I had to see beyond ‘fixing’ patients and adopt a more holistic approach
When asked about my biggest fear for a nursing career, my answer was ‘difficult situations’ such as giving bad news and caring for a dying patient.
On reflection, my fear was that my emotions would affect the care patients received.
When, on a second-year placement, I was allocated to a neonatal intensive care unit this fear had to be faced. Many of the babies on the unit thrived, going home to live normal lives. Sadly, there were more complex cases with less positive outcomes, often accompanied by long hospital stays, increased interventions and parental heartbreak.
I had to develop a broader range of communication and interpersonal skills, ones that cannot be taught at university or learned from a book.
In my first week it was my privilege to care for a newborn with an undiagnosed neuromuscular disease who required many interventions. Mentors have always...
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