How Long Can Compassion Last in Nursing?

Published 12/05/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

Spanish-nurses-005

Image copywrite unknown

Artical written by Helen Cowan, R.N. — Oxford, UK

Article taken from an Aysha Mendes Blog for International Nurses Day ayshamendes.com

Having been a nurse for 11 years, I have encountered and experienced tales of joy, inspiration, resilience, frustration, and the darkest despair. Nursing is a fascinating career in its variety of roles and depth of human understanding, and it’s an immense honour to come alongside a patient and make their life, or perhaps just that day, more manageable. This must be remembered when frustrations arise from all corners, sometimes becoming overbearing.

 Patients themselves, through no fault of their own, can test the patience, kindness and compassion of the best-intentioned nurse. In my current workplace, I can think of Martha, the desperately underweight, sad lady who refuses the best efforts to help her eat, or Phyllis, the lady with severe constipation who refuses all intervention, or Reginald, the stroke patient who refuses to believe he can ever get out of bed and so has remained bed-bound for 5 years despite the encouragement of the entire caring team. Then there is John, who shouts for help all day even when staff are at his bedside offering to help in any way. Every day, we think that we will be the ones to really make a difference, and yet we fail again.

 As nurses, we can continue to care for patients like these and treasure every moment where we can help, but it’s hard when everything else seems like it’s against us. For example, the 8-hour shift that becomes a 15-hour shift because there is no nurse to cover the late shift as a result of short staffing. Or the plan to carry out a complex leg dressing or set of blood tests, only to find that there is no equipment. The last straw might be when we feel attack from all corners when we are just trying to do our best.

 During one particularly trying shift, I was approached by a sour-faced inspector demanding answers to questions that seemed to focus on paperwork and not patients, a GP who seemed harassed at being called out to visit a patient with a minor, yet valid, ailment, and a relative with a long list of complaints that should have been discussed with the (absent) management rather than the busy nurse. Meanwhile, the daily newspaper heralded another story about abuse at the hands of nurses.

 As this was unfolding, a dear patient was dying and had no family. I took the decision that my most important role was to be with her as she breathed her last breath. I read to her some precious words that I know she had chosen and held her hand as she slipped away. Acting on decisions like this, where I know that patient care has really come first, helps to keep me in the profession.

…………………………

Nurses and Nursing, a service provided to us all over the world by people with big hearts often working for very low pay, under extreme pressure and working extremely long hours. It’s about time we honoured this profession properly all around the world not just with a international nurses day but through the giving of respect for what they do for humanity, their love, compassion and continual caring attitude is what keeps us alive and they should be honoured accordingly!

Namaste my Dear Nurses of the world and thank you all for your service.

Blessings of Love and Light

Always

Mark

9 comments on “How Long Can Compassion Last in Nursing?

  • What a beautiful and inspiring post. It seems that nurses have been unrated for so long.
    As a person who has been around passing loved ones too many times, I can attest to the care and the compassion I witness nurses giving. Many times I question how they do it, being around people who suffer with pain, the dying, cleaning up after them. Truly one has to have a heart of steel to keep up the cheery façade in those times when I’m sure they must want to cry.
    A lovely tribute to nurses everywhere! 🙂

  • Having had many days spent in a hospital this year, I am so aware of all you write here. God bless you and every other nurse…your compassion is invaluable and under recognized! Thank you!

  • A beautiful and insightful look into the world of special Angels.
    From personal experience, I know the situations that Nurses do experience and work under.
    I applaud any person who dons the garb of the Nursing and allied fields.
    They are a special part of Humanity.

  • Love and light to one of the most emotional jobs on the planet. One moment the beauty of the birth of a child, the next seeing a life slip away after such a struggle, patient and nurse.
    A very heartfelt and giving that can only come from within to care under some of the most trying conditions.
    The nursing profession (male and female), have my total blessings for a job that must test the saints. Namaste

  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: