In nursing on many occasion there hardly seems time enough to perform the many task that we’ve been assigned to do. However, with all the numerous responsibilities we must carry out, we can never loose sight of our patient. Our primary concern must always be whatever the patient’s needs are. To determine this we must learn to be observant and willing to take the time and listen. Communication is both verbal and nonverbal. It involves both speaking and listening. Often times listening is just as important as the medication we administer.
Mr. P was a patient with a right thalamic bleed that rendered him unconscious, intubated, and without the use his left side. He had recently transferred from NICU to UNSN and while he had regained consciousness and was off the ventilator his left side remained weak. On the first day of taking care of Mr. P, I entered the room of an upbeat individual with a spirit of determination despite his physical limitations. He was fighting his way back. He had made miraculous strides since admission. In short, he was blessed to be alive. Mr. P had shared with me how he liked to build things, how he had been working on his cabin, literally building it with his own two hands. He had shown me photos of the work he had done thus far and how before this happen he was laying the roof.
This was my second day of taking care of Mr. P. I walked into his room ready to give his nightly dose of medication when I could see that he was visibly upset. On this particular night Mr. P had become emotional regarding his present state.
Mr. P. could no longer ambulate without assistance, open a milk carton without assistance, nor use the restroom without assistance. Every thing he attempted to do had to be done with the h...
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...ouragement and for listening and said that he had found the strength to go on.
Never underestimated the importance of taking the time to listen. Had I not took the time to listen and get to know Mr. P the day before, I never would have understood his strong need for independence or his desire to help others. I was able to help him channel his desire to help others and use it as motivation to stay the course in his own rehabilitation. Had I only been concern with the task of giving medications, I would have left his room, never allowing him the opportunity to voice his concerns. Our patients and their families experience life changing events. Think about how physically and emotionally devastating these events can be. We should take the time to listen to them and empathize with them. Who knows we just might be the source of encouragement and inspiration they need.
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