My sharp witted Australian WWII Nurse mother-in-law took a fall this week, and was brought to the emergency room. As I waited, I quickly became grateful for mom’s nurse. Christian provided excellent care, and I quickly realized that he had the qualities we would all hope for in our nursing staff.
My observations brought focus to how quality nursing care is key with any patient encounter, and how it impacts the patient’s care perspective . Here are some of the key qualities he exhibited and how they served a reminder lesson on the importance of quality care, as well as how that care is perceived.
1. Patient advocate. Instead of only looking at and responding to orders, he approached mom’s care by treating her as a whole patient. Not only did this humanize her care experience, it brought concerns to light proactively. In any care setting, it’s easy to look only at the specialty or problem where we are focused , which may cause tunnel vision. Advocating for our patients can lead to better outcomes and happier patients.
Remember to advocate for our patients as needed and treat them as a person, not a diagnosis or procedure.
2. Care coordinator. When other needs were identified, he contacted the appropriate care professional to address those needs. It can be very easy to place a quick phone call to arrange further care for our patients, when our patients may struggle to get through voice mails and work through “medical speak.”
Take a minute to make to place a care coordination phone call to remove a task off the patient’s post-operative list, allowing to focus on healing.
3. Effective communicator. Our wait was better tolerated because we had realistic expectations as to what was to happen next and allowed a realistic picture of what to expect. We felt informed and included instead of pawns in a chess game.
Explaining the plan, time frame or the next step in the care process allows for an inclusive approach to care, and makes the patient feel respected.
4. Care Professional. Sounds like a given, right? If there were any personal conversations while mom was in his care , we were unaware, and the message was that care was the priority. Other care providers were having personal conversations that could be overheard, which was perceived as a distracted focus, and that care was being ignored or delayed. Perception is key, We all take time to have personal conversations while working, but waiting patients and caregivers have nothing to do but listen.
Hold personal conversations outside of patient’s hearing so the patient’s perception supports the quality care being provided.
Mom is still in hospital recovering, and we now face the challenges all children of aging parents endure. She continues to receive good care, and we are grateful to Christian and all mom’s great staff for possessing the qualities needed to provide quality, efficient care despite the challenging hurdles the healthcare culture can bring. If you are reading this, Christian, thanks! I know the qualities you possess in how you provide care can serve as a reminder to all of us, and I am grateful for all the superheroes who provide great care to patients every day.