This I Believe

Regine - 47304, Indiana
Entered on October 12, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I like to care for my patients, and I really think that I can make a difference in their lives just by teaching them what is missing in their lives to be healthy. I know that is sometimes very challenging to do especially if the teacher role I am assuming is not sure of she was saying. A week ago, I was assigned to an asthma patient who is a heavy smoker. My teaching plan was to educate her of the effect on cigarettes on the body and especially on the asthma attack she was having. I am myself a smoker and really enjoy it dearly even though I hear, read, see and witness a lot bad things about cigarette smoking. I gather all my teaching equipment, journals, tape, and pictures to her room. As I start my teaching, patient was a little distracted by not paying attention to my presence. As I was talking about the negative effect of cigarette smoking and how it is imperative for anyone not to try to smoke in the first place, my patient looked me straight in my face, and said: “You know that it is not true all the things you are telling me, because you just smoked yourself and I can smell you”. It was embarrassing; I felt a sword in the stomach. I was shocked and speechless. I admitted to her that I was making the same error she made and I should quit. The teaching plan ends in an awkward way. I was not able to convince her to stop smoking. I really did not bring any change to her thoughts. I gave her the package about smoking cessation and I left. It was awful, and I decided to quit smoking even without help. I believe that I should be a role model to my patients. I should not teach something that I am not convinced that it is good to do. I believe that as a nurse, I should be displaying good manners everywhere I go. I also believe that people are looking at me as somebody who can help them to live a healthy lifestyle. I strongly believe that my teaching will be successful in that I was not a smoker myself.