Sunday, April 17, 2011

remember me? the patient?

It feels like lately the patients are being lost in the shuffle. Caring for the patients that is. In our efforts to have bigger machines, accredidations, number one ratings we are forgetting what is probably the most important thing: the fact that people want to feel cared for. Nurses can't really sit and talk to a patient anymore. We don't have time. We are too busy filling in the blanks, dotting the Is, crossing the Ts. We are troubleshooting the myriad of machinery. We are completing the educational things we are supposed to do when we have TIME. We are looking at the 10 emails we get daily explaining all the changes.

The employer spends a lot of time now a days wanting the employee to do things. Things like giving financial incentives to get physicals, blood tests, taking stress reduction classes. Now they want us to become community volunteers. They want us to change uniforms.

This is all really nice and everything, but with all of these distractions the patient gets little of my attention. It would be interesting to see how much time a nurse actually spends with a patient during a shift. I would be willing to bet it is very little.

Hospitals make over their facilities to look like hotels, putting in feng shui elements, fireplaces, wood floors. They change how food is given to patients every six months. Administrators visit patients.

I would be willing to bet that if you asked a patient what is most important about their stay it is feeling like somebody cared and listened. Thats being lost in the shuffle of competition.


rnraquel said...

I hear ya. We just got through the uniform change. Now we are in the middle of annual mandatory education with many dozens of lovely computer based modules and quizzes to complete. Plus, it seems we average about 1 new form a month, at least, that we have to fill out and put in the chart. The poor patients don't understand all this. They just know they are getting ignored more.

Cartoon Characters said...

Unfortunately, the patient usually gets to talk more to the cleaning lady than the nurse....

kcalohagirl said...

You just articulated what I've been feeling for months now!

Mark p.s.2 said...

"if you asked a patient what is most important about their stay it is feeling like somebody cared and listened"
You are a very smart/good nurse!