Jane Bates: Beware the impatient patient
Despite the fast pace of today’s society, delivering safe and effective care does not happen in an instant, says Jane Bates.
Despite the fast pace of today’s society, delivering safe and effective care does not happen in an instant, says Jane Bates
‘How long will we be, nurse?’ This is the question that sends my spirits downhill faster than a mountain bike on skis.
Patients are warned in advance that their pre-operative assessment can take up to two hours, but for the ‘how long’ person that is too vague. Their time is precious, they want you to be specific, and they want you to be quick.
Other patients and their families bring their Kindles or crosswords in an attitude of quiet acceptance. They know that hospital visits are unpredictable and they understand that no one can foretell what will happen because the variables are so numerous.
A little patience
But the ‘how long’ patient does not appreciate this, and they show it. Every time you scurry past them, their eyes roll gymnastically. They give their wristwatches exaggerated stares, tutting so loudly you wish you had ear protectors.
Perhaps they are a product of our time. We are all becoming used to life at the click of a mouse, everything sooner rather than later and at our own convenience. But we nurses have to do our jobs properly, and obtaining accurate results so that surgery can be carried out in the safest and most effective way is not accomplished in an instant.
So perhaps an afternoon of pent-up frustration in the eye clinic is what we all need every now and then, to remind us that some things in life take time and patience. Deep breath, everyone.
About the author
Jane Bates is an ophthalmic nurse in Hampshire