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Caring for patient as a whole

GMHarmony GMHarmony (New) New

Currently I am working as an LPN in a nursing home and I often feel that the people there are not getting enough social interaction. I have observed that the majority of the people I take care of crave one on one attention that has nothing to do with medical/physical care needs being met, and I have little time to give towards this. The nature of my job for the most part is passing medications, changing dressings, and charting. When I was studying to be a nurse, I imagined caring for the patient as a whole, including socially/emotionally but I am finding in most my jobs this is not a priority and time constraints do not allow for anything more then the superficial greeting and farewell. I really think that companion care is just as vital to health as any medication or treatment and should not be overlooked, and I want to offer my time towards helping people in this way. Does anyone else (nurses/CNAS) feel like this? I would love to quit my job and do volunteer companion care, but I also need a way to provide for my family. It seems that it is not recognized as important to basic health and well being as it is not a highly paid service. I don't understand this??

CaLLaCoDe specializes in Cardiology, Oncology, Medsurge.


We as a species need that one on one attention on a daily basis. Sometimes the quality of the one on one can make up for the lack of quantity. And you can even do this passing meds!

I find this is a very disheartening reality we continue to face, with more and more tasks to complete outside of direct nursing care (ie charting!). Sometimes just the presence of a nurse standing in the room doing nothing, just hovering with healing thoughts or a healing presence can work wonders. I know, when I was sick one time, my RN mom came in the room and just stood there when I was in a fetal position, miserable, recovering from the flu.

Thankfully we have PT, dietitians, CNAs, Priests, MDs, PAs, Social Workers, and others who are there for my patients as much as I am to make up for the lack. Yet I know this wealth of human contact doesn't exist everywhere.

Edited by CaLLaCoDe

Maria Lenore,RN specializes in Geriatric Nursing.

whole patient care for the purposes of this article is providing a higher quality of traditional allopathic or osteopathic care to a :uhoh3::Dpatient utilizing the knowledge of that person's complete medical history and examination, historical and cultural background, emotional and/or spiritual strength, family and community support combinied with scientific medical evidence and being able to guide the patient properly in improving wellness as well as in treatment of illness, always with the patient's best interests in mind.

NamasteNurse specializes in Pediatrics, Geriatrics, LTC.

I feel the same way. Under staffing is much to blame and that's not going to change. I find myself dreaming of taking massage class, or reiki, or woking for less pay with a DO or some other naturo path. Do the best you can as stated by the previous poster and maybe go back to school for more education or try to find a job where you can do what you dream of.

Seems to me that majority of LTC facilities are more concerned about $$ than about quality of life issues for those that they serve. :sniff:

perfectbluebuildings specializes in Pediatrics.

Are there any colleges or universities in your area? When I was in college I worked with a group that assigned students to a particular nursing home resident as at least a semester-long commitment, and we provided them transportation to visit with that person at least an hour a week, just talking and hanging out with them. We (the staff of the program) would visit most of the residents a lot more often and for longer. We would also put together a program once a month, bring a whole bunch of volunteers so there could be lots of individual interaction, and it would last all morning or afternoon. It was one of the best jobs I've ever had.

Even if there isn't a position at a college nearby that could staff & coordinate such a program, there are usually a lot of clubs and groups at a college that could come by at different times, or coordinate volunteers to come by for one-on-one visits.

I do see what you mean though because both of these are definitely imperfect solutions, and I do wish sometimes I could be there better for my patients, and I know the nurse-patient ratios are a lot higher in your area of practice than mine, so that makes it even harder. I commend you though for seeing the problem and trying to figure out what to do. I hope some other people read this and have some innovative ideas.


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