When one thinks of the act of caring, they often relate this word to displaying kindness or a concern towards others. The public often think of a caring individual in relation to a nurse. Nurses are individuals specifically trained and educated to care for individuals in healthcare related settings that are sick or infirm. Needless to say, nursing is seen as a professionalization of the human capacity to care. Nurses spend four years of their lives to be educated to care by giving attention and concern, supportive communication and acts of being present to regards to a patient, in order to meet the requirements outlined by the province in order to obtain their nursing license. The years of education are required, so when nurses begin to work, can help their patients improve their wellbeing.
A nurse demonstrates the role of caring when putting much concern into planning and evaluating a patient. An adequate amount of attention must be put into planning and the evaluation of specific individuals, in order for the patient to receive effective and efficient care interventions to improve their health. A nurse must first identify an underlying issue that has brought the patient to a decreased health status. They will bring these findings to a physician, who will suggest certain measures to be taken. The nurse must put these methods into action by applying it the patient. Taking time to see the outcome of said actions then requires patience. If the patients’ health begins to improve, the planning was effective, but if the individual’s health was still declining, the same process would be put into action again and again until the patient is able to get better. These steps taken are comforting for the patient because they know the nurse has their best interest at heart, which is perceived as caring.
Supportive communication is an essential method taught to make patients feel connected to the nurse. Through feelings of connectedness, we are able to feel cared for by other individuals. When patients are feeling negative emotions such as; depression, anxiety, vulnerability, etc., which is often the case as they are in unfamiliar settings and feeling uncertain in aspects to their health, using supportive communication can aid to decrease these reactions. Supportive communication consists of using words, touch and encouragement. Using words and touch can be reassuring for the patient that they are in safe hands and the situation they are enduring is under control. Giving encouragement with your words helps human beings to feel like we have acquaintances on our side and we aren’t in this big world alone. Having a nurse use these methods of supportive communication can help the patient feel calm, which in terms will bring on a sense of relaxation and trust in the nurse.
When being present, we often think of the physical aspect of this but do not realize it goes further than this. When nurses give their presence to patients, it is comforting. The practitioner is open, exposes themselves to difficult situations/experiences and is professional in a way that they can become personally involved with patients and their families without crossing any boundaries to establish they are caring for the patient through presence. The nurse is present by allowing the patient to get to know a side of her she does not show to everyone. When a nurse shows presence, patients feel the nurse wants to be there with them and genuinely cares about them. When not being present, it can make the patient feel as though they are a waste of the nurse’s time and bring on feelings of abandonment.
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