What Makes a Great Nurse - page 2

by nkochrn

20,734 Views | 44 Comments

When I was in nursing school, one thing I always remember hearing the instructors say is straight As are not what makes a good nurse. Theres nothing wrong with getting straight As of course, but it takes a lot more than that... Read More


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    wow, I really didn't mean for this article to turn into a debate about whether addiction is a disease, but it sounds like maybe I have a good starting point for another article with this one!
    lorirn58, tigerlogic, cp1024, and 1 other like this.
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    NKotchRN, that's just one color of the spectrum. We explored the treatment and judgment of patients with diseases and disorders, whether those stereotypes affect their care, yes-whether it even gets "disease status," and even ways to get there without a conscious choice. I respect all points of view- but if one doesn't help the patient, I reject it. You have a great thread, and it's something we need to be reminded of time to time. This debate will go on for a long time yet, but I appreciate you for addressing the problem that "judgement of the patient" adds/subtracts to the care recieved and positive/negative outcomes.
    nkochrn and cp1024 like this.
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    Believe it or not, addiction is a disease. People with addiction actually dream about drinking/doing drugs (whatever they used); they get cravings as in their mouth watering and they can get nauseated, etc.; they withdrawal (DTs and sometimes they withdrawal so bad that they could die).

    But, there are those of us that have walked a mile in their shoes that would take care of them. I agree with the OP. Nurses all have education, most (except new grads) have job experience, but personal experience is something that I think definitely gives a person perspective. There are wonderful addiction/psych nurses that are just good sans personal exp., but walking a mile in someone's shoes will definitely give perspective and put someone in their place.

    My hope for you is that you or a loved one will never experience psych or abuse, dependency, addiction (had to add them all b/c they are different) issues. But, for me, I am learning humility and trying to turn what's looked at as negative into a blessing.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 15, '12
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    Rule #1 for being a great nurse is to be the nurse that you would want taking care of you or one of your loved ones.

    Rule #2 see rule number 1
    doni718, gainschool4lpn, cp1024, and 4 others like this.
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    Great article, very articulate and helpful especially for those who are just starting in the nursing profession.
    nkochrn likes this.
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    Hi Op. I apologize for taking your post in a direction that you had not intended it to go. I understand that you meant this to be a source of reference and inspiration, and again I did not mean to shift it away from that focus.

    I would like to explain why I feel the way I do. Not that I'm apologizing, but so you all can at least kind of understand why I feel the way I feel. I'll start by telling you that I grew up around these people. In fact nearly ALL of my family are addicts of some form or another. I grew up watching them (this includes my mother and step dad, both of whom I loved very much) nodding off and passing out and dropping right in front of me-public and private-on a regular basis. I remember some of their friends trying to help them for the total of my pre military life, to no avail. I have friends who were the same way, but no matter how much the rest of us tried to help them improve their lives, they would just do what they wanted-and what they wanted were their drugs, whether it was heroin, coke or methadone. Speaking of methadone, my mom and step dad were on it (through a meth clinic) for well OVER 15 years! Probably closer to 20 as I don't know when they started, but I do know that they were on it for as long as I can remember all the way until years AFTER I went to Boot Camp at 17 (I turned 18 in Boot Camp). Suffice to say they were on it for a long time. They are dead now. And I have MANY more examples from my REAL LIFE of people I cared about dying due to their own indiscretions, but I hope that my own parents are enough of an example to make a point.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 15, '12
    lorirn58 likes this.
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    @ wish_me_luck-While I have not walked a mile IN the shoes of an addict, I have walked MARATHONS alongside many addicts in those shoes whom I deeply cared for. "cared" and not "care" for. Past tense because they are dead.

    Also, God bless you for digging yourself out of that pit. It tells the world that you are undeniably a strong person because many people simply cannot do it. I'm not just saying that to get the rest of the posters to put down their pitch forks either. I mean it. Congratulations and keep it up!
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    I don't think anyone was being disrespectful or negative to you, in fact, I was so proud of the way the posters addressed this complex issue. The bottom line is the OP was talking about the "judgement" factor.

    Yes, it is very horrible, no ones asking to "lie in the bed they made...," however, we shouldn't assist anyone to rock bottom, and if I was I your supervisor, I would expect you to excuse yourself from treating patients who are addicts/alcoholics just as I wouldn't allow a nurse who was sexually molested to have to treat an offender- all because we are supposed to offer the best care possible; free of bias.

    No one is trying to be negative, in fact they are responding to the negativity of one post who went against the grain, and believes they might know more than the medical community, generations of studies, and common diagnostics that it isn't even a disease. You can't fill an empty cup, so the advice I always have seen given is to relieve yourself from treating a patient you can't treat without a "negative" bias.

    I am sorry you were raised around addiction- it is a hell to live with, and even worse to experience. I'm sure they too wish they had normal lives, but the disease is gripping, and patients affected don't need our help to feel worse, "or let them face fall." I entered Nursing to relieve suffering.

    I'm not going against the grain of centuries of progress to say, let them suffer alone, "they made their bed." No, I'm going to do what I can to point the way of wholeness, health, and better life, no matter if they are deserving or not-they are my patient.
    Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Nov 14, '12 : Reason: Formatting
    nkochrn and cp1024 like this.
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    Lol, I thought I was being called "Poochiewoochie," (with my handle being a mutt) lol, hahaha!

    I was like, . . . Now when did I say this, and this, and. .why am I being called "Poochiewoochie," . . .

    but then I found the real "Poochiewoochie!" So I don't have to type another long winded post after all! Thank God!

    As far as judgement and bias goes, the words "VIP" on a chart boils my blood, and gets my stereotyper in high gear!!!! I can't stand to think that management thinks, "They'll know now to treat this patients EGO!"
    Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Nov 14, '12
    nkochrn, cp1024, and Esme12 like this.
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    I think we need to consider that our personal experiences influence our behavior. I know some chronic pain sufferers that are treated so poorly by the healthcare system that it makes me sad. I have seen dying cancer patients be denied adequate pain relief because they could "become addicted".......ADDICTED????? THEY"RE DYING!!!!!!!!!!!

    Your personal experience influences your opinion and maybe personal experience influences Poochiewoochie. "We" (the collective we) as nurses need to keep our personal biases to ourselves and care for our patient as they deserve to be cared for.......with kindness, compassion, and respect. We need to remember we may not always know what someone personal burdens are and temper our responses.

    We can all voice our opinions respectfully and respect each others point of view as long it is polite!


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