UNDERSTANDING THE SCIENCE OF COMPASSION AND CARING IN NURSING
Whenever a nurse assumes his/her professional responsibility, he/she must compulsorily show compassionate and caring attitude towards nursing clients . IT DOES NOT MATTER WHETHER YOUR PERSONALITY IS NATURALLY EVIL OR NOT. Yesterday, Lead Nurse Africa posted an article titled “are nurses made or born?” The truth is that nurses are both made and born. In modern context, the caring and compassionate aspect of a nurse has become a scientific action which a nurse is “required” to demonstrate (fake it if that is the only way you can do it ) in order to properly manage negative psychological manifestation of patients, induced by their illnesses. Anxiety is a stressor that depresses immune system, thereby, affecting patient’s recovery. In fact, anxiety might be the reason why the patient is in the hospital in the first place, though he may have been diagnosed of a medical condition that tallied with the result of his medical investigations and history.
CASE NOTE: there was a case in a teaching hospital, of a man diagnosed with hypertension who is also having malaria. While the focus remained of medical diagnosis, he was not making any progress to the surprise of the medical team. Then a male nurse developed a therapeutic relationship with this man, became his close friend and confidant through his “science of caring and compassion”. After two days, the sick man revealed to the male nurse, “THAT HIS SICKNESS STARTED WHEN HE RETURNED FROM WORK ONLY TO DISCORVER THAT HIS WIFE HAD LEFT HIM ALONG WITH THEIR KIDS”. This was information he never revealed to the doctors during routine medical history and he was not going to share his pain/shame with anyone until the nurse became his new guardian angel at the hospital. After documenting this information in nursing history, the nurse along with his team EMPATHIZED with him, they didn’t ask why they left, they just reassured him that God will take care of everything with faith, all he need to do is fight for his family and recover so he can be with them again. Obviously, it was a huge relief to the man, talking to somebody about his real problem. Few days later, the nurses collected the wife phone number from him, called the woman (who have not showed up since his admission) and convinced her to visit the man at the hospital with the kids. The day she came with their kids, his vital signs recorded the best value since his admission. Three days later, he has fully recovered and was awaiting his discharge letter. The wife has since forgiven the poor man and was now spending the night with him at the ward.
Analysis: on receiving the news of his family departure, this man went into depression which automatically crashed his system. The malaria was a result of his compromised immunity due to depression and his hypertensive symptoms was psychologically induced. But because his late father is a known hypertensive, genetic became the only factor recognized in his medical history. Once the primary cause of his problem was taking away after reuniting with his wife and kids, He became emotionally stable and free from depression, hence, his subsequent recovery. He could have died if he had not received nursing care from a nurse that understood the relevant of science of compassion and caring in nursing actions.
Therefore, in nursing training, emphasis should be made on science rather that “a good person making a good nurse”. We must ensure that even a Jezebel inculcate the value of this caring science and implement it in practice. Patients and their relations actions and manners might be infuriating, but that does not permit a nurse to react in anger. If you understand as a nurse, that patients and their loved ones are being affected psychologically by the burden of their illness, the social and the economic trouble that it has brought upon them, you will never raise your voice on them for any reason. You will know how to inform, correct, direct, execute clinical procedures and manage crisis without “appearing rude or aggressive”.
Let us put it simply …”A RUDE AND AN AGGRESSIVE NURSE IS UNEDUCATED AND THEREFORE A QUACK NURSE EVEN WITH HIS/HER CURRENT LICENSE”. This is because such actions are highly unprofessional and does not demonstrate an understand of science of nursing. The concept of a man as a psychophisiological being has stated that both the psychological and the physiological component of a man must be stable for that man to be stable. A more holistic view describes man as a physiological, psychological and a spiritual being. Should anything goes wrong with one, the rest will be in crisis. Therefore an educated nurse does not “expect” a sick patient to be reasonable and considerate, rather he/she “intends” to nurse the sick patient to normal where a demonstration of reasonable characters becomes one of the key indications of recovery depending on the medical condition and the patients reactions to illness. You would discover that most patients after recovering usually apologize for the trouble they caused while they were sick. If they recover and realize that they were treated like animals because of the pain that nurses where suppose to help them to manage, they usually go out to the society and rebel nurses as devil incarnate. They won’t be wrong, because such nurses are disgrace to the professionalism of nursing, they have demonstrated ignorant of nursing philosophy and have shamelessly failed in their social contract.
Observation of vital signs, administration of drugs, dressing of wounds etc are technical procedures which anybody can do, including an uneducated person after few days or months of training. Critical thinking in nursing is how you understand and make decisions while carrying out nursing actions and how you manipulate the environment physically and psychologically to improve patients outcome. This requires serious education and exposure.
I have never seen an angry air hostess, because the job required that you must smile whether you like it or not. Nurses must be forced to display proper nursing manners or lose their license as it has become the case in most civilized countries.
In African, even our most senior nurses still engage patients and their relations on shouting contest. It is unprofessional, it is unacceptable, and it must end. It simply means that we are still trapped in the stone age of nursing. We must understand the science of our actions, dispositions and reactions in our delivery of nursing care and adjust ourselves to be able to implement standard nursing care.
Lead Nurse Africa.