“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning”. (Psalm 30:5, NIV)
Grief occurs in response to the loss of someone or something. The loss may involve a loved one, a job, or possibly a role, or an anticipated change due to the diagnosis made (in case of a patient). Anyone can experience grief and loss; however, individuals are unique in how they experience this event. Grief, itself, is a normal and natural response to loss. Each individual grieves in his or her own way. While many people will find that they do not need or want help with their grief, some people will seek individual counseling. Others want group support. Every loss is different in some way, but grief often shares common characteristics of leaving people feeling isolated by feelings of sadness and loss. Through support groups, individuals can find validation and feel like they are not alone. When there are so many reasons why a patient should be grieving, for the purpose of this response I will reflect on a patient who just learned about his/her new diagnosis.
Every health care provider has his/her role well defined which we call as job description. For a nurse, the main functions are to observe the patient, report changes to the physician, and carry out the physician's orders. The physician may order labs, radiology/imaging and/meds for a patient. These are just very few things that we do as part of our work. If we use critical thinking power and do what we are supposed to do, we are fulfilling our job description. However, do we stop there? Will the Physician ever write an order for the nurse to give emotional support to the patient? I have not seen any. Even though the physician does not order emotional support and it is not detailed in your job description; it is an understanding that the nurse will give holistic care to a patient that includes (not limited to) caring for body, mind, and spirit....
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