I was on my summer clinical in medical surgical ward. That was my first day of the clinical and I was assigned in Semi private ward. It is expected from a staff nurse to do the head to toe assessment of every patient to whom she has been assigned. Being a student nurse my initial responsibility is to help out the staff in her routine work and care for the patients as well. I started my work by helping the staff nurse in head to toe assessment of patients. It was going smoothly. We both did assessments of eight patients together and I was now feeling comfortable in doing the assessments.
As we went near to room 5, I smelled some obnoxious odor. We went inside the room. There was no patient on bed no 5-A. The nurse told me to wear gloves, gown and mask as the patient was on airborne and as well as on contact precaution. I obeyed her. When we removed the curtain from bed no 5-B, we were shocked to see a female patient who was bombarded with skin blisters all over her body. There wasn’t any skin on her body and her body was bleeding too. She was lying on a sterile Drape sheet and her body was covered from cradle, then again the drape sheet was covering the cradle.
That nurse and I left the room without any further inspection as that odor was unable to tolerate. Our rejected behavior was certainly inhumane and was not appreciated at all (Be it that patient or the Head nurse). Then we went to our TL and she told us all about that patient. I was surprised to know that she was suffering from a very fatal autoimmune Blistering Disorder- Phemphigus Vulgaris. She explained that out act did not represent a Nurse’s role. Then that day TL looked after that patient. For the next few days, TL kept me in the same area. Then slowly with the passage of time I came familiarized with that patient, and started taking care of her. After two weeks the patient recovered much better and faster and was shifted to another hospital in Quetta due to some financial reason.
Initially, I was so reluctant to deal with her because I never came across such a thing in my life, but then I gave this situation a second thought being a nurse so I felt ashamed and then I started feeling affiliated for her and got happy being with her.
Dr. IIeen Craven of Honor Society of Nursing states that all nurses, no matter how they practice, are there to ensure safe, effective, and empathetic patient care. They place the patients in the center of care and work with other healthcare professionals to ensure the outcomes of care which will be best for every patient.
O’Baugh et al conducted a study in a clinic in Sydney, Australia in 2003. The objective of this study was to determine how patients and nurses view ‘being positive’ and identify the different factors that influence this state of being. From this study it was stated that the overall attitude of the health care providers affects a patient’s general attitude and desire or will power
Let’s understand it with an interesting analogy between a nurse’s attitude and the environment by taking an example of going shopping. If you go into a shop to buy something and someone is there and they have a sad look on their face and you don’t get a word (out of them) so they are so negative in their attitude, it has a terrible effect on you. You don’t go back to the shop. Same is the scene with the patients and the healthcare professionals. Now when I look back, I realize that how childish I was in my behavior. If I were in her place I would have certainly felt so embarrassed because from a nurse (a caretaker) no one can expect such things.
A negative behavior is always the reason to mistrust of patients not only towards nurses and medical staff, but towards all the health care providers’. Being positive is very essential when dealing with patients. It not only helps in better recovery, but also establish a trusting attitude towards all health care providers.