Reporting for Duty

I am realizing the importance of taking some of shift change reports with a grain of salt.  While the background information and clinical updates are extremely helpful, it is hard not to inject some of your own biases about the client into report.  This just sets up the next nurse to walk into that room with preconceived notions and often negative expectations.

Twice during this rotation have I received report about how “difficult” a client is, and then ended up having extremely positive experiences.  Yesterday morning, the night nurse told me how sorry she was that I had to deal with a particular client all day.  I was expecting a nightmare of a shift but instead the client and I really bonded.  Sure, he was a little grumpy at times, but I would be too if I’d just had an aortic aneurysm repair and had been in the hospital for a week.  The key was nonverbal communication that conveyed acceptance and understanding.  He actually ended up apologizing for being a “hostile old man” (his words, not mine).

I truly believe that a lot of negative encounters with clients could be prevented if we didn’t expect them to be negative.  An important lesson to keep in mind when I grow up to be a real nurse…

Last day of Med-Surg clinical! Then I have over a month off before my peds 12-hour shifts begin.  My feet are oh-so-thankful!

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