A home care nurse recently said to me, “I didn’t realize how important it was to say a formal good-bye to my patients when they were leaving service until one of them contacted me and told me how upset she was that I didn’t.” The nurse added, “I really didn’t think we (meaning nurses) mean that much individually to patients. I know they need the service but didn’t think they really cared who delivered it.” I was startled to hear her say that, believing she personally had so little impact and value. When you undervalue your personal contribution and role, and see yourself simply as a “service provider” you have lost sight of the true nature of your work and your own humanness in the process.
Likewsie, If a patient or family member compliments you on the excellent care you provide or how helpful you are, say, “Thank you. I appreciate your saying so,” rather than diminishing the person’s perspective and your own value by saying, “That’s just my job” or “That’s what I get paid for.” The latter response makes it sounds like you don’t really care but are simply providing a service in exchange for wages. If that’s how you really feel, it may be time to make a change.
©Donna Cardillo. All rights reserved.