Final Nursing Assignment: Reflective Essay
Caregivers play an undeniably important role in the well-being of the patients. Therefore, there exists an inarguably special and significant relationship between the two parties. The compassion that caregivers give, their empathy, and the manner in which they communicate with their patients or the patients families are unique constructs that are central in the caregiver-patient relationship. Furthermore, each patient that caregivers attend has uniquely different struggles. Mending, a piece by Sallie Bingham, Baptism by Rotation by Mikhail Bulgakov, as well as People Like That Are the Only People Here: Canonical Babbling in Peed Onk by Moore Lorrie are three exemplary pieces that detail the role of compassion in caregiving, the caregiver-patient relationship, and varying complex struggles that patients face.
Reading through, each of these works has changed and influenced my view, understanding, and appreciation of the caregiver-patient relationship that is as important as can be multifarious. The three pieces demonstrate how significant, regardless of how intricate, effective relationships with patients are. In Mending, Bingham creates the image of a woman who demonstrates emotional and psychological needs. The patient needs someone to love her, give her warmth, and make her feel wanted. Her needs can be said to have been informed by her harrowing childhood experiences.
She had encountered different men, mostly through her mother, and some of whom ended up sexually abusing her. However, in the course of her treatment, the patient becomes emotionally attached to her doctor and even develops strong sexual attractions. If I cant persuade him to do it, Ill lie down and die (Bingham, 2008, p. 353). The patient had told her Aunt Jenny about her need to have the doctor hold her.
However, regardless of how hard it might be for some caregivers or physicians, the caregiver not only maintains a professional relationship but also continues to help the patient. He advises the women on approaches toward addressing her problems such as finding out who her father is. McCaffrey and McConnell (2015) assert that this patience is important in providing patient-centered care to those in need. It is undeniable that caregiver-patient relationships can sometimes be tenuous and trying, but caregivers should ensure that all the outcomes are patient-centered.
Further, Mending indicates the importance of caregivers maintaining and upholding professionalism with their patients. He made me take them all away, always neutral, always kind, always ready to listen, but never won or even tempted (Bingham, 2008, p. 358). This statement demonstrates the need for caregivers to remain integral in their conduct, regardless of how the patient behaves. Appropriate boundaries, which are not to be crossed, should be identified and enforced at all times (Vachon, 2016; Post et al., 2014). This is why the doctor does not succumb to the patients advances or accept the many gifts she brings him. In People Like That Are the Only People Here, a relationship such as that depicted in Mending is evidently lacking. Although caregivers help the mother and the baby, there is no indication of a close relationship between them.
The presence of such relationships creates room for compassion. As Nadelhaft and Bonebakker (2008) demonstrate in their anthology, as long as professionalism is maintained and respect upheld, such relationships are helpful in the recovery process of patients.
The three pieces sharpened my comprehension of the importance and role of compassion. Empathy and compassion give room for caregivers to appreciate, be aware of, and be sensitive to patients experiences. In People Like That Are the Only People Here, Lorrie demonstrates the need for caregivers to be compassionate to patients. The caregivers choice of words, their approach to breaking news, and their delivery of information encompass compassion. The radiologist who scans the baby does not provide the woman with any information on what he has found. The surgeon will speak to you (Lorrie, 2008, p. 467) are the only words he says to the mother who is evidently worried. The radiologist should have tried to reassure the woman that everything is good, even if it is not. He does not make it easier for the mother when he says that they never know what it is until it is in the bucket (Lorrie, 2008, p. 467).
McCaffrey and McConnell (2015) emphasize that caregivers ought to put themselves in the shoes of their patients before uttering any words, especially when there is unpleasant or scary news to deliver. At the surgeons office, the doctor does little to reassure the mother. He does not pay any attention to the impact that the news might have on her. When caregivers are compassionate, they will always understand the feelings of patients and their families. Such caregivers will always try to see life from the perspective of patients and their families. Instead, the doctor just casually informs the mother that her son has Wilms tumor and says, We will start with a radical nephrectomy (Lorrie, 2008, p. 469). He neither makes it easier for the mother to receive bad news nor asks her if she wants anyone else in the room.
This situation demonstrates a complete lack of compassion for a woman who is overwhelmed by the news of her young son suffering from cancer. The physician further adds, the baby will not suffer as much as you (Lorrie, 2008, p. 469). This statement does not ease the mothers fears who even thinks that she is being punished for her many errors as a mother. Patients need reassurance, especially when they face devastating issues such as their baby having cancer. Bad news should be told gently, and patients and their families should be given all the support they need as they internalize the news (Vachon, 2016). However, throughout the story, the mother and other patients receive little compassion from nurses or doctors.
The ability of caregivers to be compassionate is one of the most important qualities in excellent caregiving (Post et Al., 2014). It is easy for caregivers to become frustrated, especially when patients are too arduous or argumentative. In Mending, it is evident that the doctor chooses to continue seeing the patient because he is compassionate. The description portrays a patient who has become overly attached emotionally and who is dealing with too many issues. However, the doctor sees the need to keep helping the patient as much as he can. This demonstrates the kind of compassion that caregivers should show. In Baptism by Rotation, compassion drives the inexperienced, young doctor to put himself in the shoes of the patient and her husband. What if the husband of the woman from Dultsevo is left a widower?
The thoughts of the child dying or the woman succumbing to complications make him anxious but also trigger him to give the best that he could despite his fear and inexperience. My heart was brimming with joy. I glanced around at the white and bloodstained disorder...and felt I had won (Bulgakov, 2008, p. 504). Here, the author presents an image of a doctor who is delighted because of the successful provision of help to his patients, as all compassionate caregivers should. If the doctor had no compassion, he would not have run home to read a few sentences about the labor condition. Such caregivers are pertinent in every healthcare facility. Therefore, compassion, as seen from the three selections, is a sentient effort for caregivers to care for the patients.
Thus, I have learned that compassionate physicians will be careful with the choice of words, understand the emotions of others, and establish approaches to help ease the patients or their families worries when they can.
Lastly, from the pieces, I have learned that patients face complex struggles. In Mending, the patient is struggling to recover from her internal battles and depression resulting from childhood issues. The patient needs a sense of love, security, and warmth. The trouble was that I wanted a pair of arms. I needed a pair of arms with a pain that even now I cant bring myself to describe (Bingham, 2008, p. 350). This statement not only conveys the physical warmth but the security that comes with having true relationships with other people, such as family or romantic relationships. I have learned that the struggles may not necessarily be physical as was the case in Mending. In People Like This Are the Only People Here, Lorrie describes the physical and internal struggles that patients and their families go through.
Apart from the mother, baby, and husband, struggles are depicted through other sick children and their parents. Ned and his mother, as well as Joey and his dad, are examples of the struggles that patients and their families face, hence the need for compassion and a relationship where they do not feel alone. In Baptism by Rotation, the doctor realizes how sensitive the patients case is. From his book learning, he understands that patients have all types of struggles, some of them generated from expectations. This is why he is scared of any unexpected eventuality. After successfully helping the woman through the rotation, he is baptized. Therefore, patients struggles, whether physical or internal, should be identified and addressed by caregivers where possible.
In conclusion, caregiver-patient relations are imperative for both parties. Such relationships breed compassion that in turn makes it easier for caregivers to understand the struggles that patients go through. Through the readings, I have a picture of the type of a caregiver I want to be. I will be compassionate to all patients regardless of their background, beliefs, or physical abilities. Such compassion, as established, is significant in the recovery process of patients. Clear and considerate communication is one aspect that I will employ to ensure that I am compassionate unlike some of the caregivers in Lorries work. Further, I will guarantee that I develop a positive patient-caregiver relationship while still observing professionalism in my conduct. Therefore, these three pieces have been imperative in informing my view and outlook of the quality of care I want to give, as well as showing the different struggles that patients go through.