Each month, our nursing student bloggers answer a question about their experience in learning to be caring, humanistic nurses. This month’s question was: “How have you seen your nursing role models express compassion for their patients?”
Liz Hughes, Ramapo College of New Jersey
This summer I was very fortunate to participate in a study abroad trip in Ghana, West Africa. We were able to experience working in several clinics, including a mobile variation created to reach people from villages located further into the jungle. The concern that the public health officials show for the women and their children who visit the clinics is so genuine. What amazed me the most was the concern they showed over one woman who had not appeared with her child in the first village to receive an immunization. After circling back around, they were happy to complete their mission.
David Barrera, Jr., University of Texas Pan American
There are many nursing roles that are necessary to assist a client in regaining his or her emotional, physical, and spiritual health. One such role I witnessed was that of my clinical instructor. On one specific occasion, I was in the emergency department and a client was rushed in for cardiac complications. My clinical instructor immediately attended to him and always made sure he was treating the person as a whole, and not merely the presenting illness. He spoke to him with great respect and listened to him regarding his wishes. I hope to one day be as calm, collected, and compassionate as my clinical instructor.
Michelle DeGerolamo, University of Pittsburgh
I am surrounded by compassion on a daily basis when I step into my classrooms. Growing up, I never truly had a nursing role model, and I came to the nursing profession on my own terms. However, when I came to the University of Pittsburgh I found that my teachers showed their dedication to their patients by making my fellow classmates and I the best of the best. Now that I am interacting with nurses during my clinical hours, I see that each of them share the common trait of wanting to use their knowledge to help their patients and the community to their best ability, and this is the root of compassion.
Laura Shanahan, University of San Francisco
In high school I volunteered at Memorial Hospital. I floated between units, mostly allowed to help where I wanted. But every week, I found myself drawn to the Neonatal ICU. I folded blankets and put together New Baby Kits, but mostly I watched and listened to the nurses interact with the infants. I had never seen such a display of human compassion. Each touch, each word, each movement the nurses made towards these infants was so careful and full of love, I could not help returning to watch the beautiful display, imagining a day when I would do the same thing.