As a nursing practitioner, I have had many different patient encounters and experiences. These interactions have differed wildly, from positive to extremely negative. Due to the specificity of my work, I have a professional and moral obligation to be able to control my own emotional response in order to best assist patients. An understanding, caring, friendly, and compassionate attitude is always necessary for a successful nursing professional. However, these qualities are sometimes difficult to express in an emotionally-charged setting. In particular, when I am feeling under the weight of my own feelings, it becomes almost impossible to properly support my patients.
For this assignment, I want to recount and discuss a case where I was unable to properly manage my emotional response. At the time of the occurrence, there were many personal problems for me to deal with, causing quite a large amount of stress, which added to the strain of working with other people. My job at the time included looking over a young woman who was scheduled for surgery. From our initial meeting, I could see her as a fidgety, worried person. Seeing from the way she spoke and acted, I would guess that she also had many things troubling her at the time.
Discussing the details of the surgery, subsequent care, and recovery, we spent a while discussing all of the necessary procedures that must be performed. At the time, however, I also needed to care for other patients, which weighed on my mind heavily. The young woman kept asking questions about the upcoming procedures and requesting smaller details of medical care be explained to her. After already explaining all the necessary information to her, I started feeling irritated. This irritation slowly grew and bled through my interactions with the woman, coloring my responses and affecting the way I spoke. Seeming to notice my negative attitude, the woman became worried and distressed herself, displaying signs of anxiety about both the future procedures and our interaction as a whole. At that moment, I still could not properly take my emotions under control, failing to respond to signs of anxiety in her behavior. The situation then further escalated, until I finally managed to get myself under control. In momentary reflection, I understood the failings of my approach, apologized to the woman, and tried my best to quell her worried. From these, displaying care and attention, I slowly worked on de-escalating the tension and helping the patient leave the state of anxiety.
Overall, this situation has had a large impact on my practice, and the way I approach patient care. While I think it is understandable that each nurse has their own life and worries, putting the well-being of each individual patient first is a necessity. I was too rash in my speech, unable to offer the vital emotional support and care that the patient needed, leading to a negative interaction. By examining my mistakes, I made sure to avoid similar situations in the past. Firstly, I think the management of my own mental well-being outside of work plays a vital part in acting as a competent nurse practitioner. In addition, taking the necessary time to talk with each patient became a much bigger priority for me. An unpleasant encounter allowed me to realize my own imperfections and grow, both as a person and as a nurse.