The medical world could not function without nurses. It’s no secret to any of us who has had a doctor’s appointment or been in the hospital that a nurse can make all of the difference in our total experience and recovery process. Whether undergoing a routine procedure, scheduling a simple appointment, or being there beside us while the doctor has a serious conversation, a nurse’s presence can determine how well we as the patient copes with the situation and emotionally processes the outcome.
Those of us with illness can be quick to criticize the nurses who hardly acknowledge us, who forget to bring our medications when we are in the hospital, and who seem to enjoy their job as the gatekeeper to their doctor a little too much.
But as a chronically ill patient we have a long list of encounters with nursing staff, so we must also fondly recall the nurses who made unquestionable improvements in our care by being our advocate when no one else would listen, or just by holding our hand while we received a underwent painful (and possibly lonely) procedure.
Recently, when I was checked into the hospital, the nurse from the wound care center had to push me in a wheelchair through an outside maze of a construction zone walkway. Ironically, she shared that she too had rheumatoid arthritis like myself. I felt like I made a new friend in those ten minutes and she made me much more comfortable in getting to my destination.
As the editor of a magazine called HopeKeepers, I have attempted to find a nurse who would submit an article that would shed some light on what a typical day for a nurse is like at a doctor’s office. I realize that it can be frantic, scheduling and rescheduling dozens of people, all who need to see the doctor today. Nurses try to please the physicians, check patients in, take health histories, give out lollipops and smile, all while attempting to do more than can be expected in the time allotted.
I have not yet found a nurse who was willing to even be interviewed for such an article; more than a few have even exclaimed, “If anyone found out, I would lose my job!”
The better chronically ill patients and nurses keep trying to improve communication and increasingly understand one anothers needs however, there is only room for trusting relationships. It’s a relationship that (sadly) can last longer than a marriage.
Here are 12 ways to better understand the chronically ill patient.
 When you ask what medications I am currently taking, please don’t look flabbergasted or skeptical when I pull out a couple of sheets of paper. I’m really not an addict.
 When you take a moment to ask me about how I am doing emotionally, not just physically, I feel this website like you really do care. In some ways this makes me more comfortable and even forthcoming about the physical symptoms when the doctor asks me questions later.
 When you celebrate my little successes with me, it can be the highlight of my day. You understand unlike most people how hard it can be to reach a goal weight on certain medications or what a struggle it can be to wean off a medication. I know you hear the stories of patients like me every day so I appreciate your enthusiasm for my little successes.
 Realistically, I know that you are probably not aware every medication that is on the market, but when you ask me how to spell my medication three times, which happens to have an ad in every women’s magazine, I wonder how frequently bluestacks line rangers hack you get out of the office.
 By simply telling me, “I don’t know how you cope so well. I really admire your attitude and how you deal with this dease,” I can float around for days.
 When you have asked, “Can I pray for you?” I’m very thankful for your offer. I know some of your patients may say no, but for many, it may be the first time someone has ever offered to pray for them.
 When I am undergoing a medical procedure and my family cannot be there, having you hold my hand makes all the difference. Thanks for understanding the fact that any medical procedure, no matter how minor, is major to me.
 I am somewhat of a “professional patient.” And that means I can come across a little bit like a control freak when it comes to monitoring my pain level and knowing when and how much medication I need to control it. That said, handing you the reins of dispersing all of my medication when I’m in the hospital is a challenge. The time of morning I take my drugs makes all the difference in my day. So I appreciate when you are able to get it to me as close to the right time as possible.
 If you are having a bad day, just tell me, “Today has been a little hectic.” I know you are human and have rough days, but when you are grumpy I tend to think I’ve done something to upset you and have been known to take it personally.
 I really do have a life, even if it’s filled with medical visits, therapies, lab test, etc. I’m not trying to be difficult when you are scheduling appointments or trying to reach me. I just want my family to have as normal of life as possible despite my illness.
 When you do something like call a prescription into the pharmacy so it’s ready when I get there, and I don’t have to wait, I recognize that it’s an extra step for you, and appreciate it a great deal.
 When I am in the hospital your willingness to help with a shower, change the sheets, or just have a conversation to distract me from where I am, makes slither io hack jailbreak all the difference in my stay. I appreciate the fact that you treat me like a real person, and not just a project.
Coping with a chronic illness is very difficult. Choosing the path of a nursing career is not easy either. When each graciously passes along encouragement to one another by saying “thank you” or “I so admire your strength,” both the nurse and the patient can have a much more productive–sometimes even enjoyable–relationship.