What happened to the "lost arts?"

  1. What happened to the "lost arts" of nursing? Doesn't anyone give backrubs anymore? How about keeping a patient's room neat and tidy? (No, I'm not talking about taking over housekeeping's duties, but keeping things organized and tidy.) Both important for a patient's mental health, if you ask me. No one ever seems to do these things anymore. >Sigh<
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Jenny P
    Matt, I've followed a couple of messy nurses lately, and have spoken to them and the AHN and the HN without a change in their behavior or their patient care. I HATE MESSY PATIENT ROOMS-- what happens when someone codes? And these same people leave their patients in huge messes also. I think I've come up with a solution, though. Wouldn't it be nice if "Messy Mary" and "sloppy Sam" had to follow each other for a couple of shifts? I asked our AHN if they could do that, and they are thinking about it!
  4. by   mattcastens
    I know what you mean, but don't expect a miracle. The only thing I've seen happen when two nurses like that follow each other is that they feed on the mess.

    I always tidy up a patient's room when I can. I do my assesments, give my meds, then ask, "Do you mind if I straighten up in here?" They always like that. Also, it gives me some time to talk to my patients, another "lost art" it seems.

    My pet peeve is disorganized IV poles!! Tubing practically braided and not labled, old bags hanging that don't need to be there. Aaarrgh!

    We need to be more aware of environmental influences on health. It's amazing how well my patients sleep in a tidy room with a little ambient lighting and quiet music. The backrub always helps, too.
  5. by   semstr
    ok Matt,

    since you seem to know your sports, LOL, I think I have an answer.
    What I read and hear from nurses in the states, there are so many specialists, doing their work (iv nurses etc.), that I guess a backrub nurse has to come in. ROFLMAO!!

    Seriously, it hurts (winning bronze medals only too!!) to see nursing going this was doesn't it?

    Take care and keep on winning, Renee
    PS: Bode was something else yesterday!! He's great!! (well. he trained with the Austrian team of course, hahahaha)
  6. by   prn nurse
    patient here. I like to tidy up too...but there is the time element and priority setting factors to consider. On patients who are not bedridden, I could write a book. For example, a patient who is sitting up in a chair, walking to the bathroom, showering, etc., I do not understand why they do not tidy up their own rooms. They are in there all day with nothing to do, and I am always amazed to come in and find the overbed table so littered with trash that there isn't room to put a clipboard or pencil on it. Every day, I enter rooms where they have tossed the paper towels and empty paper cups in the direction of the waste basket...this from patients' who are perfectly capable of bending over and picking the trash off of the floor and placing it in the waste basket. Hello? Do you think I am going to do it?? Nada. I figure they live that way at home. The bathrooms at 9 p.m. at night have towels, gowns, garbage all over the floor...Nada, not me. In my book, if you are able to shower, you are able to lay your dirty towels and gown, etc. across the edge of the tub, and put your trash in the basket. On bedridden patients', different story. Another pet peeve of mine is nurses who do not think ahead to the next dressing change...why not pick up enough supplies for the next nurse to have a kerlix or 4x4? Nope, they pick up enough for themselves...never stock a room.
  7. by   Level2Trauma
    I have an IDEA, "Why don't we as nurses, just Bit#h to and about one another". Who says we aren't united, "We all Bit#h"
  8. by   mario_ragucci
    How could a patient be left with tangled IV tubes, and stuff like that? Would that put into question the entire professionalism of the nurse? Let me get right down and say I am not a nurse yet, but I wouldn't let things like that slip. How could you? Wouldn't an IV mistake potentially lead to a disaster when you are talking about pushing fluid into a persons circulatory system? Isn't that stuff checked, and rechecked constantly?
    I'm still "in the stands" so, please don't think I am asking from experience, but it seems like the environment of a patient would have to be in order, seriously ???
    This board is great because I can fore-shadow future events and scenarios in my imagination and gain "virtual experience".
    We practiced back-rubs at school last week. Many of the nursing students were not so confident about putting their hands on another person. Were you all shy like this at first? I figure, if your going into nursing, you shouldn't have any reserves about merely touching another human, but I am told that many students have to get used to touch. I'm learning new things about people every day
  9. by   Marijke
    Nursing is certainly an art form. You have to be very dilligent in what you do and be
    organized. I trained in a romen catholic hospital in The Netherlands, and we where drilled to be organized in our job. Guess what, I am still drawing on those skills. The first thing I do when I start work, is to organize my workspace and get rid of anything in my way. It helps me in my job, I can see what is going on, and am able to get it done faster.
    Good luck in nursing Mario, it sounds like you have the correct attitude, I think you future patients are lucky.

    Marijke
  10. by   P_RN
    One of MY peeves is who are the idiots who DESIGN the hospital rooms?

    Ours had the bathroom door that hit the room door (on the nurses fingers usually). The room lavatory was on the end of a counter near the foot of the bed with the closet behind the head of the bed.

    The lavatory was the only accessable area for the dietary folks to place the meal tray being the overbed table was usually cluttered by "Mary and Sam." THUS the tray was ALWAYS out of reach.

    In semi private rooms BOTH closets were behind the head of the first bed.

    Does ANYONE bother to ask the nurses? Nope. Why else did they put a nurses station almost at the end of a hall making nearly EVERY room a 100 foot trek?

    "When I design MY hospital......" I bet I said that at least once a day for decades.
  11. by   sharann
    P_RN, I know this is off the original thread topic, but had to comment on your above statement. The design of these rooms are nuts at times. My pet peeve is the electrical outlets. Where are the majority? On the floor practically. My back aches every time I see three plugs I need to plug in. IV pole, PCA Pump, monitors, antithrombic pumps...and me, crawling around on a sticky(yuck) floor, twisting my spine and breaking my knees to plug these things in. Also, they are always just far enough out of reach that you have to rearrange all the furniture so no one kills themselves falling over the cords. Sheesh.
    As for the "lost arts", I agree with you Matt, it is sad when people (staff and patients) are pigs. If they are too sick to tidy, its one thing. The best is the visitors who think we are there to "wait" on them as well, and ask for food, drinks, straws, and then leave all the garbage all over. Nice. I point them to the vending machines (where I get and pay for my food).
  12. by   nurs4kids
    Originally posted by Level2Trauma
    I have an IDEA, "Why don't we as nurses, just Bit#h to and about one another". Who says we aren't united, "We all Bit#h"
    My thoughts as well, level II. I also agree with prn nurse. I'm not about to be the maid to a patient that is capable of cleaning up behind himself or who has family at the bedside assisting in the mess making.

    As for backrubs..In nursing school, I was taught a wonderful skill. We call it prioritizing. I just really feel passing meds, feeding patients, administering blood....CRITICAL physical needs come waaaaaay before back rubs. There is a nursing shortage, many nurses just don't have the time for the little extras. If I wanted to give backrubs for a living, I would have been a masseur (or however you spell it), I'm sure it would have been a much more lucrative career.
  13. by   mattcastens
    Originally posted by prn nurse
    patient here. I like to tidy up too...but there is the time element and priority setting factors to consider. On patients who are not bedridden, I could write a book. For example, a patient who is sitting up in a chair, walking to the bathroom, showering, etc., I do not understand why they do not tidy up their own rooms
    Well ... Jenny and I work in intensive care. Not a whole lot of patients who can clean up their own rooms in our setting.

    As for the IV tubing. Yes, disorganized IVs can easily lead to dangerous consequenses. That's why it's such a peeve of mine. When the poop hits the plastic you better be damn sure of what medication is in which tubing and which site it's running in.

    Actually, the idea of a "backrub nurse" is one I've promoted for a while. I've been suggesting the idea that hospitals hire massage therapists to help with that sort of thing. However, being somewhat trained in that area, I like to give my patients backrubs. Not only does it help them in the healing process, but it gives me some time to talk with them and do assessments that a lot of others might miss (nutrition, skin, circulation, etc.).
  14. by   Furball
    What an awesome idea Matt!! Massage therapists making rounds just like like RT's. hmmmm I remember being in Vanderbilt hospital as a kid. (appy) waaaaay back in 1972. I looked forward to the morning AND afternoon backrubs. They sure made me feel better. :roll

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