Before & After: I Felt Like a Nurse Again by Gaylen T.
Attending Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations Training has been of great benefit to me both personally and professionally. I am diligent about sharing the books, audio companions, and the Crucial Skills Newsletter with my staff.
I work in a non-clinical department within a trauma center staffed by very experienced nurses in emergency and/or critical care—which contributes to the amazing and thorough work they do in their current roles. I shared your recent Q&A article, “Coping with the Loss of a Loved One” with my staff and received the following e-mail, titled “I felt like a nurse again,” in response:
“Last Wednesday as I was leaving the ICU, I did something I have often wanted to do but didn’t feel comfortable doing. A woman was walking down the hall toward the waiting room, and she was crying—not an uncommon sight. I slowed down, walked along side her, and said I was so sorry for whatever she was going through. I thought it was probably related to one of my patients, but I wasn’t positive. She seemed relieved and said, “It is so hard.” I kept walking with her and asked if she was alone and if I could get her a drink of water. She said family was in the waiting room and that she had a bottle of water in her bag. Just before we got to the ICU waiting room, she stopped and leaned toward me for a hug, then stood for a few minutes before going into the waiting room. At that point, I left.
“If it hadn’t been for the Crucial Skills Newsletter you sent and a recent experience with another coworker who recently lost her husband, I don’t think I would have had the courage to actually approach this woman. I am very thankful that I did so.
“Years ago, I read a book written by a man whose young wife died in the ICU and he says the longest walk of your life is from the hospital to your car after your loved one has died. I have often wondered if there is any way someone can walk out with those folks who stand alone at the bedside when their family member dies. This is just another example of how a small gesture can make a large impact.”
So, I want to thank you for making these resources available to me and my staff. We still contribute to the profession we love and demonstrate this commitment to our patients, families, and associates.