Who has time anymore? What nurse has a spare minute during a shift? More and more these days we hear about challenges in the nursing profession.
Departmental nursing budgets get cut. Staffing ratios is always a hot topic. Not enough nurses to take care of the sicker and more acute patients that enter into our care. Safety, quality, outcomes- oh my! With a laundry list of competing priorities, how does the nurse find the time to be present with the patient?
The ever-advancing science of nursing seems to place the art of nursing practice off to the side. That healing touch, human rapport, and one-on-one presence with patients feels step-child to all of the scientific bells and whistles in nursing.
Is The Art of Nursing Even Possible?
While some nurses may feel overburdened in the workplace, there is good news. Great news, actually! The art of nursing does still exist in nursing practice today. In fact, we’re going to go through some real life examples of this here today.
In the Art of Nursing Facebook Community, we discuss this weekly. I ask the group about how they invite the art into their nursing practice. Below, I will showcase five examples that are each very unique but all bring the art into the nursing profession.Here are 10 Outstanding Examples of Art of Nursing in Practice Click To Tweet
1) From a nurse named Keith: “You utilize the arts of communication to reach your client or patient to allow you to focus the science of your nursing skills and abilities. You utilize the art of touch to demonstrate your closeness and connection with your client or patient as you utilize the sciences of nursing in tasks. And the most important art of all- the art of caring which we all incorporate daily in every aspect of our care and activity.”
2) From a nurse named Jennifer: “Back rubs. Not done nearly enough. A great way to check skin integrity and relax your patient at the same time.”
3) From a nurse named Rosemary: “Patients and families usually are experiencing fear and in a state of personal chaos when they come out of a hospital, especially if they have a new “item” such as a tube, an IV, or drain they weren’t born with. They will fear it until they learn they can have control of it. Part of the clinicians job is to assist them to ease into gaining that control. Usually, once they have gained control. it’s time for it to be removed and all is well. It is definitely an art- assisting them in getting their life in control again and they will express much appreciation in the form of asking for you by name if they need services again. I’ve had home care patients off and on for 10 plus years.”
4) From a nurse named Puri: “During my session with nurses on communication, it came up during discussions that we should neither be rigid nor chaotic. One nurse shared that she was too rigid in her approach. I could feel that to move in between these extremes, as per the situation, is an art in the science of nursing.”
5) From a nurse named Sarah: “The art in making a connection with a difficult patient.”
6) From a nurse named Elizabeth (and no, it was not me): “Smile more, crack jokes, make the day a little brighter for my patients. When appropriate of course. A couple of nights ago a family had to make the decision to go DNR and hospice. Then, it’s a gentle touch and listening ear.”
7) From a nurse named April: “This probably sounds so basic, but actually taking the time to connect with my patients – learning about their lives, families, etc. It’s so easy to just tune into the tasks of nursing and acute needs of the patient and miss the whole person. It makes such a big difference in your patient’s experience and then also in my attitude throughout the day. Even if it’s insanely busy, I try to remind myself that I’m caring for a person who loves and cares and is probably a little intimidated (especially being on an ICU).
8) From a nurse named Marti: “I treat my patients as if they were a family member. By keeping that in mind, I can be more caring, understanding, sympathetic, empathetic and make sure they get the best care possible. Having been a patient a number of times, it does make a difference and gives me that little something extra to make their stay more tolerable and maybe get a smile, too.”
9) From a nurse named Jamie: “It’s important to begin any interaction talking to the person that is the patient and then start the clinical assessments. That’s my way to bridge the gap.”
10) From a nurse named Debra: “I aim to keep family informed, engaged, and empowered. No one exists in a vacuum. I had a patient that had no living family or friends, but she considered ALL hospital staff as her family.”
There you go! Ten outstanding examples of art of nursing in professional practice. So what else? What example can you add to this list? How do you show up with the art of nursing in your nursing career? Let’s hear from you below. And thanks for reading!
About the Author: Keynote speaker and virtual conference host, Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, partners with hospitals, nursing schools, and nurse associations to transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the bestselling author of ‘Nursing from Within’, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver. Elizabeth received her dual master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and playful pit bull.