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Louise Asselin

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In your experience, what was the difference between a 'good' nurse or a 'bad' nurse?

As a patient under the care of a nurse, beit for an acute or a chronic issue, what did the nurse do or not do that made you feel he/she was a good or a bad nurse?

How did his/her interaction with you (or lack thereof) change your view on your illness and journey to wellness? Was a therapeutic relationship formed?


Note: By 'bad' I don't mean someone as not having the required credentials. By 'bad', I mean that the nurse did or did not do something that conflicted with your view of a nurse's role.

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Closing Statement from Louise Asselin

Nursing implications are not limited to practical skills but also involve individualized emotional support. Many feel that the difference between a good nurse and a nurse is the ability to care and be compassionate during the healing process. A good nurse is someone who can be trusted and relied upon during a person's most vulerable state.

Thank you to everyone for sharing your comments, thoughts and personal accounts.

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    Oct 27 2011: A good nurse is the one who listens to the doctor and doesn't try to do more than they are trained to do. Frankly, bedside manner, comforting, and emotional skill are very secondary in my opinion. The nurses who are best at their job are the ones with the best skill sets that don't try to do a doctor's job, not he ones that can convince you they have the best skill sets or make you think that they are equal to doctors in training or expertise.
    • Oct 27 2011: Thank you for your input Kenji !

      I'm a bit confused as to why you are comparing the skill sets of doctors and nurses and how it relates to my question. Are you implying doctors are the only health care providers to give emotional support to a patient? Should you be in a hospital bed you would prefer the nurse to come in, do his/her assessments, not say a word and leave the room without saying a word or attempt to make sure you are comfortble and attended to in every aspect?

      Doctors and nurses have their separate roles and both have a professional responsibility to a therapeutic relationship with the patient. It can't be denied that transference can simply take place with a patient and doctor. Nurses have the most patient contact and it is their responsibility to inform the doctor of the patient's condition. At what point does the nurse try to equalify her/himself to the doctor in terms of skill sets?

      *Please note I'm genuinely interested and not trying to cause offence. I am curious to know more about your point of view.

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