At the age of 18, I started working at a hospital that my mom worked at. I was a porter for x-ray, and I interacted with patients a lot. At that young age, my emotional intelligence was not very high. The job was a paycheck for me. But as the years went on, and I started to mature, I began to develop more compassion and empathy for the patients.
However, I found that the nurses lacked that emotional intelligence that I really thought they should have. Most of them were more concerned about breaks, donuts, and sitting around than they were about a call bell going off – and that’s a fact. Everyone I know who worked with me will tell you that it was just the way it was.
I don’t know how many times I heard a call bell go off and watched as nurses ignored it and sat around on their butts talking about how overworked they were or complaining about a patient.
I don’t know how many times I went up to the nursing station to tell them that a patient needed something, only to get a roll of the eyes and a quick ‘alright’, and then waited and waited and waited for a nurse to get off his or her butt and do something about it.
I even moved into a continuing care center for a few years, and again – there were a couple nurses who took the time to treat the residents like people, but most did their job minimally, hid in the unit’s lunchroom, and never bothered to do things like sit down and talk with the patients.
In fact, I found that housekeeping was a million times more social with the patients that the nurses were.
Since I’ve left the hospital, I’ve always said that most of the nurses should not be nurses. There were a few who were good with the patients, but most had the mentality I had at 18 – they were there to get their paycheck and go home.
In fact, I’m terrified my parents will go into the hospital because I know the kind of ‘care’ they will receive.
I found the following video, that is a couple years old, with a nurse who sings to his patients. THAT is the kind of nurse that should be in hospitals and in continuing care centers. In a perfect world, it would be the only kind of nurse allowed in places where patients could use more than just medicine or a bath.
All nurses out there should take a look at the way they interact with their patients. You got into the job of taking care of people – and that comes with more than just shots, pills, and bedpans. It is about relieving human suffering and comforting others in a time of need.