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Other End of Stethoscope

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1Other End of Stethoscope Empty Other End of Stethoscope on Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:39 pm


"The Other End of the Stethoscope" has been influential for me as I have cared for my patients for the past 8 weeks. He reminded me of how "human" my patients are and that they're just not another patient on the census. I'm reminded of why I entered this profession. I am reminded that they are individuals, loved by family and friends. I am reminded of the purpose of a relationship with my patient and that they need someone there to help take care of them.

1. "Watch Dog". The book describes Marc's watchdog as a possession that the patient holds onto for security or consistency. I don't think I've been a "watch dog" for a patient, but I have had a patient that had an old-fashion doll that she kept at her bedside at all times. She was in her late 50's or early 60's and the stuffed doll was what she kept with her throughout her whole hospital stay. It was something from her home that she could bring with her and provided fond memories that kept her at peace. Her family encouraged the staff to keep it in the bed with her and in the recliner so that their mother would be less anxious. I thought it was a great idea, because when a patient is outside their home for such a long time, they do need that comfort and consistency.

2. "Over-Apologize". Sometimes "I'm Sorry" is the first thing that comes out of our mouths, even if we haven't even done anything wrong. My first semester of clinical, I went into my patient's room and I felt like I had to go in there what seemed like every 2 minutes because I had forgotten to do something or ask a question to fill in for the data tools. I kept saying "I'm sorry", "I'm so sorry",and "I have to bother you again" that my patient said I was over apologizing and that she didn't mind me coming in to ask her questions. Then I felt bad for saying "I'm Sorry"!

3. "Rocking the boat". I had a patient that was in severe pain post-op abdominal surgery. It wasn't my turn to pass meds that AM with the instructor so I had to tell the primary RN that my patient was complaining of severe pain. Time had elapsed and there was nothing else I could do for my patient non-pharmacologically. I had to remind and approach the RN several times before my patient received her pain medication. I know that I was really bothering the RN but I had to get my patient comfortable and it was ok for, that I had to take the heat for my patient.

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