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Interacting With Patients articles

Interacting With Patients

Congratulations! It’s Nurses Day. You’ve made it through another year—or perhaps you’re inching your way through your freshman year. While you’ve experienced the joy of changing patients’ lives, you no doubt have encountered daily struggles and frustrations that most people in other professions would crumble because of.

Enjoy a hearty chuckle at the fun poked at the not-so-glamorous parts of nursing. The list has been around [...]
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Interacting With Patients
It’s not quantity, it’s quality.

As a new nurse, your goal is to make a difference. You want to heal people. You want to engage with patients, communicating to them your professionalism and that you care. But countless tasks and a steep learning curve may prevent you from the patient interaction you were expecting. According to Donna Cardillo, considered to be the “guru of career development” for new nurses, this [...]
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Interacting With Patients
How nurses can help patients who need extra emotional support.

You can’t meet each patient’s emotional needs. You’d never be able to leave your work behind. Or get anything done. But there are times when some patients need a little extra support and will drop hints to get you to respond.

What are those hints and how do you sensibly help? Read this interview with RealityRN Senior Advisor CeCe Grindel, PhD, RN, CMSRN, FAAN, to learn [...]
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Interacting With Patients
How to get your patients out of their funk.

Leslie Gibson’s patient had gotten the boot from her nursing home. The 96-year-old crotchety woman commonly assailed nurses with bare-knuckled blows. Once home, neighbors witnessed the elderly woman’s emotional crash—and called in Leslie, a visiting nurse at the time, for support.

When Leslie first met her cranky patient, she saw that pain, anger, and confusion shrouded any vivacity that might have once been present.

Leslie had a [...]
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Interacting With Patients
How to find the right balance.

Reports, charting, administering drugs, assessments, tidying up, more charting, and more reports—and no meaningful interaction with the patient.

Suzanna’s first year was a nightmare.

Suzanna, a new nurse on a pediatric ward, didn’t like having to live by the laundry list of to-dos. She was most fulfilled spending time with patients, making sure both their emotional and physical needs were met.

The bottom line: You can’t be a [...]
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Interacting With Patients
An interview with Kathy Quan, RN, BSN, PHN, on managing patients’ families.

“I don’t think we should continue heroic measures.”
“I want a third opinion!”
“That’s not the way the last nurse did it.”
“My sister needs more water, more pain medication, and clean sheets…now!”
“How long does my son have to live?”

Questions. Capricious emotions. Absurd demands. More questions. And plain cold criticism. Often serving families of patients is more taxing than treating the patients. Kathy Quan, a veteran nurse [...]
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Interacting With Patients
How a new nurse serves cranky patients.

On the day of his surgery, Mr. Grumpafagus, the quintessential grouchy old man, was wickedly crabby. He griped about the cold food, the stiff bed, the spin on television, government conspiracies, and the overpaid doctors.

Most nurses avoided him, busying themselves with pre-op. Even the anesthesiologist warned Mallory, a second year surgical nurse, “Watch out for this one.”

Earlier, Mallory had picked up that he was in [...]
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Interacting With Patients
Staying professional in the midst of suffering.

It was one of those days in the pediatric intensive care unit you’d love to forget.

One child, a 6-month-old girl, was in a vegetative state, both blind and deaf.  Her mother decided it was too painful to have any contact with her and had stopped visiting. The little girl’s father wanted everything done to save her.

One morning, five minutes after Jana, a second year nurse, [...]
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