The recent media coverage surrounding the ‘failings’ of nursing was at the forefront of my mind before I commenced my first placement as a student nurse.
During the previous six months my University lecturers had emphasised the importance of the integrating the 6Cs into the care you deliver. Despite the shortcomings and (in some cases) fatal errors that had been highlighted by recent inquests, I was convinced this was not a realistic image of nursing. Nurses would have chosen the profession because they were caring and compassionate; this is what I was hoping to witness.
”It was a display of person-centred care from the moment patients were admitted to the point of discharge - one I was proud to encounter and learn from.”
My first placement saw a variety of service users arrive for investigative procedures and stay whilst they recovered. The standard of nursing care these individuals received was clear from the overflowing notice board of thank-you cards displayed at the reception. It was a display of person-centred care from the moment patients were admitted to the point of discharge - one I was proud to encounter and learn from. However, it was a day spent in endoscopy following a patient’s journey that enabled me to best describe the 6Cs in action.
”By greeting him with a smile and offering him the chance to voice concerns she showed care for how the individual felt, and compassion towards him by attempting to calm his nerves.”
The first patient was an older man who was scheduled to have a bronchoscopy. From the moment he arrived with his wife at his side the nerves were clear to see. He was fidgeting and his eyes were restless. The staff nurse I was to spend the day with called him through from the waiting area, introduced us both and settled him on the bed. By greeting him with a smile and offering him the chance to voice concerns she showed care for how the individual felt, and compassion towards him by attempting to calm his nerves.
When asked what the bronchoscopy would involve and whether it would hurt, the staff nurse was able to give clear, confident, knowledgeable answers. This communication not only showed she was more than competent to assist with the procedure, but also appeared to ease the gentleman’s distress whilst the consultant prepared.
”This small gesture of compassion helped me understand how such clinical procedures can remain person-centred.”
Throughout the procedure there was another nurse present. Whilst one assisted the consultant with the technical side the other monitored the patient’s condition and supported him by holding his hand. This small gesture of compassion helped me understand how such clinical procedures can remain person-centred. The patient’s oxygen saturation levels were dropping below his target range of 88-92% and he was physically gagging due to the scope. It was a this point the nurse suggested that the procedure was ended as it was obviously proving difficult for the patient.
”Not only was she dedicated to the care she delivered, but also about the quality of care patients receive throughout their journey.”
Once the bronchoscopy was completed the patient was taken into a bay to recover from the sedative. Despite completing her role of assisting with the procedure, the staff nurse returned to him once he was more alert and informed him all had gone to plan and that he would soon be transferred to a ward to recover with observation overnight.
When I spoke to the staff nurse about her job it was evident how passionate she was - and how eager to ensure I did not leave with my questions unanswered. Not only was she dedicated to the care she delivered, but also about the quality of care patients receive throughout their journey. It is this that drives the 6Cs in practice. Every moment I see them in action I also see a nurse who loves their job and cares about how service users are treated.
Claire Beighton is a 3rd year adult nursing student at University of Derby