At the typical nursing station of today’s hospitals, it can sometimes seem like high-tech medical machinery supersedes a personal connection formed between the patient and nurse or other health care professional. But for many caregivers, that one-to-one relationship forms the essence of their service. This episode considers how connections can uplift the patient being cared for, as well as nurses, who spend more time with patients than other medical professionals. It also can help to sustain and revitalize nurses, who often are called to their work through a powerful drive serve people.
How does a caring relationship with patients help them feel less alone in the face of a health crisis? To what extent is it appropriate for caregivers to show human emotion at a moment of vulnerability for the patient? How can nurses respond to the spiritual needs of a patient?
We hear from Connie Delaney, Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She’s a leader in the movement to reinforce the role of nursing – in today’s complex health care setting – in genuinely compassionate, patient-centered care. We also listen to the experiences of Wanda Baker, a pediatric nurse and native Canadian who has worked in critical care and palliative care in Canada and the United States.