Stories from the hArt April 25, 2017 | 0 Comment

One experience that really stood out to me was a sort of ‘déjà vu’ experience … about a patient that is not a chronic frequent flyer, but that was making her 3rd visit to the ED in a week. I cared for her exactly one week prior to that morning and she was presenting with the exact same complaints and symptoms because she was continually missing dialysis.

My initial experience caring for this patient got off to a good start, but as the patient’s demands and expectations were not met with the highest priority and promptness on my part as the busy day became much more busy, the interaction and communication between myself and the patient became frustrated and tense. The patient felt that she was not getting the care and attention she needed from me and I felt that she was being unreasonable and rude with her demands that were far from high priority (from a nursing perspective).

When the patient presented to the ED again a week later for the exact same reasons, I decided to take a different approach. I made myself responsible for the energy that I brought into the room, approached the patient with a clean slate and remained mindful of ‘RLR’. By doing this the patient and I both had a much better day and experience working together. We were able to avoid becoming frustrated with each other as I acknowledged her requests and validated her concerns, and let her know they were important to me even if I was not able to address them right away because of the need to prioritize patient care. I made more of an effort to involve her in her care, I asked for her input and empowered the patient so she felt in control and more confident in my nursing care.

By doing these things I was able to completely change the experience I had with the patient the week prior. It would have been very easy for this ‘déjà vu’ patient experience to go exactly as it did the week before (or even worse), but I realized that with very little effort and conscious kindness I was able to create a ‘change of world moment’ for that patient.

– As told by Rose, an Emergency Medicine Registered Nurse (RN)

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