Reflective practice

Make time for every conversation: your patient’s care depends on it

While on clinical placement in my first year of training, I spent three days gaining extra experience in the minor injuries unit of the hospital’s emergency department

Abstract

While on clinical placement in my first year of training, I spent three days gaining extra experience in the minor injuries unit of the hospital’s emergency department.

As the unit was busy and at times short-staffed, I found it quite difficult to deliver holistic, person-centred care to every patient. The emergency nurse practitioners in triage had many patients, and would try to see and refer each one as quickly as possible to provide an efficient service.

Unfortunately, this could sometimes cause problems due to lack of communication. On one occasion, an emergency nurse practitioner asked me to help with a patient who had just been through triage, by taking her to a bed, drawing the curtains and helping her to undress.

I had not attended the relevant meeting and so did not know why the patient was being asked to undress, but I assumed that she would know. The patient was a young woman in her twenties. She had ongoing stomach pains, but was mobile and did not need help undressing.

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This article was first published in print in Nursing Standard: volume 30, issue 14

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