I am not a Nurse. I am not a Tech. I am by choice a Patient Companion AKA a sitter. As you know, I am a non clinical uncertified bedside care worker. I consider the patients I'm assigned to as my patients just like a Nurse or Tech. I enjoy this role and have inherent qualities that make me a successful Companion. I don't do it for the money which should be obvious. I take the role seriously, insuring the patients are safe and I am a calming and helpful presence. I take the role to the highest level possible by being involved with patients, understanding their emotional needs and make every attempt to understand their clinical situation. I'm very hands on and assist the Nurses and Techs in any situation without crossing the clinical line. I'm well respected and appreciated in my hospital. What has your experience been with a full time Patient Companion. Very curious how other Nurses perceive this role.
Sep 14, '17
Good for you. I'm on your side.
I do think that an independent interest in providing this type of care probably means that you will be successful and will continue to be a highly-valued member of the team, as long as you focus on that particular role and keep your boundaries in mind, as you mentioned in your post. Not knowing any of the specifics, I think I would be very thankful to have someone in this role on the team.
I have to nitpick one little thing
Working for money and taking excellent care of patients are not mutually exclusive things - meaning, it's not "one or the other."
Anyway, best wishes in your role!
Sep 14, '17
No I didn't mean they were mutually exclusive. My particular position couldn't be justified if it paid much. I'm fortunate that I can take on a low paying yet rewarding role. Thanks for the feedback!
Sep 17, '17
My facilities have always used our own CNAs for this type of role. You sound like an asset to the team, though! Personally I don't care if you are "doing it for the money" -- most of us who work, do so for the money.
It's great that you clearly care about your pts and have the work ethic to do a good job though!
Sep 17, '17
My unit doesn't use CNA's so we often have a sitter or two on the unit if we happen to have a patient requiring one. It makes everything run so much better just having them as the extra hand for that particular patient. I don't have time to provide 1:1 nursing care when I have 4-5 other patients, so thanks for what you do!
Sep 20, '17
If you're half of what you say you are, then you're worth your weight in gold. I wish there were more of you.
Sep 25, '17
What a great question! I was just at the NCNA conference and we were talking about "sitters" and one hospital manager stated they had changed the name of the role to "patient companion". Given the wide variety of skill level and caring you can find in this role, I think it is important to choose names that are as specific as possible. I always thought "sitter" was a pretty unfortunate choice of terms, but never even thought about advocating for change back when I was one in nursing school. I have been a nurse now for 11 years and have seen such a wide range of abilities and caring in folks who would fall under the heading "patient companion" - I try to meet the patient and their caregivers where they are, without judgment and provide my nursing skills where they are needed. I try to never come in assuming I know what is best - the person closest to the patient (like you are!) is often the best person to assist with providing the best care for the patient. I applaud the nurses who work WITH you, and your courage in advocating for your companion. I hope when and if I need someone to support me, there is someone like you around.
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