Be the Nurse You Would Want as a Patient - page 2

If you have had the misfortune of being a patient in the hospital, what stands out about your experience? No matter the specific reason for your admission, Iím sure it was an experience you would rather not have had. What was... Read More

  1. 2
    Very true. Also, be the nurse you'd want for your own father, mother, family member, child, best friend.
    herring_RN and tnbutterfly like this.

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  2. 2
    Thanks for this article. This made me want to reflect and think of how I am to my patients.
    herring_RN and tnbutterfly like this.
  3. 6
    I'm a 64 yr-old executive for nursing & alllied health CE with & and the founder and webmaster for, who had an endoscopic AAA repair at Cooper MC two weeks ago. I'm also a former critical care nurse. These attributes colored my patient care experience in a big way. I knew way too much about nursing, but nothing about being a patient.

    About a dozen nurses cared for me over only a 36-hr period (I used to care for patients having open procedures for this over 7 to 10 days). Every nurse was excellent. I mist up thinking just about them. I am the sort of patient who needed to know everything: what was normal and what wasn't. I was hard-wired overnight, laying in a private room with my iPhone and iPad in bed with me, mostly somewhere between fascinated, stoned, and terrified.

    One nurse, in particular, Holly, cared for me for 12 hours over the night shift. She was always present when I needed her, just sometimes to talk, and absent, but available when I was trying to rest. There was a problem with my mean arterial pressure, and I needed a bump in my med. She explained everything, maybe knowing that my eyes would be glued on the monitor until things were corrected. They were.

    The nurses at Cooper in Camden, NJ are going for Magnet status and had their appraiser visit last week. I hope they get it. I wrote a lengthy testimonial to their CNO and named every nurse I could remember. I hope that every patient receives the care I received from such competent and caring nurses. I experienced the gold standard.
    liebling5, herring_RN, anotherone, and 3 others like this.
  4. 3
    I have been on the other side of the bed rails numerous times. However, I will mention my last experience. When I was in the ER, the phlebotomist was nasty to me. In fact, she threatened to hold me down for a fourth stick in order to get my blood. I told her she was only allowed to perform 3 sticks. The aide or whoever she was, didn't believe me when I told her I was going to throw up, but did she ever scramble after I threw up on my cover and on the floor. She then gave me 3 emesis bags.
    I was admitted as a patient with a fever, and was treated over 4 days. During the first day, I suffered in pain until I told the nurse on day shift that I had been in severe pain since I was admitted. I told her the medication that eased it, and she apologized and went directly to the pharmacy and got me an injection. She was so kind. The hospital also had male CNAs who worked on the night shift. I was bedridden at the time.I krang the bell for assistance since I had to use the bedpan. Nobody answered the bell. The nurse on the day shift discovered my bed was wet following morning. She asked me why, and I told her. She got angry, and changed the bedding, gave me a bath and clean clothing. I was so grateful.
    herring_RN, multi10, and tnbutterfly like this.
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    I have also been a patient numerous times throughout my entire life (I am 25 now). I usually was in a children's hospital, but the nurses were always excellent. I actually think they were a big part in why I decided to be a nurse. The thing that I always appreciated, though, was the tough love. Another reply-er mentioned that there is a nice way to get a patient to ambulate, and I totally agree. Ambulation after a 10 hour abdominal surgery is ROUGH. It is so important, though. I have always appreciated all of the nurses who dealt with me. I did anything I could to skip the ambulation part. They were always so excellent when I threw up or had an accident. It was so emabarassing to me, but they were so gentle and caring. That is what I strive to do as a nurse now.

    This may be silly, but getting a bed bath after a huge surgery takes a lot of work as a patient. I know it looks like they are just sitting there, but it can be one of the most exhausting things--especially having many drainage tubes and bags coming out of your body. The feeling of being clean in a clean bed is the best feeling when you are unable to help yourself, though. I remember feeling so good after them. Good and TIRED. I would sleep for hours after bed baths, haha

    I guess my advice, from a patient's point of view, is that the smallest things--patience, being gentle, being kind--mean the most to patients.
  6. 3
    My times as a patient have been few, but memorable. During the last one, in the night, I developed SOB for no apparent reason. My nurse was incredibly intuitive, called the doc at the right time anticipating a PE, which it was not - thankfully. However, the SOB persisted until change of shift when I was headed for a cardiac CT. My nurse and her CNA accompanied me and waited with my husband during my test - well past the time they were "off duty." We were so grateful for their presence and concern; will always be remembered.

    On the other side of the bed, I hope and pray I've given adequate and effective care to MY patients over the years. . .
    herring_RN, multi10, and tnbutterfly like this.
  7. 2
    I have had many wonderful nurses, but my comment is aimed mainly at what NOT to do as a nurse.

    I had given birth to my son and was at the hospital for the last day. It was 6:30 in the morning, and after being jolted awake many times to have vitals checked, I was definitely ready to leave that day.
    I had had ENOUGH. lol

    Anyway, a vital check was not what woke me up. It was a nurse...outside at the nurse's station...CURSING. She was pretty much letting every curse word she knew fly. She was upset because she had to stay on the floor while another nurse was in the nursery, taking care of the babies.
    I was furious. She came in not long after to check my blood pressure and it was through the roof!

    I knew that if I had confronted her about it then I would not be so nice and I am not usually one to be hateful, so I just told her that I was ready to leave and I was extremely tired (which was true, but not the whole truth).

    I received a letter to rate my experience at that hospital and I sent my complaints in on that.

    I realize that nurses are human and everyone makes mistakes, but this was a MONSTER of a mistake. Couldn't she at least take her yelling to a bathroom or break room area?
    herring_RN and tnbutterfly like this.
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    I think it is worth noting that many nurses choose to become nurses based on the care they received as patients, or watching a nurse care for a loved one. How many stories have we all shared about a nurse that touched our heart and gave us a special look into the field?
    chanie911 and tnbutterfly like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from LindaBright
    I think it is worth noting that many nurses choose to become nurses based on the care they received as patients, or watching a nurse care for a loved one. How many stories have we all shared about a nurse that touched our heart and gave us a special look into the field?

    I love reading those stories of how nurses are/were inspired by other nurses.
  10. 1
    Very good post. I am a nurse because I was a patient. I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma when I was 27. I had never been in the hospital before. I realized, over the course of my hospitalization and subsequent outpatient chemo, how much work nurses do. Doctors wrote the orders, and made the big decisions, but it was a nurse who was holding my hair back when I was throwing up during my first chemo, a nurse who dealt with my body's initial reaction to Rituximab (it was not a fun time), and it was nurses who accessed my port and hung the drugs that saved my life.

    I also never forget that patients can hear what you say when you're not in their room. I still vividly remember lying in bed in the middle of the night after they had just done a portable chest x-ray on me, and hearing my nurse (a gruff business-like guy in his late 50s or early 60s) talking to the x-ray tech outside my room. They were talking about how young I was (another thing you get very used to hearing when you have cancer in your 20s) and my nurse said that I was "a very special young lady." That memory still makes me smile.
    FranEMTnurse likes this.

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