Nurse Feel Good

It was a good week for Nurse Teeny. All three of my patients provided positive feedback that made me feel like I might actually know what I’m doing. It was very validating. They knew I was a student and they knew I wasn’t an “expert,” but they still trusted me and believed I would provide good care. Warm fuzzies all around, folks!

I also had a really special bond with one of my patients who had lung cancer and had just had a lobectomy. Take away a couple decades, and it would have been my own dear father! Same sweet nature, same sense of humor, and same pure sense of trust in his health care providers. It was especially weird since both men had lung cancer, and he had the same soft downy head of post-chemo hair that Dad sported for six months. I had been super nervous when I heard his diagnosis, but it turned out to be validating as well, that I could care for someone who reminded me so much of a loved one. I realized that I could do it without breaking down. I also realized that I could use the familiarity of the situation to my patient’s advantage by demonstrating empathy. I didn’t tell him my own story because I didn’t feel it was appropriate (“Oh yeah, my dad had lung cancer too, but he passed away”…not a real confidence-builder for someone still fighting the disease). But what I did do was redirect my emotions toward providing warm and comforting care. And my patient noticed, and thanked me.

It was hard to say good-bye at the end of the second day. I wish him the best.

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