Two Cases That Illustrate/Illuminate
---The woman was aware of a regular appointment she has on most Fridays. It was canceled due to it being the 5th of July. She didn't know this. She wanted to go on the elevator to the appointment which had been canceled.
---She kept asking the duty nurse where the elevator was and always sent in a wrong direction due to her wandering history. The woman was becoming more labored and more frustrated and more confused in the process. I encountered her trying to find the elevator in my room. I said I’m heading there and noticed how out-of-breath she was. I was instructed not to show her the elevators and witnessed her being sent in the opposite direction.
(The Saving Grace) – She showed up at the nurses desk with a ZEN Volunteer…who listened to why she felt she had to find the elevator. The charge nurse reassured her that her appointment had been canceled and that she was becoming frantic for no real reason. She was told this, but may have forgotten. One could see how relieved that she was at the news. She, finally, could relax. She could enjoy life, again…as she felt her situation had been heard and taken seriously.
CASE 2.] This is a scenario that involved me more directly. I was to have a floater on this particular day. My consistent care nurse had not come to work. The medication nurse was, also, not someone who I work with very often. Floaters, in general, do not know your routine and as far as rapport goes, you, the patient do not know their quirks and how they do things.
---I have been spending much time in bed, lately, dealing with potential bedsores gotten from spending too much time in one position in my wheelchair.
---The medication nurse told how things are going to be and what times they are going to take place. I mentioned how inefficiently things are being set up for me and according to her plan I’ll be jumping in and out of bed (which isn’t easy for me to do) all morning. I said that if she would just hear me out…we can resolve this.
---I told her that when she feels it is her time to talk she finds it easy to dictate her way of seeing things to the resident/patient. She always has NO problem in telling you that it is your turn to listen. When the tables are turned and it is now the patient, me, turn to talk…she immediately begins assuming and wants to end the conversation. I indicated that I didn’t feel that that is at all fair. I said that I do not always just blow smoke and have nothing of consequence to say.
---We touched fists and I hope that we have a new respect born this morning. I (somewhat) felt heard and taken seriously…and could (somewhat) get on with living. Instead of spending the morning trying to figure a way to be heard and taken seriously by her…I felt that in someway she heard how I was feeling about it all (in a clear + calm manner) and I was now freer from worrying about it.
---From a RESIDENT'S PERSPECTIVE…I think that these are important points. I think that many times the resident is not heard and taken seriously. He has a lot to say but is very out of practice or simply never has told his story. And, the best that he has even makes the 99% avoid him. Others just don’t SEEM to have time for him. BUT...THINGS ARE CHANGING! When it happens, the Resident/Patient involved begins to grow and flourish. I just hope that his fragile momentum can withstand the nay saying that comes with most things. Be Well.