In my practice I ran into an awkward situation in which I for a long while simply did not know how to behave. I noticed that other nurses or at least the majority of them were cutting on the medicines, meant to be given to the patients or for injections. The difference was not critical, however quite obvious for me. It was obviously a subject to an agreement, something that was discussed by the nurses in the unit and, most likely, it had been practiced for a long while by the time I appeared in the unit. I was new and it was not clear whether or not I was going to stay for a long while, and this is why, at least that is how I explain it to myself, the rest of the nurses either did not care or were somewhat afraid to make an attempt to involve me into the scheme.
I had a medical instructor who was a sort of meant to help me in such situations, however, I did not want to bring this issue up with my medical instructor. I was afraid, or, rather to say, I was quite certain, that in case I do, the situation will be discussed with the floor manager. It would certainly become clear to all the other members of the team who was the person who revealed the common secret. It would certainly, or at least I felt so, stand for the end of any human relations with the team members. However, if I did not bring the matter up, the issue would still become evident sooner or later. As I have mentioned above, the difference was not very significant and, in fact, not critical for the patients’ health, but it was noticeable, and the patients would sooner or later notice my different method of using the medicines. This issue would then be brought up anyway, and it would be brought up by the people from beyond the team, and, what makes things even worse, by the clients. This would put the members of the team into an even worse situation. Again, it would be clear who was to blame for it. And I was panic ally afraid of this moment. Another possible option, which was not in fact an option for me, was to simply follow the general pattern and join the team in their behavior, which I personally strongly disapproved. However my moral principles did not allow me follow this path. Thus, it seemed, there were only two options: to be a pure professional and forget about any personal relations and emotions and to inform the medical instructor in a hope of receiving reasonable advice, or just let things flow pretending not to notice anything. In both cases I was certain to end up being the bad person, to be opposing the team, the thought of such a perspective terrified me and I went on letting things flow even though I was quite certain it was the wrong way to go in many respects. But the approval of the team and the perspective of becoming a member of the team was such a great value for me that I could not come to oppose them by revealing the secret, though I was never entrusted with it. My professional principles were too strong, however, to let me follow the other scenario and simply join the team in their pattern of behavior.
This situation I thought of when working on chapter ten of the textbook. As stated by Duane & Varcoe (2015), nurses, due to stereotypical attitude to this profession, are seldom seen, and this includes being seen even and foremost by their own selves, as decision makers. I was simply afraid of taking the responsibility. Meanwhile, in accordance to the checkpoint 4.2, offered in the textbook, I should have applied the metaphor of a card game to my situation. There were certain cards I had, and I needed to use them as well as I could in order to approach the victory. And victory is, first of all, the well-being of the client. This is emphasized as the main professional goal of any nurse by a number of authors, including Chin, & Kramer (2008). Meanwhile, Dunphy & Winland-Brown (2011) also emphasize that it is critically important for a nurse not to be just a worker, who never takes over the responsibility, but rather to, despite stereotypical attitudes, to become a professional who can and must take the responsibility, make decisions and react at to the situations in order to ensure the best performance for the clients. And in this context I also found it to be quite reasonable to address collaborating checkpoint 3.3 – looking for the join. I have somehow managed to set myself beyond the context. Meanwhile, it was a reasonable thing to do to just join the team and start the conversation. A solution to the problem could be found and appear to be much less complicated than I had expected.
Another important checkpoint, among the ones, listed in the textbook is point 2.4: Be discerning and deliberate. I was meant to evaluate all possible outcomes and, among them, I was meant to find the most appropriate behavior. Which was joining the team by starting a conversation instead of almost enjoying the lack of a way out. This was the most balanced solution as it allowed me to bothjoin the team and to defend the interests of the patients.
Collaboration checkpoint 2.2. Also seems to be quite within the context. It says “Do not Eat Poison”. It is advised to closely analyze one’s reactions. Which I did not do. I simply reacted without trying to find the causes of my reactions. And this is what prevented me from seeing the whole picture. By analyzing my reactions I could have found the solution.
Lastly, I find the checkpoint 1.1 as very applicable in this case. I should have related to my emotions and not to what had caused them. I was thinking of how wrong people were and how hard it was to deal with such people, while I in actual fact had to deal with my own emotions instead, and this would allow me to arrive at a solution.
In general, the knowledge which I have now obtained through working on chapter 10 of the textbook would certainly turn out to be very handy in my situation with which, I believe so, and I failed to cope.
- Chin, PL; Kramer, MK (2008). Integrated Theory and Knowledge Development in Nursing (7th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
- Doane, Gweneth Hartrick & Colleen Varcoe. (2015). Relational inquiry with individuals and families in changing health and health care contexts. Wolters Kluwer/ lippincott williams & wilkins. 1st edition, 2015.
- Dunphy, L. M. & Winland-Brown J. E. (2011): Primary care: The art and science of advanced practice nursing. F.A. Davis.