Bedside patient care in private rooms, semi-private rooms, 4- bed wards or 20-bed wards (the latter in the United Kingdom), was a time of long hours on your feet, doing quadruple nursing tasks and answering multiple questions from family members, visitors, doctors and other healthcare professionals.
Yet, it brought me joy when new nurses arrived. I took them on tours around the wards, and introduced them to staff and ambulant patients. As a preceptor, I demonstrated confidence, effective leadership, a caring attitude with enthusiasm in telling new nurses patients' preferences, and helped student nurses learn new clinical skills.
Patient care for me started as a 14-year-old because I did not have anything to do all day, as my dad did not allow me to go to high school since I was a girl. He was a good father, but still immersed in old thinking that girls' education ended on graduation from elementary school. So, I decided to visit teenagers in hospitals, chat with those who did not have visitors, as families were only able to visit on weekends, as general hospitals were several hours away in cities. There, I watched nurses giving care with gentleness and my aim was to excel if I had the opportunity to get into a profession.
When an opportunity arose for me to leave my small La Romain Village in Trinidad to study nursing in the United Kingdom, jubilance embraced my entire being and my life was changed as a door opened for me to have a profession.
Empathy led the way for me to care for others; organization set the tone as I am a stickler for deadlines and details by writing everything down. That mindset enabled me to give quality patient care to all patients.
Learn more by reading my book Heart-to-Head Bedside Patient Care.
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