So, Megen wrote this post recently about “Therapeutic Presence.” The following passage really caught my attention:
Question is: are there more things in nursing, Horatio, than science can explain? Can we touch patients and zap them with calmness or take away their pain? Can we, by our mindset during our provision of care, substantially affect our patients’ outcomes? Can any of this be taught? Can we do it on purpose? I don’t know. That situation has captured my attention, though, because the flip side must also be true—if I despise my patient, she can probably tell that too, regardless of how tightly I’m controlling my behavior.
Little backstory: A few weeks ago I had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Basically, a very nice surgeon made a few incisions into my abdomen, inserted a camera and some wrenches or something, and took my gall bladder out. I had never had surgery before. Never been intubated. I have been on “the bed side” quite a few times, but never for surgery.
A week elapsed between the time we decided to do surgery and the time the surgery actually happened. It was a really hard week for me as I was very anxious about the whole thing. I’m not even sure what exactly it was that I was nervous about. I Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at code blog - tales of a nurse*
Nostalgia for the house-call
Not too long ago, I made a house call. As a physician accustomed to working in the emergency department of a hospital, this was quite a change of pace. But it involved dear friends and their sick child, and it was a joy. We had spoken on the phone and I had some concerns about their infant, who was stricken with a high fever. When I went to their home I took only my stethoscope. That and my experience as a physician and parent of four.
When I walked through the door on Friday evening there were candles burning as dinner was prepared. There were no florescent lights. There was none of the chaos of a waiting room. No ambulances idled outside. No bloody, angry drunk screamed profanities. No one was stood by their exam room door, arms crossed in annoyance with waiting. It was a quiet place to be; and the child, on his worried mother’s hip, was quiet as well. He was in a place where he felt safe and was thus able to tolerate my poking and prodding.
I examined him and decided that he was not seriously ill. Because his mother had described him as lethargic when we spoke, I had been concerned that he might have meningitis. This was not actually the case. His parents and I were obviously relieved.
After he was dosed with ibuprofen and put to bed, I chatted a while with his mom and dad, then left for home. As I drove home I realized that Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at edwinleap.com*