From her perspective as Assistant Nurse Manager of GI, Endoscopy at Euclid Hospital- Cleveland Clinic, Elaine Williams, MSN, RN, shares advice for anyone considering a nursing career.
The advice that I would give to anyone pursuing a nursing degree is to always treat patients with respect and dignity. Be compassionate because patients look to us as nurses for help and support. When we show concern for our patients, it helps to establish or build rapport and foster trust between the caregiver and the patient. We demonstrate empathy by putting ourselves in someone else’s place, and by providing privacy while doing procedures with the patient. This is especially important in GI nursing.
Nurses play a critical role in delivering quality care. As direct caregivers, we can improve a patient’s outcome by acting as an advocate for them. We can inform physicians about their needs and help patients to make informed decisions regarding their health. Our patients have a better understanding when we explain medical terms, procedures, safety issues, or prevention of illness in terms they can understand. Above all, a nurse must be a good listener and not be judgmental.
Last, but not least, a nurse must maintain a sense of humor. Laughing is good for the soul and a smile can brighten everyone’s day.