Nurse’s Week: Through the Eyes of Your Patients

Elizabeth Rochin, MSN, RN, is the clinical manager of 7 East at Rex Hospital. Her “Nurse’s Week” blog posts bring you a series of reflections on being a nurse at Rex.

Florence Nightingale was a woman before her time. As a nurse, teacher and statistician, she founded modern nursing and designed strategies to ensure a patient’s well-being and improved ability to heal. In her Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not (1859), Florence Nightingale wrote about a patient’s ability to fight infection, the environment which best promoted health and the optimal condition to place a patient into that would result in improved outcomes. In fact, one of her most famous quotes appears in this text:

“Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion.”

So, what would a patient here at Rex feel and experience during a wait? Whether that wait is in the Emergency Room, in the Breast Care Center Waiting Room, or in a hospital bed, what would that wait feel like? The expectation of news, report of a biopsy, the apprehension of what could be… a patient’s life can change in a moment. That life is irreconcilably connected to family, friends, and others that create a structure of support and existence. That support and existence can be quickly compromised with the threat of diminished health.

And that is where YOU come in. As nurses here at Rex, you are able to make that apprehension and uncertainty bearable. You provide an environment of healing and respite, which promotes health and the best condition upon which a patient can be restored to optimal health.

YOU are what makes Rex Healthcare one of the best hospitals in the nation.

Florence Nightingale lives in all of us. With each touch, each word, each moment of silent comfort you offer, she is there.

As we continue to celebrate Nurse’s Week, think about the moments you create that infuse life and meaning into your patients experience. However, just as important, be thinking about the moments you create that infuse life into your units and departments. It is so vitally important to take care of each other, so you can care for your patients. I will be coming around to discuss your thoughts, and look forward to sharing your stories later this week.

Happy Nurse’s Week! Thank you for all you do for our patients, our teams and each other.

“They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel…”
—Maya Angelou


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