Insiders will tell you that the quality of the nursing staff in a hospital is just as important as the quality of doctors that practice there. There is no question that a dedicated, proactive nurse can make all the difference in the care your loved one receives during a hospital stay. Try the following to totally win over the nurses:
It is well known among people who do sales for a living that people love to hear their own names pronounced. And getting the best care for your loved one is one of the most important “sales pitches” you will ever make. Find out the first name of the nurse who is responsible for the care of your loved one and use it! Never, ever call out “nurse, nurse”.
Show some appreciation
Almost all of the nurses I have worked with are dedicated, hardworking professionals who do a fabulous job taking care of people. If you are happy with the care a particular nurse is giving your family member, tell him or her. Better yet, ask to speak to the nursing supervisor for that shift and let them know that you are pleased with the care (and mention names).
Follow the rules
Every hospital floor or intensive care unit has a formal schedule of visiting hours. Follow it!! Nurses are busy giving baths, handing out medications and getting patients ready for the operating room in the “off hours” and visitors during those times are distracting for the nursing staff and unsafe for the patients. If your loved one is critically ill or having an unexpected complication or is getting admitted late at night, the nurses will always make an exception. In the absence of one of these events, do not try to sneak in.
Make no mistake about it – nurses love when patients’ families bring in food for them to eat. I recommend treats and goodies that they can snack on during their shifts – buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizzas, trays of mixed nuts, pasta salads from the specialty deli. A box of nice chocolates is always okay, but I would stay away from those big cans of candied popcorn (these are low budget items dumped on the nurses’ stations en masse by doctors’ offices at holiday time). And get the most bang for your buck by providing the food tray during your loved one’s stay, not on their way out the door at discharge. Make sure you put a card or note on the tray saying, “From the So-and-so family. Thanks for your great care”.
Copyright 2006 Insidesurgery.com