The patients we care for are not just numbers or statistics, we treat them as people. We learn who they are. As nurses we have the luxury of spending time with them and to develop relationships with them – that’s what allows us to walk through the healing process with them. The thing that really gets me going for nursing is when I hear the patients I'm working with come to me and say, "I've gotten my life back." - To me that is so rewarding because I know that I'm helping them to get where they need to be, rather than have the disease dictate their life. They now feel that they are in control again.
We see all of the ups and downs with our clients. Sometimes that can be a little sad and our job is simply to help them cry and to be there to answer any questions. I am able to explain what's going on in human terms and not just scientific or nursing and medical jargon. I help provide some understanding and context so that they can make informed decisions. I'd like to think of my role as interpreting all of the knowledge and science behind their illness and putting it into a human perspective for them. The knowledge we require is extensive. Nurses provide expert care. I love that we can touch on all aspects of client care.
Most of my nursing career has focused on chronic illness, geriatrics, children with disabilities and long-term care.
To me long term care means that you're putting yourself into a job that requires your attention and commitment on an ongoing basis. For me it means being in for the long haul - It means always being there for your patients.
Long term care means being there for your patients day in and day out. You don’t just turn off the lights at the end of the day and go home. You take part of what you did that day and part of that [patient] with you. It means an ongoing commitment to the people that you're working with, not just putting in the hours. It means developing relationships with people along the way and really establishing, earning and living up to the trust that they put in you.