"Expert Staff Nursing Practices" is a great example of a paper on care. Clinical exemplar according to Brykczynski, (1998) refers to expert nursing stories about their experiences in nursing practice. This definition forms the basis of my experience with cancer patients in a hospice majority of who were in the late stages of cancer development and were really suffering not only physically but psychologically as well. The experience with them taught me the valuable lesson of appreciating good health at all times and not taking it for granted to be alive and well.
The story below explains my experience at the hospice with these patients which I had to endure as a nurse in my daily shifts for the two years I worked there. I was assigned to the hospice soon after registration as a nurse and it was pretty much my first official job and nothing, not even all the residency hours and the theory would have prepared me for the two-year experience in that place. After my shift the first day, I cried myself to sleep thinking of the suffering and extreme pain the cancer patients were going through.
After my first week of crying daily, I was ready to quit the career as a nurse and move to another area if I would not be relocated to another hospital to deal with other patients with less suffering than the ones that were currently under my watch. The request was of course denied and my mentor talked me into persevering for the next couple of weeks and if the feeling was still the same, then I could quit but that never happened. The hospice is dedicated to cancer patients only and since all of them are in the last stages of cancer, they receive no heavy treatment other than just painkillers and trying to keep them comfortable as they wait to die.
My work was to give them painkillers and with time I started talking to them and getting to know more about them and the disease as I also tried to offer them comfort. Their experiences even though downplayed were heartbreaking. The amount of suffering they had gone through and were still going through was intolerable.
They were resigned having lost all vigor, a reason to live, family members, and other social support systems, they were practically calling for the angel of death to come and take them so that they could rest in peace literally. The numerous sessions of chemotherapy combined with surgeries and radiotherapies had left them more psychologically wounded, raw, and exposed than physically. This showed in their faces as they grimaced in pain just at the slightest movement or mention of happiness or even the past. Even though some discussed their illness, there are some who completely shut down and would not talk about their past lives before all the sickness started and refused even mild counseling or talk therapy sessions in groups. Conclusion The experience I got from nursing cancer patients in that hospice was nothing short of enlightenment.
I got to start viewing life in a different view and appreciating every day I got to live being healthy. I got to appreciate life even more as I interacted with the patients daily and they were not only patients to me but inspiration and some sort of heroes in their own way as they had fought the cancer fight and even though they had finally resigned to fate, they still had energy left in them to encourage me.
ReferencesBrykczynski, (1998), “Clinical exemplars describing expert staff nursing practices.” Journal of Nursing Management, vol. 6 (6), pp. 351–359. Doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2834.1998.00088.x.