2012 Winning Essay

2012 A Nurse I Am Scholarship winners were asked to answer the following:

A. Patients base their perceptions of the healthcare they receive on their experience with the medical personnel they interact with. Describe how two nurses in the film “A Nurse I Am” contributed to their patient's satisfaction and well-being by providing an accurate perception of genuine concern, safety, and excellence.

B. How will you ensure that you provide your patients with excellent care and a positive healthcare experience?

Robert Kinyanjui

South Puget Sound Community College - Olympia, Wash.

Currently, I persist through nursing school and work as a licensed practical nurse. When I watched the film, “A Nurse I Am”, I invited my newly immigrated wife to watch with me. A faithful support system, she now aspires to become a nurse herself. As we watched, our small living room became vibrant with emotion as we became inspired by the film's depiction of nurses providing excellent holistic patient care. Many times, tears welled and rolled from our eyes as we empathetically absorbed and became moved by the backgrounds of the nurses, their excellence, and the extent of their selfless devotion to their patients. Particularly I was moved by the exemplary contributions by both Bob Wilkinson and Ardis Bush—their genuine concern, safety and dedication which altogether affect their patients’ satisfaction and wellbeing was striking.

The extent nursing preparedness of both Bob and Ardis evokes emotion. For example, Bob satisfies his pediatric oncology patient and family by integrating his understanding of oncology, developmental psychology and psychosocial needs to promote wellness. By not ignoring the developmental stages and providing family emotional support, Bob and Ardis were able to offer deeper level of care that included viewing the patient as a holistic, unique individual. And because of their knowledge of diseases and the possible devastation of the disease process, they step into the lives of their patients with integrity and confidence, using their talents of communication and sensitivity to intentionally bestow compassion to those they interact with. Even when the prognosis is uncertain, their positive actions and sensitivity promote hope by the bedside. Their voice and actions display empathy. This elicits patient satisfaction.

Furthermore, both nurses create time for recreation and relaxation for they understand the significance of rest and safety. To promote safety, it is expedient to know when to step back, stop and rethink, and ask questions. Bob does not hesitate to question pharmacology admixtures from his peers and superiors so as to maintain safe practice. Bush collaboratively works with others to the same end.

The genuine concern of these two nurses remains visible in their private life. They do not cease to care even when disease processes appear as insurmountable mountains. I admired Ardis; empathetically, she does not hide her concern with patient issues. As if she can read the hidden inner thoughts and turmoil of her several patients, she engages in open, honest communication and in this way, she begins to solve problems and impart healing. To enhance safety and better satisfaction, she communicates concerns about patient conditions and quality of care to patients and appropriate persons. Her collaboration with nurses and others in the healthcare delivery system paves the way for excellent care. Ardis also is quick to implement teaching at patient’s level of development and learning needs. This exchange of knowledge in plain layman terms makes it easier for the patient to understand the complex etiologies and prognoses. Ardis takes great pride in supporting the success of all other colleagues. This creates a caring atmosphere. This action moves her to effectively function as a member and a leader proffered by the nursing team and her community. In comparison, both Ardis and Bob use physical touch as a therapeutic tool as they listen to their patients’ concerns.

Along with Bob and Ardis, I, too, am aware of the effects of therapeutic touch, in that it has healing properties that can uplift emotions. Considering the actions of both Bob and Ardis, and the various responses of their patients/ families, it is evident that empathy, safety, consideration, sensitivity, active listening and selfless devotion during care will produce pleasant experiences for the sick. These traits I will also seek to embrace more at the bedside. I am now motivated to produce excellent care by deepening my theoretical knowledge, all while being empathetic to families and providing emotional support, information, resources and empowerment in standing up for my patients' safety, and to share patient outcome and concerns with other healthcare team members. I am inspired to provide the best holistic, unique individualized care within my power. These experiences are the way of my current patient interactions and of my Kenyan culture: To serve collaboratively with others. And at last, I can proudly testify that watching the film, “A Nurse I Am” has been an inspirational step, reviving in me a desire to serve others with compassion and excellence. My life has a bigger dimension; I must rise to a higher platform, as a result of this film. A nurse I am.

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