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1Last Post for the Semester Empty Last Post for the Semester on Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:39 pm


When I first heard of the book in which we have used to learn about true empathy for our patients, I was not very excited. But, after reading the book "Th Other End of The Stethoscope", I have changed many of my persecptions to patient care. For example, just looking through the eyes of someone that has been through so much helps me to understand what I need to do as a nurse. Empathy and compassion are the very reasons why people should want to be nurses or healthcare professionals in the beginning. So often I have approached situations from my point of view whether that is stressed out or thinking too much about other situations in my life. We as healthcare professionals should walk into our jobs every day thinking lastly that it is a job. This book has changed my perceptions to more than just nursing. In fact, it has changed much of my life outside of work/school and hopefully I'll never forget what its like to be on the other end of the stethoscope.

The "watch dog": I'm not entirely clear on the watch dog in literal sense. But I can tell you the general use for the term implies patient advocacy to me. We as student or professional nurses should always advocate for our patients. As a rule-of-thumb, empathy should be the primary tool utilized in the healthcare setting. Only by feeling the situation and paying close attention to the needs and wants of our patients can we effectively advocate for them. I know navigating through any unfamiliar territory is scary to say the least. But by having an advocate or "watch dog" can we make the process easier and facliltate better outcomes. My first clinical day I came in over prepared (if that's possible) and went through my patient's chart like ten times. I knew the patient had an allergy to a certain antibiotic and upon listening to the doctor, knew that he prescribed the wrong thing. I promptly walked up to the doctor and asked him about the medication error and he corrected himself. This is something that a watch dog must do in order to advocate for his patient's rights and safety.

Over apologize: I am probably the biggest offender of this unspoken rule. Often times when I am nervous or in a scary situation, I find myself apologizing about everything. People understand the first few apologies but after that comes the impression that you don't know what you are doing. I quickly learned to stop aplogizing when in an uncomfortable situation after my first month in clinical. I was taking care of a gentlemen with a rare bone cancer when I apologized about pulling him up and off the bedside toilet too fast. He winced in pain and I apologized to which he firmly stated "aww c'mon I'm not feeling sorry for myself, I'll be fine". I soon understood that apologies should be used only when you truly do mess up.

Rocked the boat: I was told a few weeks before nursing school that I should "fly under the radar" and "don't rock the boat". As a student we remain relatively submissive and reliant upon obedience to survive. I never felt like I had to rock the boat beacuse I was continuously put on exceptional units with great staffing. I could see instances where rocking the boat would be necessary but fortunately they never happened to me.

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