Jay Leno slams nurses! - page 15
I *just* watched Jay Leno make a really rude comment about nurses- it went something to the effect of... " you know nurses are the most overworked profession in America... especially in those adult... Read More
Oct 29, '05although the process is indeed patient focused, the science of nursing also recognizes that the patient may not know how to make this come about for him/herself. the nurse or "person providing the art of caring" may also need to utilize "how am i" going to help him/her to navigate there towards this goal of health. the dilemma here is that most anyone can "care", not just nurses. but stop for a moment, "blind" caring can be supportive and can also be injurious. effective caring requires, however, rationale. holding a patient's hand is a very small act in the art of caring, but the nurse also needs to have some rationale to go along with it. does the act of holding the patient hand benefit the patient or the nurse more? when are times of a hand hold perceived as intrusive, patronizing, or unwelcome? when is it seen as kindness, supportive, or empathetic? also, to make this more "realistic", the idea of "context" needs to be embraced.
i was trying to address these very concerns when i wrote the following in my earlier post:
so how do we begin to define care and caring? i think part of the problem is that we all--nursing and the rest of the world--confuse care, the practice, with care, the emotion. while there is often considerable overlap in that we can end up caring about those we care for, and while one can very easily spring from the other, it's unfortunate that these two meanings reside in the same word.
meeting a patient's needs does not mean providing comfort at the expense of effective treatment. nor does it mean giving him everything he wants or avoiding what he doesn't want. connecting with someone where they are means you acknowledge their state of mind, their goals and fears, the impediments they wrestle with, and every other factor that separates them from their optimum state of health. but you don't, in the name of the emotional sense of caring, leave them there. you use the art and the science of nursing to challenge, inspire, educate, bargain, remind, affirm, and empathize with them to do the things necessary to make their own lives better (never forgetting that the patient is still entitled to make choices contrary to their stated goals).
"blind" caring can be supportive and can also be injurious. effective caring requires, however, rationale. holding a patient's hand is a very small act in the art of caring, but the nurse also needs to have some rationale to go along with it.
this is where the semantic confusion about caring muddies the waters. nursing care, while it may include hand-holding, can never be "blind" or without rationale. by its very nature, nursing care has to address what the patient needs (not wants) and work to achieve the best outcomes possible within the context of patient choice.
i think the crux of all of this is that we want everyone--nurses and non-nurses alike--to reach the understanding that the very definition of nursing care implies the combination of art and science. i can hold your hand as you're waking up from surgery while i monitor your vital signs, titrate your need for medication, and remain alert to possible complications. i can sympathize with the difficulty of post-op coughing and deep breathing even as i explain to you why they are important and how they will speed your recovery.
for too many years, the public perception of nursing has emphasized the hand-holding aspect of nursing. i'm concerned that, in the name of insisting upon respect, we'll peg the meter to the opposite end and focus mainly on the scientific facets to the detriment of compassion.
in my book, any definition of nursing that leaves out either the art or the science will be incomplete. it is this combination, above all else, that distinguishes nursing from other disciplines. we are the ones who help the patients assemble the pieces they get from everyone else into a cohesive whole. we are the ones who advocate on their behalf when there is confusion over what the respiratory therapist said or how often the pt wants the exercises done. we are the ones who serve as the alarm when one physical system or another starts causing problems. perhaps, we really serve as the patient's alter ego, holding out for what he himself would insist upon if he were in a position to do so.
how's this revamped statement? nursing is care that combines art and science, compassion and education, connection and skill, to meet patients where they are and help them navigate the pathways that will lead them closer to where they want to be.
whew! didn't mean to be so long-winded. i just worry that because "caring" is such a loaded (and admittedly feminine) word, and because we want so badly to be taken seriously, we'll opt for a new image of nursing that is steeped in science but devoid of humanity.
i'm stepping off my soapbox now and going to go looking for some dark chocolate. it tastes yummy (art) and studies say it can help to boost hdl levels (science).
Oct 29, '05I agree; I also heard the comment and took it more as a poke at those brainless wonders who really believe that way. I also remember the time that he said it in all seriousness that we nurses are the hardest working profession and THAT time he wasn't joking.
Oct 29, '05Quote from menolly_33I agree; I also heard the comment and took it more as a poke at those brainless wonders who really believe that way. I also remember the time that he said it in all seriousness that we nurses are the hardest working profession and THAT time he wasn't joking.I couln't have said it better. For heaven sakes the man is a comedian, he makes fun of everyone. I guess it's ok to laugh until it's your turn.
Oct 29, '05How's this revamped statement? Nursing is care that combines art and science, compassion and education, connection and skill, to meet patients where they are and help them navigate the pathways that will lead them closer to where they want to be.
I had a great time in our discussion.
We can and do learn from each other.
This is a very good example.
Oct 30, '05Oh, Wolfie, you made my day. I just came home from work (with the extra hour last night) and read your post. Thanks for the kind words. It DID take a lot of rambling to distill the essence, but I feel like having talked through this (with your thoughtful challenges), I can better articulate to someone else what distinguishes nurses from other disciplines and defines our care. Would that all discussion on this forum were as civilized and fruitful. (Yeah, that'll happen.)
And to think this arose out of Jay Leno cracking wise about nurses.
Thanks for your input. Have a great day,
MirandaLast edit by rn/writer on Oct 30, '05