A student nurse shared a story with me that brought tears to my eyes. She reminded me that it doesn’t matter how clinically excellent you are or how many “A” grades you get. Equally as important is how you treat people.
Dear Mrs. Thompson
I want to share an experience I had in the beginning of this semester during clinical. There was an old man the nurses had put in the hallway (I'm assuming to watch him, because he kept trying to get out of his chair). He was confused, and didn't look very well. He had bruising, dry skin, dry lips, and he appeared very pale; his hair was thin and very disheveled. The only attention he got was when he tried to put his legs down from the chair, a CNA, or a nurse would tell him "No" and put his legs back up. I would walk past him, and want to stop, but I was so busy with my own 2 patients, that it prevented me (at least I felt; admittedly because I wanted to "make the grade in clinical").
At one point, I couldn't take it anymore, and I stopped. I decided to sit next to that little old man, even though he wasn't my assigned patient, and I looked at his armband for his name, and I said "Mr. so and so, my name is Nan, and I'm a nursing student. I would like to sit next to you for a few minutes, if that’s ok?” He nodded just a little, so I sat down. I rubbed his forehead gently. And, you know what Mrs. Thompson, he calmed.