Saint Basil states, "A good deed is never lost: he who sows courtesy reaps friendship; and he who plants kindness gathers love." As a nurse, one encounters numerous patients with a variety of personalities and disease processes. Recently, 3rd Surgical nurse Amy Fries cared for a very complex patient with many co-morbidities. Amy did not let those factors stop her from doing her job. Instead, she advocated for the patient even when the patient lost faith in herself.
This patient was admitted to the floor and felt quite ill for the first several days, not allowing her to be fully active with physical therapy. She suffered from weakness and chronic pain, leading her to become extremely fearful of walking and potentially falling. The patient was scheduled to attend therapy but was only agreeing to bedside care instead of working in the therapy room. Even though patients have diagnoses that lead them to be apprehensive, it is our job as nurses to remind them how strong they actually are.
Amy began caring for this patient over the weekend and made it her priority to work on making her stronger. Although the patient was still only agreeing to bedside therapy, Amy made sure that she was out of bed for every meal and working on her range of motion. Amy said that the patient was capable of walking and had no physical injuries to inhibit it; she just needed someone to be persistent enough to motivate her back to being healthy. The patient lit up when Amy cared for her and as a fellow co-worker, I could see the trust the patient had in Amy and the care she was providing.
Amy cared for the patient again Monday and decided early on in her shift that due to the progress the patient exhibited over the weekend, she definitely was strong enough to go to therapy. The patient did indeed make the trip to therapy but was not as successful as she previously had been. Again, Amy did not let the patient come back to the room and sulk. She helped the patient get in the shower, washed her up, combed her hair, and had her feeling like a million bucks!
Amy went out of her way to care for a patient who may be viewed as difficult, time consuming, or even non-compliant. I have always said nursing is so much more than physical assessments and medication administration, it is truly caring for the individual on their road to recovery. Amy was this patient's advocate. She made sure that the patient was working on her physical strength.
Amy was respectful of the patient's fears and concerns and utilized her own compassionate personality to assist the patient on her path to healing. Amy "sowed courtesy" and "planted kindness" that lead to a trusting nurse-patient relationship.