Transcultural Nursing Experience

Way back to my nursing student life, I was assigned to an unconscious and a big half Filipino/Spanish patient. When my clinical instructor called my name, I was smiling and wearing a very big smile on my face and in fact, my smile was like a crocodile smile. Nurses Announcements Archive Article

Transcultural Nursing Experience

My instructor said, Mr. Fernando...And I said who was that again ma'am? She repeated it, Mr. Fernando. The only thing I said to my instructor was "thank you so much and remember with a crocodile smile..." The moment I looked at the patient's chart, I was thinking like the patient's case was just okay and that everything will just be very fine of him, me and the significant others...

Well, well, well, when I get into my patient's room, I was so shocked at the back of my mind because there were many bottles hanging on both sides of my patient. Not only one, two or three but there were four bottles hanging beside him. I said to myself while looking at the patient, oh-oh this is gonna be a very exciting yet tiresome job. I told my American classmate to really help me because I am anticipating that there will be a lot of calculations then and there will be a bunch of things to do. And so yes! Lots and lots of things to do.

One day during my shift, I didn't notice that my patient deposited a bulk of smelly feces on his diaper and her daughter told me that the patient defecated a day before my shift.

It was a very disgusting smell when I entered the room. And Ummm, of course, I don't have a choice but to clean it up because he was my patient. And Because my patient was so big, my clinical instructor called up four (4 ) other student nurses to help me. There was one guy on my right side near the patient's head (left side). One American female on my left side and there were two other student nurses in front of me.

When we turn the patient on his right side, the smell went out and the guy on my right side was crying.

I asked him why he was crying.

I thought he was thinking like he can't make it but then he said because of the smell. He said it was the most disgusting smell he ever inhales in his life. And because at that time, we were not using any disposable towels or wipes. Everybody was asking on what are we going to wipe them.

Suddenly our clinical instructor said, we can use a face towel. Yes, a face towel!!!! A face towel that my American classmate who was on my left side was used to clean up the patient's anal area. Would you believe that the towel used was the same towel being used the whole time until the patient's private part was clean?!?

Meaning the towel has been squeezed with water just to make it clean 'til it has been finished. I can't believe it!

After which, I removed the diaper but then because the patient was very heavy my hand slipped away and was able to touch the patient's feces! Eeeewwwwww! Yes, that was the only word that everybody was able to say right after I placed my hand on it.

The patient's daughter was laughing while looking at me and said am so sorry about that. And after we saw the patient's daughter laughin' everybody smiled and said it's ok because I am used to touching feces.LOL...Yeah, it was okay because I had no choice, hehe!

Furthermore, my clinical instructor asked us on who will put the ointment on the patient's butt, the guy who cried turned his head away and was smiling, said in a whisper "no, not me please..."

Our clinical instructor noticed and call him with a big smile and said Yes you will ... hehe! He had no choice but to get the ointment to avoid sore. If only the patient was conscious, for sure he will laugh at us and with us.

Seeing our different faces with the smile but with meaning would really make him smile too. The patient's daughter and wife were smiling that time during the procedure and they said a "warm thank you" to us because they said they can't do it by themselves because they are not used of cleaning up the patient. With it, I was bearing a crocodile smile when I heard the word "thank you..."

Indeed, it was of great honor and privilege to help patients even in a very small way. That experience really helped me a lot and motivates me with regards to my patience, endurance and of being a good healthcare giver.

I believe it did also test me of how much I care for my patient in any setting and cases. I am a nurse now in my country (Philippines) and hopefully work in the US soon with a true heart of giving care to my patients. I believe I could sincerely serve my future patients because life is important as how God treasure and value life.

I hope that this article would enlighten all healthcare givers. May this article reminds us always that we are given a very good privilege to serve, care and above all love our patients no matter what race and which country he or she from.

Have a nice day to all!!

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Specializes in geriatrics, er, home health, admin.

while me and wife we're reading your article, we couldn't stop laughing our heads off! just imagining what you and your classmates went through... oh my... lol

The comprehensive care includes all areas of people, including culture, we try to provide holistic care, be empathetic, no doubt, for a case like this, you had to have empathy, putting yourself in the patient. Do not forget also the person to person relationship that teachers are trained to deliver care at the time, regardless of this.

Alumna Enfermería UMAG

It is of great importance and transcultural nursing today given the high mobility of people from one country to another for various business job etc. and modern communication technology and transportation, it necessarily interested in other cultures and learn to know them as this allows us to deliver quality care managing to satisfy the needs of users, while we as nurses feel rewarded and consistent with our actions and thus be recognized by users and their families.

Paulina Marquez S.

Maria Paredes M.

Universidad de Magallanes.