Early in this student’s preceptorship, she provided exceptional emotional support to a family member of our patient. The patient was a middle-aged man with developmental challenges. Due to fearfulness, he received significant doses of medication to maintain moderate sedation during his invasive procedure. Waking up took a long time during which he had unusual swings in behavior and severe hypotension.
His parents were his caregivers and deeply involved in his care. When his mother realized that we were concerned regarding his current blood pressure and level of consciousness, she became distraught. Her anxiety was making it difficult to provide care for her son.
In addition to helping keep the patient safe and helping protect his arterial puncture site as he gradually awakened, this student showed respect and honor and caring for this mother. Carefully and nonjudgmentally listening to her questions and fears, the student was able to give her comfort as well as begin the teaching process regarding risk factor reduction. Her presence and kindness helped create a healing environment for this family and gave them encouragement.