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    • #3017
      Sharon
      Member

      Do you think nurses learn by sharing stories? Have you ever shared or heard a story that had an impact on someone else or yourself? Share a story on the online discussion forum that had an impact on your nursing practice. It can be a story someone has shared with you or one you shared with others. (you may use pseudonyms to retain confidentiality).

    • #7671
      Valerie
      Member

      A time I felt where a story I shared had an influence was during my time working with a particular student in grade 8 last year. This girl was funny and kind, but came from a very difficult home life and struggled a great deal with school.

      This student confided in me that she had certain hopes for her future and wanted to do well in high school so she could go on to college to get a good job. She felt hopeless though as all she saw around her was struggles with addiction in her family and had only seen illicit ways to make money through selling drugs and prostitution. She felt hopeless and felt like school was not worth it since she would just end up in the same place.

      I shared with her my own story of growing up in poverty and being raised by parents who had questionable sources of money. I felt hopeless too, but with the kindness and encouragement of a few good teachers along the way, as well as the kindness and empathy given to me by medical professionals while going through treatment for mental health issues related to this difficult life, I learned that I could do better. I did not have to end up like my family.

      After sharing my story with this student, myself and the other staff members noticed big improvements with this student including better attendance, a much better effort and advancement in her work, better self confidence, and even a more polished, professional appearance. She knew she could do better for herself and put a monumental effort into her final year of elementary school that I hope has set her on a much happier and positive path in life.

    • #7739
      Kelsey
      Member

      My first nursing job was working casual in a LTC home. I once had a resident who was being very misunderstood. She kept telling other residents during meals and in other social rooms that there was a “dead, bloody chicken in her room”. She was always mentioned during shift changes that the story continues, that she’s been checked for UTI, bloodwork has been done, there’s no explanation other than hallucinations. When I came on shift, I heard the debrief and kept the information in my mind. I overheard her conversation while she was at the dinner table and how she was explaining what she’s been seeing. After the meal, I approached her and asked if she has seen the dead chicken today and she said yes its outside still. I asked if she could show me it. I followed her to her room and she opened the curtains. I saw no chicken but I continued to join her in her reality and asked if she saw it. She said yes, it’s right there and pointed.

      This resident was perceiving a garden fairy outside her window as a dead bloody chicken. I called maintenance, the ornament was removed. I then went to her room a short while later and asked her if she still sees the chicken outside and with relief in her voice, she said no, thank goodness its finally gone! A month of staff members misunderstanding the resident, and the problem was solved within five minutes by just taking the time to ask what she was seeing and where it was. I have shared this story with coworkers since that day and especially when I was working in LTC homes. Staff are quick to assume a diagnosis like a UTI – often, yes, that’s unfortunately the culprit however when it’s been an ongoing story, never changing, not accompanied by any other symptoms sometimes it just takes a minute to ask them what they mean. I don’t know if this story has ever helped another nurse or PSW but I feel that since it happened so early on in my career, it made an impact and has helped to shape my nursing practice.

    • #7764
      Samantha
      Member

      Sharing our experiences through stories can definitely be a way or learning. I once had a resident who was immobile and non verbal. During night shift rounds, she would panic when staff would turn her onto her side to reposition or change her brief. She would resist as much as she could, scratch and scream. Staff had warned me before going in the room and this is how she first reacted. As the resident was turned towards me, through her resistance, I calmly rubbed her back, looked her in her eyes and repeatedly told her that she was safe. After about 10 seconds, her face softened, she closed her eyes and calmly laid on her side while the other staff finished what they were doing. I didn’t repeat that story, but the next time I did rounds with a different staff member, that staff member did exactly what I had done with that resident. The staff member from the 1st night had shared this experience with the PSW from the 2nd night and hopefully she passed it on as well because those who knew how to respond to that residents needs, made a terrifying experience a lot more manageable for her.

      • #7783
        Christianna
        Member

        Sharing experiences really helps to grow in our career and learn from other mistakes/successes. It’s very important to safety to hear these stories so you can be prepared. It helps to also bond you with your team and sometimes the people to not learn from.

    • #7782
      Christianna
      Member

      Yes, nurses learn by sharing stories. It’s how we get accurate health history from our patients and also how we build trust and a therapeutic relationship. Not only with patient’s it’s how we learn from our colleagues’ experiences or debrief when a situation is hard. In our dialysis unit we had a patient that would constantly yell and swear and intimidate staff. Having them as a patient was very stressful and most dreaded it. When I was their assigned nurse, I would ask them about a tattoo they had or a snack they brought or allowing their physical assessment to lead to a story from their history. I ended up on their list of approved nurses and they stayed for their full treatment. Their stories helped with building trust, and I was able to learn about them and how they ended up on Dialysis and why they would be so upset and mistreat staff. It didn’t condone the behaviour but it helped to make the treatment tolerable for the both of us.

    • #7785
      Rebecca
      Member

      Nurses definitely learn by shared stories. I think nurses can teach with their stories. I am saddened to read that some of you have been exposed to the opposite. Working during covid certainly has been a challenge and staff shortages and burn out is a reality. There will be so many stories coming out of covid. Thank you to all the nurses, senior, junior and everyone in between.
      I had mention before about working one of my favorite nursing positions on a palliative care unit. We had debriefing sessions where we discussed certain cases. Many stories were told. We could be happy, sad, vulnerable. Show emotions to each other and patients. I learn a lot from our patients as well. They had stories to tell. Palliative patients taught me through their own stories that emotional pain can be manifested into physical pain. Emotions produce physical responses. This lesson learned was passed onto many new staff.

      • #7795
        Nicole
        Member

        The debriefs are so important as it helps us let all those feelings out. Nursing is so physically and emotionally draining which plays a huge part in the nursing shortage.

    • #7794
      Nicole
      Member

      Nurses can absolutely learn by sharing stories, as it is a way to reflect on situations and receive advice from coworkers. It’s nice to know you’re not alone in some cases and can relate to how others feels in certain situations. Us nurses develop close relationships with our coworkers as we experience things together. Reflecting on these experiences together helps us learn and grow.

      Nurses deal with many losses and traumatic experiences, then they feel they have to hold themselves together. We are expected to put on a new face every time we approach another patients room. In my experiences I have found its important to show emotion, sympathy and compassion for the purpose of building relationships with patients and their families. I have also learned from early in my career that it’s ok to feel this way, as it makes us human.

      I’ll never forget the night, I remember exactly who was working the floor, and most details from when the incident happened at 4AM. It was a couple who became new parents to a healthy baby girl. They were already in hospital for 24 hours at this point, and were expected to be discharged the next day. At 4AM the father ran to the nurses station and asked a nurse to come check on baby as she has been quiet for so long. The nurse went to the room to assess. 10 seconds later that same nurse was running out of the room to the birthing room with the baby and called a code. The father was pacing the hallway. The mother was screaming for her baby all while the team was doing their best to resuscitate. With no success, not one person on the floor had dry eyes that night and I think I’d be more worried if they had. Nurses sat with the mom, cried with the mom and supported her through the next steps. When dealing with loss, I think its more important we nurses showed emotion than try to be what they consider “professional.”

    • #7380
      Grazielle
      Member

      Hi Kathy – your example really resonated with me . During placement for school, I remember getting paired with a nurse in a unit that was NOT patient, or understanding at all. It was my first placement location and only my second time on the unit and I felt like I could not go to her to ask for help nor did I feel like I was able to learn without being judged for my “lack of knowledge”. This experience really stuck with me since then. I remember DREADING going to placement and often I would cry in the car before I went in. This ONE experience shaped how I view working in hospital units and I was scared to work in hospitals because I started to think I was not good enough. It took me a while to gain my confidence back so now whenever my nursing friends tell me that they have a new grad they are asked to train – I like to use my experience.

      I remember one nursing friend who was not thrilled that she has to train a new hire who was also a new grad – she said she’s already so busy and she doesn’t want to be slowed down. So I shared my store to remind them that we were once in their shoes and we need to remember to be patient and to be good mentors.

    • #7765
      Samantha
      Member

      This is something I have shared with others as well. So many new staff are scared away because of how they are treated by some of the senior staff. Then those senior staff are complaining because they are always working short and have become tired and burned out. Reminding senior staff that they have an impact on the staffing situation, (good or bad), has helped a select few change their approach on how they approach new hires. You can scare them away, or you can be patient and train them well so that n a few weeks they can be lightening your work load.

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