Caring Heart

Caring for patients (Photo credit: consensus.nih.gov)
Caring for patients (Photo credit: consensus.nih.gov)
Caring for patients (Photo credit: consensus.nih.gov)

Hi, my name is Jason. I’m a registered nurse since June 2006, but on my license its since 2007. I guess you have heard of what happened that year, but that’s not what I’m writing about. I am writing about what being a nurse really is all about. It has been seven months now since I started working as an agent in a call center, and the job pays well compared to working in a hospital here in the Philippines. And its is really sad to hear that a lot of good nurses are, if not working abroad, are working in a bank, as a medical rep, in real estates, in a call center, in a coffee shop and the worst is they don’t have a job at all.

Now, what does it take to be a good nurse? Is it being knowledgeable?  Is it being at the top of your class, or at the top of your batch? Is it being the top notcher on the board exam? It does count, but being a nurse is more than just that.

About two weeks ago at work, I had an asthma attack and my inhaler was left back at the house so I had to go to the clinic to be treated. When I arrived at the clinic, I immediately asked for a nebulizer to ease my difficulty in breathing. What the nurse did was let me sit, and he took out the nebulizer, set it up and turned it on. Afterwards, he handed me a paper to write my name my department, my complaint and what was given to me. Is that what being a nurse is? He is knowledgeable. He was able to provide me the right treatment for my difficulty in breathing, but something was still missing.

In an event that I had to go to a hospital, in the outpatient department, the nurse there called my number, let me sit on the chair, asked for my name, took my base line vital signs, asked what my complaint was and then told me to wait for my number to be called again to see the doctor. There was nothing wrong about what he did, but there was something missing. Have you figured out what is lacking? It seems that nursing is now only a routine—a job that you need to do. And that’s not what nursing is all about. It is about caring for your patients. Nursing is not just about giving the right medicine or giving the right treatment, but it is also about asking the patient what happened that led to the complaint, and giving advice on how it can be prevented from happening again. This is what has been missing. “Care”, it seems many do not care anymore.

“Going an extra mile” is a phrase I learned as a customer service representative. This will help the patient lower their anxiety towards their ailments or concerns, and they will feel that they are being cared for. Unlike what happened to me in the clinic, he could have asked me if I still needed some rest before I start taking calls again. It was like he doesn’t know how difficult it is to talk when one is having difficulty in breathing.

I think we should look back to the time when nursing started. It started to be a vocation and now as a profession, but we are still called health care providers, so let us not forget to show that we care for our patients.

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