So what does care mean to me? That is a question I regularly ask myself. I think that care is a really subjective matter, some days care is needed more than others. Clearly there is a significant thought that nursing has lost “care” this is a result of numerous issues that have created a seismic shift in the NHS. We all know what I am talking about… Mid Staffs. Not a day goes by without it being mentioned in the news, “not another Mid Staffs”. My view is that very rarely do healthcare professionals intend to cause harm, the vast majority get out of bed every day to do their best and to care for patients at their most vulnerable time.
Today was a day that made me realise that care comes in many forms and one size doesn’t fit all. Today I witnessed a team of nurses make a patient feel at ease despite the fact that the patient was leaving a ward after many weeks being cared for and felt like one of the family, they made that patient feel at ease despite the incontinence that had happened. They made that patient laugh, they listened, cheerfully got on with the job, protected this persons dignity and involved them fully in the care being delivered. It made me immensely proud.
Today I witnessed nursing staff work with a patient to play a practical joke on other nursing staff and the patients family. The patient had communication issues and had been through major surgery that prevented them from being able to talk. The nursing staff helped the patient to have fun and show their wicked sense of humour. The patient clearly enjoyed the fun nature of what was happening and was laughing whilst jumping out on me from behind a door! It was great to see my nursing staff putting the patient at the heart of what they do, caring for their patient with dignity and respect. It made me realise and put into context the difficult days and the tough decisions.
What did I learn about care today? Care isn’t just about holding a hand in difficult situations or a physical act, it isn’t about what we want, it is about what the patient wants, after all without the patient there is no care to give.
For all you nurses out there, what did you do today that showed you care?
Senior Nurse 85 is a Senior Nurse in the North of England. This is a personal view on nursing in the NHS and does not represent any views on behalf of my employer or the NHS as a whole.