This I Believe

Paige - Brewer, Maine
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“This I Believe”

I believe that the nurse’s role is crucial to patient recovery. Without adequate fulfillment of nursing care, the recovery of the patient may be compromised or unmet.

Nurses have several obligations to their patients, the highest obligation being to work with the patient in meeting their goals and outcomes for recovery. Nurses also serve many roles to the patient such as teacher, advocate, and communicator. If the nurse fails to convey one of these roles, patient care may not be at the highest level.

I observed these several roles of the nurse while I was caring for my grandmother in her home setting with the help of the local Hospice. My grandmother had ten children, all strong willed. As she held on those last few days, every family member had a different idea of what my grandmother’s final wishes were and how she should be cared for. My grandmother had her final wishes on paper and only some of the family members agreed with them. The hospice nurse acted as an advocate for my grandmother because she could not make all of the choices on her own. This nurse conveyed her wishes to all of the family and provided all of us with the reasons why my grandmother wanted certain wishes granted.

As we all cared for my grandmother, some of us had a healthcare background but most of us had no formal nursing education. The hospice nurse acted as a teacher by demonstrating simple procedures such as administering medications, changing her, proper wound care, and supplying us written instructions. If the nurse hadn’t taught me these proper techniques I can see where problems in my grandmother’s care would be compromised. Infection could have resulted from improper wound care, she may have gotten bed sores, or she could have suffered a fall from lack of knowledge on how to move and rotate her in the bed.

The most important role that I saw the hospice nurse play was communicator. With a family as large as mine, it is hard for everyone to be on the same page. The nurse took the time to explain in lay terms what my grandmother’s condition was and most importantly, helped my family express their feelings about coping with our loss. This nurse helped all of us come to terms with losing a wife, mother, friend, and grandmother. There was never a time that we questioned what state my grandmother was in, what was going to happen, or what we should do in certain situations.

I believe that my grandmother’s care was excellent. The nurse fulfilled each role she was obligated to do and as a result, my grandmother received wonderful holistic care. With the fulfillment of every role, the care given was to the highest standard not only to my grandmother but to my family as well. This nurse gave me the inspiration to become a nurse and gave me the belief that if a nurse fulfills his/her obligations than the recovery of the patient should be higher and of a better standard.