The importance of the personal touch by nurses is probably as important as what is done for the patient medically. Sound crazy? Let’s look at this and then decide.
What Does The Personal Touch Mean Or Consist Of?
The personal touch means the little extras. Sometimes, we learn little details about others and when we remember these things and use them in the future when someone needs a little extra, then this is a personal touch. They can consist of all kinds of things. It does not have to be an actual object that you give. It can be just a word or a touch or gesture. It is something that shows that you were listening to the little details and you remembered them and used them when they needed something extra.
It might be a happy birthday or happy anniversary on that actual day and even in the midst of a stressful time you remembered this. You might have heard them say that they had not eaten all day and you ordered an extra tray so that they could eat without having to leave their loved one’s bedside. It could just be a touch of their hand when they were being told something stressful and scary about their relative’s condition.
I was watching a movie on television a few weeks ago which was about nurse that worked in the neonatal intensive care unit. A man and woman had a newborn premi that had to have cardiac surgery. The surgery was done on the mother’s birthday. She had mentioned that her birthday was on such-and-such a day. This nurse that was involved in their son’s care remembered this and while she was sitting with the family during the baby’s surgery handed her a birthday gift. Not only did she remember the mother’s birthday, but it was a baby book to record things about her baby. How perfect! This is an example of the extra step that meant so much to her and the family. Something that they will always remember and appreciate more than you can imagine.
Why Is This Important?
Have you ever heard that it is the little things that count? I am sure that we all have. What does this mean? I remember a professor saying that it is not the big things or major things in life that get to him; it is the little things. He went on to say that he can survive without difficulty the big crises of life. However, it is the little things that send him over the edge. Things like going to the store for something he wants and they are all out, or looking for his blue shirt in the morning to find out his wife didn’t wash it yet are what drive him to become a raving maniac.
Relative to this and our topic, when someone goes out of his way to make one feel that they are thought about or cared about it makes the person feel cared for and gives them the strength to move on or just hang in there. It makes life a little more livable. The person may have been given a treatment to make him feel better physically, but the way it is done may make a difference. If the nurse takes the time to listen to his fears, for example, or give him the emotional support he needs while she does this treatment may make him feel much better about what he has to face the next time.
Sometimes, nurses just don’t take the time to realize what the person is going through or has to face, and just does the medical procedure without even talking to the patient. Maybe it is because the nurse is stressed due to being overworked and short-staffed and just rushes through it to get it done. Maybe the nurse has a personal problem with her husband or family and just doesn’t think about how her patient is doing. None of these things are acceptable, but it happens. The thing is though, that it can make a lot of difference in the patient’s progress or at least his emotional well-being which of course affects his physical being as well.
One thing that all nurses should do is put themselves in the patient’s place. How would they feel if they were going through what the patient is going through? If nurses do this, chances are they will treat patients differently. How would she want to be treated if she were in the patient’s situation? She probably would see that that little extra personal touch would make a world of difference. Let’s all try to do this and make that difference.
Hope Is Vital To One’s Recovery
Everyone wants to be given the best medical treatment that can be had, but sometimes it is more important to receive the personal touch. Hope and a positive attitude is vital to a patient getting better. Many times if a patient does not have something to hold onto, his progress will either not go as smoothly or as rapidly as it would have if he had had hope and positivity.
It’s the little extras that make gives the person hope and hence a positive attitude. Even nurses need this little touch from each other as well. When another nurse remembers to mention or celebrate something special in one’s life it makes one feel special and cared about and helps this person to hang in there or get out of bed and give to others (patients) the next day. Hope is needed by all of us. Touch someone else’s life.
Maybe a nurse is going through a tough time in her life. Maybe she is having a financial crisis and a little extra support from a team member might help her get through it or find a way to deal with it. As strange as it may sound, maybe just telling her about options that she might have to get her out of this crisis would be that hope that she needs.
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Most of this article is about nurses giving that added personal touch to patients and their family and how important this is. Sometimes it is even more important or at least just as important as the medical care given. Hope is needed by all and this personal touch makes this possible.