Some patients are so alone they rather remain hospitalized rather than go home
Nursing is an interesting profession. Nurses are in a unique position to see others up close, and personal. When patients feel vulnerable, you get a sense they entrust everything to you; this is a great responsibility and something very special.
These nurse patient interactions are the hidden jams in nursing, and I find them to be the most interesting part of the job. I see them as a privilege. It is amazing how some people react to simple and basic attention, love, and care. I sometimes feel like TLC goes such a long way it becomes the best form of treatment, even better than drugs. This is more apparent with patients suffering from mental illnesses.
For some people, hospitalar environments are dreaded places. However, some patients seem to enjoy every bit of whatever they receive while admitted, in fact they crave hospital life more than we can imagine. But what they really crave is attention, they don’t care if it comes from a hospital or any other place. But they know they can surely get that at a hospital.
Yesterday I took care of a patient that only a few days earlier, had taken an overdose of sedatives with alcohol, and according to reports, was her third suicide attempt. She was in pretty bad shape when they found her on the floor, she was taken to the ER where she later spent three days in the ICU fighting for her life.
After reading the report I headed to the room to get to know the patient. I was expecting to see a train wreck. But when I entered the room I saw a patient seating up in bed in good disposition and good spirits. She talked to the nurses incessantly asking questions, talking about whatever was in her mind. It just didn’t match the report at all. How did she turned around 180 so fast. When asked if she wanted to go home she was sure that she didn’t want that. She sure looked pretty happy where she was.
It was obvious to me that this patient was getting some real quality attention, for the first time in a while. There were people around, they cared for her, they asked her if she needed anything. This was evident to me as I saw her enjoyment and interaction with the staff, medication passed and anything that was offered to her like a pillow or some ice.
I’ve also noticed several patients displaying the same kind of behavior. I even heard of a patient who was sent home several times but kept coming back even though the doctor told them him there was no reason for him to be in the hospital.
It is unfortunate that people have to go to a hospital to get some TLC and that they lack love and attention daily. Lack of love can make a person so sick and miserable that it create desires of inflicting harm to self. It should be a diagnosis and often is, as depression, delusion, altered mental status, so on and so forth.
Nurses do a great job loving their patients, at least the majority of them do. Some are so loving they make a difference for the wellness of patients. This can actually cure them in a way or another.
It would be nice if hospitals and health care centers would emphasize and treat TLC with the same vigor as the treat patients with medications 24/7.