My parents always told me that humility will lead to a life full of satisfaction and contentment. Although I questioned this thought growing up, I am sure that it is a true fact now. True humility allows myself and others, and helps us to live together as a one community. Maintaining your nursing values is an important moral for you to stay in this profession.
After teaching nursing students for years, I realized that “humility” is one of the biggest virtues we need in this profession because it embraces many lives with respect. My recent clinical teaching at the long-term care facility gave me an opportunity to think about humility in many ways.
The majority of the patients living in the care facility are more than 75 years old. For some patients, this facility is their home. When I receive reports from my students, more than 90 percent of patients are diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, renal disease, urinary tract infection, hyperlipidemia, arthritis and each patient has more than five diseases in their body simultaneously.
Most patients we had at the long-term care facility showed their gratitude. It is amazing how our life is so precious, yet so fragile. Through taking care of those patients, I had the chance to think about what’s more important and valuable in our lives.
As I work with clinical nursing assistants, I can really see their skills of turning a patient left and right, pulling up a patient to the head of the bed, bathing and changing gowns, and finally dressing them new diapers. These tasks do not take them long to accomplish, but it took more than 30 minutes for my students and I to do the same task for each of their patients. Although we know the purpose of changing position, checking skin, bathing and more by heart, the CNAs have been mastering their skills over the years. We learned some 'tricks' not only to quickly complete our tasks, but to also not delay quality patient care.
Teaching students (especially first year nursing students) gives me an opportunity to remember where I started from. I clearly remember the first day of my clinical rotation, the first injection, the dreadful fear of going to the night shift, and how uncomfortable it was to work with coworkers who were not emotionally stable, all because I was young and new.
Every expert has a beginning point. Not forgetting where I came from allows me to be willing, open and be humble to others as part if my nursing values. By accepting others expertise, I was able to improve each individual patient’s life and the lives of all around me with efficiency and respect.
By Maria Cho (RN, PhD, AOCNS) Assistant Professor at California State University, East Bay
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