Did you miss the latest #WeNurses chat discussing making every contact count? Let us sum it up for you…
I recently had the need to go to my local surgery to see the practice nurse. I was due a Hepatitis B booster and I must say I was rather impressed. Whilst I was there the nurse asked me all sorts of questions, from my general health and fitness to checking when I had my last cervical smear. I found myself smiling as I recognised that she was very adeptly making every contact count. But is this something that all of us nurses do? And is it even important that we do make every contact count? This subject was suggested as a #WeNurses discussion by @RobWebster_LCH and @AnitaRolfe:
At the start of this chat @WeNurses asked if making every contact count is this something that chatters thought was realistic.
@AdamRoxby tweeted “Frankly no. It’s something we would like to do of course but maybe I’m a cynic” he went on to add “I don’t think it’s a time thing. I wonder if it’s just an unobtainable aspiration. A utopia we should try and reach”
@cherylwilson2said “I think it really is dependant upon your work place environment”
@VivJBennett added “My job to get understanding of what nurses can do with our huge contacts to improve public’s health”
@dmarsden49 then asked “Is this not an opportunity to enable all of us to consider how care is delivered slightly differently?” and went on to explain “I was asked whether I thought a pt with learning disabilities should be allowed to go off the ward for a cigarette. I asked the nurse whether we had asked whether he had considered giving up, as many people do in hospital!”
@VivJBennett the asked “How can nurses embrace those ‘teachable moments’?”
@DGFoord answered “We need to move beyond ‘chatting about general health’ & use targetted personalised health improvement interventions”
@JulieVuolo tweeted “Need to be able to think on the spot about the impact they are or can have in any given situation (reflect-in-action)”
@JulieVuolo then answered “Reflection-in-action a skill that takes time and experience to acquire”
@WeNurses the asked participants “So what are the simple things we can do to make every contact count?”
@skimmingstones1 tweeted “Small steps-strong leadership, peer support, time to reflect and learn provides impetus for change”
@JulieVuolo stated “Know what the positive health messages are e.g. reducing obesity and smoking and role model the messages”
@DGFoord suggested “Release time to care, take opportunities spontaneuosly & plan organised, evidence-based health promotion interventions.”
@VivJBennett added “And believe it is within our responsibility role and skill set?”
@TildaMc said “Think we can only give information ,patient choice to pursue change. Support if changes being made”
RockLobster02tweeted “Nurses won’t be alone delivering this initiative, but all staff at all levels delivering same messages about self care”
One of the tweets that really stood out for me towards the end this chat was when @JulieVuolo stated “Maybe keep the Olympic ‘can do’ mentality going, after all the opening ceremony showcased the NHS to the world”
I think that is exactly what we need to do in relation to initiatives such as making every contact count. Nurses need to start to think that we can - and will - achieve this.
The practice nurse I saw was obviously very skilled at ensuring that her contact with her patients was valuable time well used. I think that we can achieve a lot if we approach change and initiatives with an open mind and a ‘can do’ attitude. Often, it is about being smart - talking about the things that matter and can have an impact. Despite being asked a multitude of questions during my consultation I actually came away as a patient who felt valued and cared for, and as a nurse inspired to think how can I make every contact count in my own practice..