Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Not WHAT we do but the WAY we do it

I am having a lovely relaxed New Years Day (mainly sheltering from the West Midlands grotty rain!) but hav been "seized" again by a comment made by a patient on a programme I am currently watching.  Having been away from critical care nursing for so long - it is frustratingly agonizing to watch the various ER programmes available and long to be involved!

The programme in question this first evening of 2014 is "Kings Cross ER: St Vincents Hospital" in Sydney, Australia.  11 years in nursing doesn't stop me watching with my toes curled as the ER team treated a poor young man who got stabbed in a nightclub in Sydney.  An ultrasound revealed that the knife pierced the left ventricle and he was bleeding out into the pericardial sack.  The cardiovascular surgeon was too far away by car to be present to save his life so the ER team looked as though they were going to have to perform the life-saving procedure by mobile phone.  Fortunately the young man managed to cope until the surgeon arrived and he was taken to theatre.

The next programme showed our young man re-admitted with possible infection and shortness of breath - and it was a thrill to see he survived the trauma!  However I was fascinated to note the one comment he made about his awareness of the life-saving surgery he had.  He said this;

"I remember hearing the voice of a lady doctor.  She kept telling me I would be okay.  She sounded like she had the voice of an angel".

It struck me again as we enter 2014 - healthcare workers have a UNIQUE privilidge in what we do in caring for patients and families often at their lowest point.  And yes - our patients and their families arrive at the point of care needing something - the care they can only get often from us.  But my point is this - the WAY we deliver that needed care is something that will stick with them for ages to come - far more than the care they needed.  We need both!  From Chief Nurse Jane Cummings "6Cs" - care and compassion run hand in hand.

A good New Year's resolution for all of us who may have the privilidge to care for patients in 2014?!

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