But what led me to write this is post is not just the obvious things they do, but the assortment of little thinks they do that make having to spend time at the hospital a little less of a drag for me. In short, these nurses provide humanizing care that helps me and I am sure other patients get through difficult health problems.
So many examples come to mind. I am thinking of one nurse in particular who hugs me upon my arrival. We share stories about our families and recent events in our lives. When she finally met my husband, she was excited to put a name to his face and now asks about him every time I’m there. I am not made to feel like just another patient or a nuisance, which has been the case in many other hospital situations I have had. It seems to bother her more than me when she puts in my IV. She goes as far to apologize when she puts the needle in and especially if she has to do it a second time. I know she really does care and such compassionate treatment is rare and truly makes a difference in how a patient feels.
I often observe how she and her co-workers talk to other patients as well. It is really they who explain the side effects of medications and treatment in an understandable way from what I can see. On many occasions, I have heard other patients thanking these nurses for telling them something that they had no idea about or didn’t quite understand after their visit with their physician. It is this rapport and relationship building that makes patients comfortable enough to ask a question and share information about a medical problem they are having, and as a result, better medical care occurs.
At the same time, I believe the welcoming atmosphere that the nurses create fosters an overall sense of camaraderie among patients at the infusion center. I have my regular cross word puzzle buddy who is a grandmother, 40 years my senior. There is my friend who accompanies his mother for infusions who started to bring me free movie tickets when he learned that I was a fan. Patients share cookies they have baked. You get the picture.
I do wonder if others have had similar experiences. I am also curious if anyone has tried to track the effectiveness of various infusions centers, with patients receiving the same treatments. I have to believe that the quality of the nursing care in the way they administer treatments, solve problems, and answer questions can really make a difference. I am certainly grateful for the nurses who treat me and try to let them know it every chance I get.