Opinion piece: How the hospital nurses helped to promote my recovery as a patient |21 May 2022
Last Thursday May 12, people across the world observed International Nurses Day, to pay honour and tribute to nurses, and to recognise their work and efforts.
As the day was about recognising nurses’ contributions to society and as a gesture of appreciation to nurses, a Seychellois shares with us a recent experience of her stay in hospital.
She talks about how the nurses helped to promote her recovery as a patient. She also shares her personal opinions on what we can all do to help improve the work and service of our nurses.
Below is the patient’s story and opinions.
“The work that nurses do is tough, they work in a stressful environment and they have to be mentally strong.
“On the whole, I find that the nurses are very concerned about patients and they are helpful. If you ask them for assistance, they are happy to try and help. They take the time to answer your questions and if they have any doubts, they ask the doctors.
“The nurses are very well trained and perform their jobs well. They have a very good idea of what is expected of them. They are very good at doing what they have been instructed to do and with care. They monitor the patients well and check their files often.
“The nursing assistants are also very competent in what they are doing and follow instructions given to them. I have no doubt in the nurses’ capacity, knowledge and experience, as well as in their treatments.
“There have been instances in some of my past admissions at the hospital where there was a lack of follow-up between the nurses. In my recent stay, there were nurses, especially those who are in charge, who related very well to their colleagues, there was good liaison and communication between nurses, and they efficiently performed their handover to the next shift.
“Surprisingly, for the specific condition that I had, I didn’t experience much pain as the nurses kept checking on me to ensure I was comfortable and to do what was needed to help relieve any pain. If I did inform them that I was in pain, they checked my vitals even if it was not yet time to do so.
“With many patients to attend to, the nurses were very good at prioritising which patients to attend to first. Towards the end of their shifts, after hours of working, even at 6am, they were still giving their best and they did not lower the quality of their work.
“The nurses treated everyone equally. They had a sense of humour. They extended their support to the families of the patients. They were understanding, made time to talk and offered comfort. As I was being discharged from the hospital, they encouraged me to call them and ask for clarification in case I didn’t understand my prescription.
“In honouring nurses, it is also good to talk about how we all feel the service that they give can be improved and to talk about what everyone can do to help.
“In my opinion, there is a lack of nurses. Patients find themselves waiting quite a while sometimes if the nurses are busy attending to an urgent matter. Some patients are not mobile and a lot needs to be done for them.
“Also in my opinion, there is a need to have a doctor present on the shifts and not just on-call, so that the nurses can consult with this doctor and know what they need to do.
“Most of the nurses are compassionate; they give the patients attention, they are friendly, they engage in conversation, and they make jokes so the patients can have a laugh. You feel better sometimes just seeing some of them, you look forward to having them around when they start their shifts.
“However, again in my opinion, a few are distant. We know that patients are mostly alone and without their family and friends while staying at the hospital, so I feel that being compassionate, giving comfort, giving a soothing smile as a nurse gives patients the strength to carry on.
“There is also a lot that can be done to support nurses in their work. I have seen patients who at times do not cooperate and communicate well with the nurses. It is important for patients and their families to understand why nurses need to prioritise their work, to understand that there may be a lack of nurses, to be more appreciative of the nurses’ work, to trust that the nurses are knowledgeable, skilled and experienced in their work, to understand that there are other patients around who need a quiet environment to rest and recover, and to communicate effectively with the nurses.
“Most people/patients are grateful to nurses, but I feel that there is room to show them our gratitude even more. As a country, we can show nurses that we need them and that they are important every day, not just once a year when it is International Nurses Day. We can also encourage people to choose a career in nursing and create more interest in this hard but noble job.
“Through this article, this gesture of appreciation, I am hopeful that nurses will feel encouraged, that they will feel the gratitude and appreciation. We understand that they are an important and valued part of our society, that their job is hard, that they have a lot of responsibilities, that their work is not something everyone wants to do, and that they are being brave. I congratulate the Seychellois nurses. Well done, you are doing a good job.”