Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Simple Gesture

By Chiqui Raveloski

It was the usual start of the night shift at the hospital. The day nurse gave the report for the 6 patients and everything seemed well. Except for the one patient, who will be referred to as CY, 71 years old, who  has the possibility of making the night shift very interesting.

What's so interesting? CY had been mad about everything. There has been a lot of yelling, screaming, complaining, and even "cussing" , not from the nurses ( ha, ha), but from CY. It had gotten so bad, other patients from the same hallway are requesting to be moved to the other hallway or a different floor.

So, just like any other shifts, a game plan was formulated, prioritization is going to be key, and maybe a special kind of TLC is in the works. The first phone call 15 minutes into the shift was from CY,  complaining about the door being shut all the way through, things were moved around making it  hard to reach, and no regards for one's personal needs. CY"s voice was demanding, frustrated , yet familiar. It is a voice nurses get accustomed to as  - someone who is scared, in a strange environment, needing reassurance.

The door to CY's room was cracked open. The room was clean, in order, and well lit. The bedside commode, bedside table, call light,  and phone were all within reach. CY's facial expression was one of aggravated, tired, and anxious. Introductions were made and CY started complaining about how miserable it has been. As a result, a plan for the night was made which included pain control, leaving everything within reach, crackers for snack at the bedside, and leaving  the door propped open in a special way because CY is also claustrophobic.
 A therapeutic communication was also started. Patients need acknowledgement. CY then started to calm down and asked for assistance to the bedside commode. In the meantime, the bed was straightened, sheets were positioned nicely, and a fresh pillowcase was set for the night. One more thing, the pillow was "fluffed" several times before placing it at the head of the bed.

When  the fluffed pillow was placed down, CY looked at me with a smiling face and said, "O dear, I did not know you can fluff those pillows. You are the first person that did that for me, Thank you so much!" I replied. "You are very welcome. I want you to have a good night sleep with pleasant dreams". CY was assisted back to bed and the look of content was reassuring, but this time, on my part.

The rest of the  night went by smoothly. "Salamat sa Diyos" , "Thank God" for the guidance. Other patients were taken care of designed to their own specific needs. Physician orders were implemented, lab results were checked,  medications were given safely, and charting were done. There was only one phone call from CY. To thank me again for everything I have done.


  1. Awww, sweet story. You sound like a very caring and smart nurse, the best kind possible! :)

    1. In a very hectic world out there, the simplest things are sometimes forgotten. I try to touch on the basics. It can go a long way. Thanks.:)

  2. This is the type of Nursing I believe in and practice. A touch of the hand, A smile returned for a furrow on the brow, to help them feel like people and not just a Dr's patient. Thank you for the encouragement.

  3. Thanks +MuggleNOMore,
    I'm glad there are Nurses who still believes in and practices this type of nursing. In this busy world out there, the simplest of gestures can go a long way.
    Have a great weekend and take care.