I chose to become a nurse because I wanted to take care of people, not just give them a plaster and send them out the door.
sangeeta borkar cropped
Nurses are often able to spend more time with their patients than many other healthcare professionals. This allows them to get a pretty good picture of what is going on with the mind and body and I agree with the quote, “The greatest gift you can give someone is your time.”
The more time you’re able to give, the better your care will be. For example, if you take the time to talk to your patients, you might be able to gain more information about how their illness is affecting them. If you take the time to clean your patient’s room or throw away unlabelled IV tubing, it decreases the risk of injury and infection.
”The more time you’re able to give, the better your care will be”
During my critical care placement, I nursed an elderly patient who was admitted for another reason, but complained of chronic, bilateral leg pain.
She said she had had pain in her legs for many years and even the slightest touch would send her wailing. She was immobile and on bed rest, making it difficult to conduct a full head-to-toe assessment and give her a bath. There was nothing in her chart about damaged skin or ulcers, and she did not complain of pain in her feet.
She had been in the hospital for a few days before I took care of her so I wasn’t the first person to see her. However, apparently no one had removed her socks for the past few days.
During her bath, I took off her socks as gently as I could to wash her feet and found ulcers on both feet!
I notified the RN and she came in to examine the patient and handled it from there. The most important thing that I took away from this encounter is not to assume that others have done as thorough a job as expected, and always take the time to do the minor tasks like bathing patients, giving them clean clothes, and make sure all their concerns are addressed.
It was a mistake that was easily overlooked, but could have had very serious consequences.
Sangeeta Borkar is in her senior year styding adult nursing at Chamberlain College of Nursing