I believe in comfort and laughter as tools in the heeling process.
As a young girl, I knew that I wanted to be a nurse. I loved taking care of dolls, and tending to people in need. Although I loved caring for others, I never understood what else it took to be a generally great and effective nurse. I would think about the long road of schooling that it took, and that I would have to understand different skills and be able to use them quickly in different situations. I was clearly only thinking of the things that can be taught in the classroom. What I have learned is that sometimes it is the non textbook experiences with a nurse that are the most memorable.
At the age of nine, I experienced the dreadful repercussions of head trauma. It involved me falling off the back of a four wheeler and losing my short term memory for over a year. During my stay in the hospital, when I had awoken from the coma, I remember being confused. I was just a girl who had no idea as to what happened, and all I wanted was the comfort and love of my mother. I wanted nothing more than to be held, and to feel as though someone was caring for me. Nurses would come in and out, always with something different to do to my body. Did they realize that I was even in the room? Did they understand that they were caring for a human being with feelings just like theirs? Would a couple seconds of eye contact, and a simple “How are things going today?” be inappropriate? I wish, looking back at that moment in my life, that someone was there for me emotionally, and was there to listen even if I didn’t want to talk.
The hardest thing to do in an upsetting and difficult time is to try and make light of the situation. I have been through some tough things in my life, but have found that laughter always helps. When I was a freshman in high school, my house burned to the ground, but making fun of the situation actually helped me cope with the fact that I had nothing. The comfort of my friends and family were what mattered in these situations. I believe that applies in nursing as well.
Obviously a nurse has the duty to care for patients, but taking the time to make him or her comfortable is what they will remember. The smile that you give patients as you exit the room, or the little joke you tell while providing an injection will make a difference in their day. I believe that no matter the situation, you can always make the moment with a blanket of comfort and a touch of laughter.
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