Your favorite "extra" thing to do for patients - page 5

We all have things we'd like to be able to do for patients when time allows. We get many many geriatric folks at my work (from home or nursing homes) who haven't had nail care in AGES. I love to... Read More

  1. by   jude11142
    One of my favorite thing to do for my patients is to spend 10 minutes or so and talk with them. So many times, they have nobody to talk with. How many times have you or have you seen members of medical staff including us, so in a room, not even say hello and say, "here's you pills" and give them and leave? What burns me up is that when I was under orientation, the nurse that I was doing the med pass with, had to give ensure with meds and she had these patients drinking so fast. She was like, "....come on, drink drink drink"..........granted we don't have alot of time to do our med pass but I can't see practically shoving a drink down someones throat as a good thing. Anyways, back to subject, sometimes it's as simple as spending under 3 minutes with them. You know, "how are you today".......they want to talk? well give them a few of your minutes. I feel so good inside when I talk to my patients and they say, "thank you so much for listening".........As for my patients who are unable to carry a conversation, well, I still talk to them as I brush their hair or rub their shoulders. fix their blankets etc............
    There is no better gift than to give somebody your time and respect. I also have found that with several of our patients who are "named complainers" or worse, only want somebody to talk to them. How did I find that out? By doing just that. All of the sudden most of the complaints have stopped. Why? I beleive it's because somebody took the time to talk with them...because before after they complained they had members of the staff come in to see what's the matter. Most of the time, the complaints were so minimal they were almost stupid. But, they got attention, somebody to talk to them............let's face it, most in LTC have no family/friends that come to visit, lots of time, we are their family................Other countries treat the elderly with so much respect yet here in America, many families basically throw away the key. Our elderly all contributed something to this great country and we should respect them.

    Again, my two cents worth,

    JUDE
  2. by   offdoodykcrn
    When I was a floor nurse my signiture touch was a warmed blanket - particularly with elderly, achey, cranky patients and right after a good bath. They were so greatful for a little extra touch - an unexpected kindness. I love research - but I do miss being able to do that.


    - "If we knew what we were doing, they wouldn't call it "Research".

  3. by   talkall
    Ok alittle off what some have written but i work in peads and often the parents stay with the children and when i've been on nights i've had a few mums expecialy on ARU ward (you know, your child is ill you dont remember anything but the child even had parents come in by ambulence with no shoes on) that have asked about getting tampons and towels now we no longer keep them in venders cause suprice suprise the get vandalised!! So they have to ask the resepitionist and pay for them there i think its bad enough for them to have to ask a nurse about it never mine a reseptionist so i keep a wee suply of them in my locker.
    comes in handy for other staff when they forget as well:imbar
  4. by   zudy
    One of my favorite things to do: we always would check the pts DOB to see if they had a birthday coming up. We would all sign a card, get a cake and candles, and all sing Happy Birthday. One lady burst into tears, and older man told me no one had celebrated his b-day since he was a boy. One pt told me this was his first birthday cake!!! This is always fun. In my old ER, we had a pt that had been in a tornado, and her home destroyed one November. We call the ladies daughter who gave us a "wish list". we all donated money, and had enough to buy everything on the list, and gave it to her for Christmas. Also love the warm blankets for cold people, taking bored restless pts on "walks". Always warmed the lotion for back rubs. Hey, I remember why I went into this crazy business!
  5. by   H7482
    Back rubs! They always seem to help people relax and feel a little more comfortable. People tend to talk during a backrub and it always seemed that they were more open about their feelings and fears during that time.
  6. by   catwoman
    Hi...I'm not a nurse but a court reporter that got hooked on this site when doing research for some medical work and this tread prompted me out of the lurker mode...you guys are all so awesome
    After being healthy forever I had the unfortunate experience of a stroke a couple of years ago at 41. I hadn't been near a hospital as a patient since I was having tonsils removed at around 5, so needless to say it was quite a shock to be in the hospital I'm very lucky that I had great care and very minimal residual problems for which I'm extremely grateful.
    But for me the nursing care really helped (beside all the medical stuff) since the whole hospital thing was so foreign to me. I guess by my age most people have at least had a couple of kids but I felt like the kid.
    When I read about how you guys are so wonderful to your patients, I just want you to know again how appreciated all those little things are! Keep up the great work and great humor
    Last edit by catwoman on Aug 6, '02
  7. by   reddgott
    When I was a kid we lived next door to the school nurse and every time we would be outside playing and get hurt we would knock on her door. She loved fixing our scrapes and boo-boos. She didn't have kids and lived alone, but was always smiling and happy to provide this free service. It was the little things like that, I think she enjoyed the most. She made a mean chocolate chip cookie too!
  8. by   NancyRN
    My question is: WHEN are you doing this? Although this back rubbing and hair washing sounds wonderful, I can't imagine having the time!
  9. by   norinradd
    Humor. My goal is to make each patient smile or better... laugh. A silly comment, comical gesture or an outrageous story.
    Humor tells them I am treating them as a person, not a disease, and reminds them they are still the person they were before illness. I encourage them not to let the disease or challenge define them. They have enough friends and family to tell them how sorry they are for there trouble. I freely talk about their trouble but concentrate on the person. Sometimes you have to laugh or cry. I choose to laugh.
  10. by   semstr
    NancyRN,
    That's exactly what I was thinking! Everybody is running around and having a hard time giving patients the basic care.
    Holisitic nursing? I love it. I teach it. but in the practice you'll hardly have time.
    Yes sure in hospice nursing and sometimes in LTC, but even there we have a terrible nursing shortage.
    It is an "extra" already to give every patient a real bath in the bathtub every week. Or on nice days go outside with them for a walk.
    Sometimes I hate having not enough time, becuase I have to write reports etc.
    The best deed then for my patients is my going home!

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