Keep It Basic. My Nursing Philosophy

Keep It Basic. My Nursing Philosophy

How many times you asked a patient if they needed anything, only to be met with the request of something so mindlessly simple. In those times, I find myself trying to distinguish the difference between my role as a nurse, and a flight attendant or waitress. Not to dock on any of those professions, as we all know they face similar challenges that nurses face when dealing with the general public. Regardless, the requests are usually very simple: 

"Can you move the phone closer?"

"Can you help me dial this number?"

"Can I take a shower today?"

"Can you allow some quiet time for me to take a nap?"

Every time I hear a request like this, I can't help but think how easy it can be to help someone feel better. When they FEEL better, they get better.  This leads me to my next point:

My personal nursing philosophy just recently came to me, like a light bulb EXPLODING above my head! Here it is:

If my patient received tests, treatments, medications, and therapies, and they AREN'T starting to feel better by the second or third day? This tells me as a nurse, that I need to stop and go back to the basics. What are we not doing for this patient that is normal to them on a daily basis? I go through the following checklist in my head:

  • Hot Shower?
  • Sunshine and fresh air?
  • A meal of choice?
  • Have they connected with family or friends?
  • Have the gotten outside of the room?
  • Have they laughed?
  • Have they revealed anything about themselves other than why they're in the hospital?
  • Style their hair and makeup? Shaved?

If the answer is NO to most of the above questions, then I make it a priority to accomplish ONE or ALL of these in my shift (if I can). Now, I understand that clinically, I need to stay focused on the science of their diagnosis, and at times I am guilty of focusing too much on the art of nursing because I know I'm good at it. However, I find that subjecting my patient to tests and treatments similar to the lifestyle of a lab rat without any reprieve to their normal habits it not therapeutic for them at all.

The human condition requires connection and purpose. When you take away someone's purpose, even for a short period of time (for example, a brief hospital or rehab stay), they start to whither away, starting at the soul and working its way into the body and mind. By rejuvenating the soul, you can rejuvenate and heal the body and mind. 

My nursing philosophy is grounded in many of the caring practices that constitude the nursing process. My philosophy is what makes me unique as a nurse. Keeping it basic is what I find myself resorting to when I see a patient in need, and I have to say... it works like a charm. 

What is your nursing philosophy? Share below!

An Ode to Physicians

An Ode to Physicians

The R in SBAR

The R in SBAR