I have been a nurse for over 12 years
I can categorically say that I changed in every aspect of my nursing 4 years ago. I started to see things from the other side, from the patient’s side. The side where people talk about you, not to you. The side where you are interesting, only because you are rare. The side where information is withheld; to seemingly protect you.
More recently, I have unfortunately experienced the side of the worried family member. I am proud to say that I am that annoying family member that asks too many questions, that requests the patients notes, that demands to see the scans. That complains. That writes a list of questions to ask. I remember feeling frustrated at family members like me. I remember gathering with my peers and talking about that annoying family member; I remember when visiting hours couldn’t end quicker so “I could just do my job”
I am a different nurse now. I understand more now. I am the patient, I am the annoying family, I am the nurse. I know now that my job involves more than the care plan, the drugs, the dressings, the showers and washes. More than a timeline of tasks. I still get frustrated, but with more understanding.
Clint is sick.
I am worried.
And because I am worried, I have become an even more annoying family member. I am so frustrated. I’m frustrated at practitioners not giving us all the information. We get told small snippets of information and then we worry. We get sold the ‘bright side’ and the get told “it’ll be ok.” I was guilty of this. I was guilty of making big problems seem smaller to ‘help’ the situation. Truth is, it helps the practitioner. It doesn’t always help the patient. It doesn’t help Us make tough decisions. Knowledge is power. To all my medical friends and contacts please don’t’ withhold knowledge. Just be honest. Consider if the shoe was on the other foot.