In the April 2013 issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON), we published “The Devil Is in the Details.” This column was written by MMA as part of The Patient’s Voice series of articles. MMA talks about how much she appreciates her oncology nurses, but notes that there are some things they have not done. Please go to the TON website at www.TheOncologyNurse.com to read the full article. We received the following letter in response to MMA’s column:
I sure enjoyed reading the article “The Devil Is in the Details” by MMA. I have been an RN for 33+ years and I remember the days when we paid attention to those “details.” Our patients were given back rubs, pedicures, baths, hand cloths to wash their hands prior to their meals, etc. Unfortunately those days are long gone. Nurses have had to wear so many new “hats” that it has become nearly impossible to fulfill the patient’s basic needs. Sure we have Patient Care Assistants that should be providing these basic need cares for our patients, but they too have been given so many new “hats” that they are unable to perform all their “hat” duties.
I base all this on experience, no scholarly articles needed for reference, just many years of experience and observations of how times have changed. Even the new graduated do not have a clue to what “bedside” nursing involves.
I, for one, fear the future as I will have to depend on these same nurses and PCAs to care for me when I am older.
MMA, thanks for sharing your perspective from the patient’s view; we, nurses, need to hear this and be reminded that we are there for the patients!
Cindy Covington, RN, Infusion Nurse
Cindy Covington raises some important issues that pertain to the daily practice of oncology nurses and their colleagues and how they meet the needs of patients. In her letter, she reflects on the changes she has seen over her career in how nurses provide “bedside” care to patients. We want your reaction to MMA’s original article and to Cindy Covington’s letter—how do you perceive this issue? Please participate in our reader poll (see below) and let us know what you think.