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The "perfect example" model

Nurses   (1,742 Views 9 Comments)
by exit96 exit96 (Member) Member

exit96 has 3 years experience and specializes in EMERGENCY, ICU,M/S.

10,222 Profile Views; 414 Posts

I am interested in how many nurses got into the profession to "be the perfect example" of how to live for all your patients. I have heard this preached in nursing school, and by some nurses.

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Purple_Scrubs has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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I'm more of the "Do as I say, not as I do" model ;)

I think it is great in theory to be a good role model of healthy behaviors for your patients, but it is not entirely realistic. We are all human and we all have our vices. Not a one among us is perfect, so being a "perfect example" is unattainable, and it could be said that this theory is holding healthcare providers up to an unreasonable standard.

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LMT2BSN has 1 years experience and specializes in NVRN, ICU, Critical Care.

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Sorry I can't comment on nursing yet, as I'm a pre-nursing student. However, I think this is a GREAT approach to any healthcare profession. I'm glad to hear teachers are preaching this concept. I do this as a Massage Therapist and think it's a very healthy approach for the caregiver to constantly push their own "health level/choices".

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noahsmama specializes in pediatrics, public health.

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I've never heard of this model, and couldn't find anything by googling it either. I most certainly didn't enter nursing school thinking I was going to be a "perfect example" for anyone. It strikes me as downright arrogant for anyone to presume that they could be a "perfect example" -- I'm not sure I'd want to meet anyone who thought they were a "perfect example"!

When I'm the patient, I don't look to my own health care providers as role models. I've been to doctors or nurse practitioners whose weight was normal for their height and others who were overweight -- I don't feel like the quality of my care was less, and I certainly did not say to myself "oh look, this nurse practitioner is overweight, guess it's ok that I'm overweight too". And other than the obviously visible trait of weight, I don't really know anything about my health care provider's health habits -- for all I know, they may smoke like a chimney or drink like a fish when I'm not around.

Now that I'm working as a public health nurse, I do feel a bit more motivated to try to change my own unhealthy habits, but this is not so I can be a role model for others, but because I want to be healthier myself!

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Zombi RN has 6 years experience and specializes in thoracic ICU, ortho/neuro, med/surg.

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While I certainly did not get into the profession with the goal of being the perfect example, I do think there is something to be said for trying to be a good example for your patients. This subject was touched on only a little in the LPN program I am finishing now, and it was only mentioned at the beginning of the program in the introduction to/concepts of nursing course.

I am currently a smoker. It is my only remaining health vice -- and I admit I do feel like a jerk every time I step onto the cardiac unit smelling like smoke. My husband & I are quitting together as soon as I graduate, because we both think it is a bad idea to try and quit right now when I have so much school stress. But, like I said -- it's a bad example to come in smelling of cigarette smoke, taking care of patients who are ill because of (or in part because of) smoking. I do think a nurse should strive to be a good example.

As someone else said, we're all human, and of course we all have our vices. No one is perfect! But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try, or that there is no reason to try. Even if our patients don't consciously notice those things about us -- I know I, as a patient, never have -- that doesn't mean it's not noticed, even subconsciously. You know?

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tokmom has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff.

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Snort...We are human and so not perfect. I'd have to shoot myself if I had to be a perfect example all of the time. lol.

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Eh, the world's not perfect so why would I ever want to convey that sort of thing to a patient? It's dishonest and arrogant, like someone else said. Most patients appreciate a down-to-earth, realistic approach, and they learn more from someone they perceive as being human and somewhat flawed, not perfect. I wanna do mental health nursing...so, yeah, modeling appropriate behavior is important. But no patient's gonna believe a word you say if you pretend you're perfect all the time.

Maybe it depends on the person, but I'll take my role models as human as can be, thank you very much!

PS: I'd listen for exactly 4 seconds to any megalomaniac nurse who told me she went into nursing to "be the perfect example of how to live." Haha. That's an individualized thing.

Edited by manchmal
i spell things wrong.

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nursel56 has 25+ years experience and specializes in peds//ambulatory care/HH-private duty.

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I've never heard of a "Perfect Example Model" in nursing. I don't consider my diet and exercise regimen something my patients need to know about, or have time to sit down and explain.

I'd be interested in hearing about it from anyone who does know, though!

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