice their welfare for others.

July 3, 2011, Philippines
#3 The cultivation of sensitivity to one’s self and to others

I saw Nurse Krista crying in the restroom one afternoon. She said that her patient was being overly demanding, another patient was taking things personally against her, doctor’s order kept coming non-stop, she has been working for 4 straight days already, and she cannot even pause to pee. Since I am done with most of my tasks, I comforted her for a while and volunteered to help in any way that I can.
This is the normal scenario of a nurse’s life [ang hirap no?!]. Nurses are naturally caring to patients; even if other’s say they just do so because it is a part of their job. However, we are inclined to get drowned by the bounds only of nurse-patient relationship sometimes. I think we should take a look around more, the concept of caring is not exclusively for our clients. Caring can be extended to our colleagues and perhaps to interns who are being bullied by residents (I’ve seen some…). All it needs is a little dash of sympathy, acknowledging that there are ‘hidden patients’ around us as well…

July 4, 2011, Philippines
#5 Expression of feelings both positive and negative

More often than not, a nurse has to undergo good and bad sides several times a day. It’s possible that this can happen simultaneously such that when the AMD gave you a very pleasant feedback while the relative of the patient thought that what you did was inappropriate.
It’s so wonderful to receive praises! But there are times when we can encounter a negative statement at the start of the day from patients as well, one of the ‘bad days’ as they say... However in situations like this we need to take things lightly, not letting it affect how we render care for our patients. Taking comments personally will do no good. We should try to understand that sometimes, its just part of our patient’s coping mechanism.
I would be very hypocrite if I say I always take negative criticisms as constructive – I don’t. Remarks like these can really make me feel upset. I acknowledge the feeling but I don’t let it thrive. I feel sad, I seek refuge from my colleagues, and I frown after I leave the patient’s room too… after all, I’m only human.

July 5, 2011, Philippines
#5 Expression of feelings both positive and negative

There are times when I envy nurses assigned at the out-patient department. Imagine, they work during office hours, no graveyard shifts and most of all no duties during holidays and weekends. Their patients come and go. You assess, you assist, and then you teach.
Health teaching is a salient procedure in out-patient departments. This is crucial because unlike admitted patients, we will check them at their room from time to time to constantly support them. We give their medicines on time, we evaluate the progress of symptoms, and we report untoward observations even before they say it – a manifestation of how much we care for them.
Out-patients need to do these things all by themselves on the other hand. Think about what will happen if the timing or frequency of a prescribed medicine was not properly explained… Think about consequences if the nurse was not able to inform them that the patient should not drive after taking this particular medicine… just think about all of the detrimental things that could happen to our clients if we overlooked a ‘simple’ health teaching…

July 9, 2011, Philippines
#9 Assistance with gratification of human needs

A nurse was commended by the medical director today. There was a letter submitted by the most ill-tempered patient of the week. You know what prompted them to write good things about the nurse? They did it simply because amongst all the nurses who handled them, she was the only one who offered a blanket to  the patient’s sick grandmother.
Oftentimes due to the day’s hectic schedule, we fail to notice simple necessities that should be satisfied. Perhaps due to numerous admissions, hour by the hour medications, and non-stop orders from doctors, we tend to ‘just do our jobs’. This is the time wherein care is usually circumvented; when we start to be robotic, when all we pray for is for the day to end.
This is the normal setting in most Philippine hospitals. The sad fact is that no matter how caring our nurses are and no matter how we like to be of service even to our patient’s relatives, there is just no opportunity to carry  it out. Things could really be better and more nurses could get commendations if only… if only the patient-nurse ratio is reasonable.

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