Stories from the hArt April 25, 2017 | 0 Comment

I first met my coach Caroline, who radiates positivity, kindness, and energy. I thought, is it really possible for someone to be this enthusiastic all the time. Caroline followed me through my interactions with 5 different patients. It was very refreshing to have someone only tell you the great things that you are doing. She told me about the techniques that I consistently demonstrated throughout the encounters that included courteousness/politeness, empathy, referring to the patient by name, setting and managing expectation, managing pain, and reassuring them.  I was actually a little shocked to see how Caroline described my experiences.

One of my experiences that Caroline observed was my colleague inserting a nasogastric tube. I walked into the room to assist her.  
She told me how I displayed a quiet grace and reassured the patient.
She also told me that in that moment I held the hand of the man who grabbed on to me, which he was visibly and verbally scared, and allowed him to be vulnerable at a very challenging time.
She told me how it was beautiful to see in its simplicity and in my engagement.

Another patient that I recall that day came in with stroke like symptoms and was having difficulty speaking.
She told me how I demonstrated empathy, which is something that I had been working on in all of my interactions.
In this experience she told me that my genuineness was evident when I took a patient’s hand and knelt down, without hesitation, while the patient expressed her fears multiple times.
She noticed that I held her hand and allowed the patient to be vulnerable, to cry, and to be herself.
She told me how I offered kind reassurance, referred to the patient by name and was gentle in asking questions while the patient was experiencing real-time clinical distress.
She told me that there was beauty in this powerful moment that visibly had a profound impact on the patient, her family members present, and herself.
I often don’t even realize when I use non-verbal communication by holding a patient’s hand or putting my hand on their shoulder. She made me aware of how this helps build a trusting relationship.

Caroline really brought awareness to my strengths and how impactful I am. She asked me what it was like to notice this and was able to connect these experiences back to me. I now acknowledge that these small interactions I have with my patients are a big deal and that I should feel appreciated.

She didn’t change me but helped bring out my best self. They held up the mirror to show me my strengths and I saw my magnificence.

– As told by Shira, a Registered Nurse(RN) and Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP-C)

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