Archive for July, 2011

Putting our Patients First

July 15th, 2011 | General Nursing | 0 Comments

As a grad nurse, I’ve come to realize how difficult it can sometimes be to put your patients first.

Here I am, a “young grasshopper” (as one nurse once called me), new to the hospital, wanting to be accepted as a team member, wanting people to like me, and trying to learn this new routine. Sound familiar?  It has a lot to do with myself. The other day I ran into a conflict. I was working on a rehabilitation ward and another nurse and I were transferring a patient using a sliding board. It was a bit of a tricky transfer, but we eventually got the patient to the chair. Still in the room and in front of the patient, the nurse said, “I’m never doing that again. Other nurses can try, but I am never doing that again.” I was intimidated by this nurse and had been trying to gain her respect throughout the day, so I didn’t say anything to her about that comment.

I’m sure this comment made the patient feel horrible. When I think back on it now, I realize that I did not put that patient before myself. This patient could not speak, and therefore,could not say anything to the nurse herself. I was worried about what the Nurse might say to me if I stuck up for the patient. I realize now that I didn’t gain any respect from the Nurse by not saying anything, and I definitely did not make the patient feel any better by keeping my mouth shut. I guess this is why we wrote so many journals during school – to learn to critically think back on our experiences and say:

What happened?

So what?

Now what – what am I going to do differently next time?

I hope that this experience is enough to remind me every day to put my patient’s needs first and speak up! I also hope that my experience is a helpful reminder for you as well. We learn from other’s experiences, so if any of you have stories that you think we can all learn from, please share them on the discussion board!

Bree Martin – Saskatchewan