Quote from jonnyvirgo
Outside of nursing--personalitywise, i generally keep to myself. but i make sure that whenever approached im as friendly and as helpful as possible--sometimes it scares people because they tell me im not at all how they imagined (i have a severe case of angry-face)
but because i keep to myself so much, im really not used to seeking out people to assist--that is, im really bad at asking if anyone needs help or needs anything to feel extra comfortable. i feel like this will (if it hasn't already) sunk into my nursing style.
I try to be as helpful as possible, i'm always asking "do you need anything else" or "is there anything else i can do for you", because in all honesty, im really bad at anticipating the possible needs of others. I'm kind of bad at anticipating altogether, i'm more of a reflexive/reactive thinker. So when something goes wrong, i can handle it at a moments notice, but preventative measures aren't really my forte.
I guess by definition this would make me "inconsiderate" because im really bad at "considering" the needs of others, even though im more than happy and willing to oblige.
Does anyone else feel like they could use a crashcourse on crossing T's and dotting I's when it comes to patient comfort ?
First, try to fix your case of "angryface". You don't want to scare your patients! But beyond that, even nurses who are drowning and could use a lot of help won't want to ask you for help if they think you look angry. So please, practice looking friendly and approachable. It will do your career good in the long run. You're going to find that if you habitually hang out at work with a case of "angry face," others will tend to see you as angry. Which means that the same nurse you just asked if she needed any help is going to remember that you looked angry, not that you offered to help.
Second, most people don't respond to vague offers of "help." Many are new and inexperienced and truly cannot think of anything the exact moment that you offered to help. They may be drowning, but they honestly cannot think of what would help them out in that moment. So offer something specific. "How about if I take your vital signs and I & O in room 5?" "I'm getting dinner trays for my patients, so I'll get yours, too." "I know you've been waiting for the bladder scanner -- I'm finished with it now. How about if I scan Mr. Jones for you?"
Pay attention to what is going on in the unit. Is someone expecting an admission or a transfer? Is there anything you can do to help with that? Offer to help set up a room, keep an eye on the admitting nurse's other patients or run to the lab or the pharmacy. If someone transferring a patient out or discharging? You know how much paperwork is involved. Offer to check on her other patients, give Mr. Jones his pain medication or even, if you have the time, wheel her patient off the unit for her. I'm sure you'll find that if you offer specific help, your help will be well received!