Thursday, February 6, 2014

Being Nice

When being in a position of authority, one is burdened with a great deal of responsibility.

You are responsible for your own actions and decisions and moves. But you are also responsible for things outside of your control, like people and their actions and decisions and moves.

When you are responsible for the care of people and for the people who care for them, it is important that you foster nurturing relationships, it is important that you always allow youself to be approachable.

As a nurse practitioner I had to know my patients so that I could make good decisions in caring for them, but I also had to know my nurses so that I could anticipate their decisions and actions in caring for my patients.

I’ve worked with a lot of great nurses, some good nurses, and some nurses who meant  well, but that I just didn’t trust. I found it important to foster relationships with all of them, but especially the ones I didn’t trust.

I found that some of my partners didn’t trust the same nurses that I didn’t trust. This validated my concerns. They, at times, treated them with frustration, anger, disrespect. I was not there, I did not know this. I learned this from the nurses themselves. They said, “Thank you for being nice and being approachable. I know I can always ask you questions and you won’t make me feel stupid.”

Thank you for being nice.

Being nice.

I would like to think that I’m just a nice person. I think, in truth, it started out that way. But in time, I learned that being nice actually allowed me to gain insight, gain trust with the nurse. The nurse could ask me questions without reproach. I knew what was going on. I knew how my patient was. I knew what the nurse was thinking.

The nurse didn’t talk when they didn’t feel safe.

After a few incidents, I realized that being nice actually had the potential to save my patient. My being approachable increased patient safety.

No one gets anywhere from yelling. If anything you go backwards and the patient suffers.

I’m learning the same is true with students. I want to be approachable. I want them to ask questions. I want them to feel safe. I want to save their future patients.

There was never any benefit in eating your young. The field of nursing was wrong in that. That is not who I want to be.

I want to be nice.