I am writing this article to familiarize you with exactly what I do. Basically, I am your new best friend during your hospital stay. If you poop on yourself, I will keep your secret. I will make sure you eat and hold the basin if you vomit. I will watch your face for signs of pain and alert the nurse for medication if you are struggling not to “bother anybody.” In addition, I am professionally trained and skilled in making your hospital stay pleasant by:
…being a people person
On a 12-hour nightshift, I care for at least 10 patients, report to four nurses and work with two other nursing assistants — 16 sets of personalities, 17 including my own, with varying degrees of stresses and a high possibility that they may crash into each other. My practice is to check whatever stresses I may be experiencing in the locker room with my coat and bag and enter the floor with an air of positivity. So, don’t worry, I know you aren’t feeling well. I won’t hold your anger or frustrations against you at all because I know that you would rather be anywhere but stuck here in the hospital.
…utilizing good time management
Patients will be discharged and more admitted: some who have time-consuming health issues, and those of you that are self-care. You can rest assured that I will organize my night according to what your needs are, how much time I will need to document about you, and then when I will handle non-patient unit tasks. Most times, I will succeed at managing my time so that you are happy and my non-patient unit tasks are complete.
…practicing pride and professionalism
However, when we are working short-staffed, or my patient load is heavy, there are many shifts when I will struggle to manage my time right. But, because I’m a practicing professional, you will never know it. When I enter your room, you won’t hear impatience when I ask you what you need; nor will I complain to you how the patient in the next room keeps calling me and interrupting my schedule. If you hit your call button, I may have to pop my head into your room to see if you’re okay for five minutes and then retreat to the bathroom. But, I will return as promised. I take pride in not letting you know when the atmosphere is chaotic outside of your room.
I believe in communicating, and you can help me with that. I am not there just to get you ice water and food. If your stress is overwhelming you, let me know how I can help. If your pain medicine is not managing your pain, I can communicate that to the nurse for you if necessary. If you need an ear to listen, I am here. If you call and I’m already addressing another patient’s needs, I will come to you and see if you can give me a few minutes; or if it’s urgent, I will call for someone. And when I knock on your door at 1:30 a.m. dragging my vital sign machine behind me, I will let you know that I’m there to check your vitals, instead of just grabbing your arm.
…taking care of myself
Taking a five or 10-minute breather, sitting down for my 30-minute break, or taking a walk around the hospital is the part of caring for you that you won’t see. However, they are essential to my own well-being if I am to care for you properly and for that time period, my co-workers will gladly step in.
I hope I have made you feel comfortable, and I wish your stay here to be pleasant.