The Art of Caring and Compassion
Article contains encouragement for nurses to pursue the art of caring and showing compassion in the very busy world of nursing.Good at IV starts- check. Telemetry trained- check. CPR and ACLS certified- check. We work so hard to have a resume that is full of experience and skills; but have we forgotten one of the most important qualifications needed to be a successful nurse? Do you have a heart for people? Compassion is one to the greatest talents that we can bring to our career and it is a gift that we are able to give to each of our patients.
Not all areas of nursing embrace the skill or talent of expressing compassion. I entered the profession of nursing out of the desire to serve others and help them to meet their needs, whether they are physical, emotional or spiritual. I found in hospital nursing that there is rarely time to even address emotional health, and spiritual health…well, leave that to chaplains. But, we have to remember that nursing was born out of individuals desire to compassionately care for patients. Nurses did not have to worry about heart monitors and IV pumps alarming. Nurses had time to talk with young soldiers who missed home or the young mother who just lost a baby. Due to increasing technical demands and increasing workloads, the Art of Nursing has been replaced by a busyness that leaves nurses and patients frustrated.
I have been fortunate enough to enter the field of hospice nursing, a gentle and holistic approach to meeting a patient’s needs. I understand that my field allows and encourages more time to make connections and build a rapport of trust, but there are lessons that can be learned by busy hospital nurses. Take the time to see each patient as a person, not just a diagnosis. Instead of referring to “the cholecystectomy in room 212”, try giving him or her respect and saying “Mr. Jones in 212 is ready for discharge”. Some have considered it to be a form of self preservation; they do not desire to get too close. However, I have found just the opposite in my 18 years of practice. My experience as a nurse is so much richer when I am able to make a connection with my patient and help them to know I truly care about their outcomes. One of the most common complaints that I hear in my practice is, “They didn’t listen to me in the hospital”. Take time to listen and HEAR what your patient is saying. Caring for a person on an emotional level doesn’t cross professional boundaries; you do not have to give your heart away in order to make someone feel important and valued. Additionally, statistics have proven that emotional health improves patient outcomes. That benefits the patient, the staff, the hospital and your community.
So, take the time to understand and feel compassion, and then add it to your resume of skills. It’s okay to feel and it’s okay to experience empathy. A little pain helps remind you that you are alive. Take the time to care…the next life you save just might be your own.Last edit by Joe V on Jun 5, '11
18 years of nursing experience to include ER, tele, and home care. I am currently a hospice nurse and working towards becoming a nurse practitioner. I have a passion for helping people and a passion for writing- I hope you enjoy my article.
Joined Apr '11; Posts: 1; Likes: 3.0Dec 2, '11 by RN 4D luv of nursingI my self have worked at a hospital for over 18 yrs, and you could not be further from the truth. It came to feel as if I was working at a factory in an assembly line, where all they cared about was getting them in and out. You were not finished with your am med pass when there was already an admission or two back to back. Absolutly no time to spend with the patient that was fisty, or angry or constantly c/o pain just so you could go into the room, and once you were there when there was time they did't even remember they had pain. And this was the telemetry unit imagine when I was in ER never enough staff you had to tough it out. Now I have started working in Hospice and my respects to hospice nurses, I still have a lot to learn, and I get frustrated not knowing the paper work and documentation, but Nursing care is what it should be plain and easy you realy get to NURSE your patients to Death and their family love you for it. Hospice is very rewarding.