Time to Care

Submitted by Ingram School of Nursing
October 30, 2020

I had originally intended to reflect on the intersection of nursing and pratical skills. I created the stencil, included as image, to put together a simple embroidered patch. The patch would serve to illustrate fundamental hands on skills, so essential to nursing. That despite the recent focus and reliance on technology, the pandemic provided some of us with extra time to slow done and hone in on said skills, whether in our homes or in the hospital. Hand washing, a most practical skill, had proven itself central to curbing the pandemic.

HOWEVER, my unit is currently in an active outbreak, and time got ahead of me and I never got around to stitching. Instead I was at work!

The outbreak has left our unit downsized both in the number of staff and patients, with visistors effectively banned except for humanitarian reasons. It’s as quiet and unhurried as a medical unit can be. So much so, that a patient attendant took the time to shave a palliative patient at 1opm. The nurse had arranged for the patient to be shaved following a conversation with the family. In passing, they mentionned how their late mother was not allowing their father into heaven in his current state, as she never let him go a day without shaving.

I can imagine a million and one barriers to such a simple and heartfelt moment during an average shift. However, the outbreak, in disrupting our usual work-pace, welcomed a camaraderie and purposefullness for such caring to take place.

And to return to my original idea, the patch that was not to be, I suppose my wish for nurses and all health care workers would be more time! More free time to devote to their hobbies, loved ones, and health. More time to discover the individual needs of their patients, and to provide care that is meaningful.