This week is National Nurses Week, and though mesothelioma patients may be referred to a mesothelioma specialist, surgeon, or other medical specialists by name, it’s usually nurses that they rely on for compassionate care.
The nurses are the ones who answer mesothelioma patients’ most immediate questions around the clock, showing empathy and compassion at every step of the way.
Nurses often act as the communication channel between the mesothelioma patient and the physician, taking time to ensure both patient and caregiver fully understand the answers and instructions.
Mesothelioma nurses are often the medical professionals with whom patients form their most important bonds. According to polls conducted by the Gallup organization, nursing is ranked as the most honest and ethical profession.
This is in large part because of the fact that they are always there, behaving professionally and confidentially and paying attention to the smallest details as well as the largest ones.
The nurses who provide care for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are likely to have advanced degrees, and have specialized in the care of patients with pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma. They understand the emotional burden that a mesothelioma diagnosis puts on a family.
Nurses spend as much time honing their support skills as they do learning about state-of-the-art medical treatments and technologies.
Nurses who specialize in caring for mesothelioma patients say that there are five things that they try to achieve and remember at all times.
- Patients need validation – They work to make sure that patients can express themselves fully, whether what they’re saying makes people uncomfortable or not.
- Patients need to be spoken to directly – Mesothelioma nurses work hard to prevent people from talking about the patient as though they aren’t there, and encourage people to speak directly to the patient about their treatment and their feelings.
- Mesothelioma nurses need to have thick skins – They need to remember the pain, frustration and grief that patients are feeling may be directed at them, and that they need to be patient and not take it personally.
- Mesothelioma patients need normalcy – Patients want to talk about things other than their illnesses, and they want to be treated as if they are normal.
- Mesothelioma patients need to be able to depend on them – Nurses have some of the most intimate interactions with mesothelioma patients, when they are at their most vulnerable. The patient relies on them to be understanding, kind and compassionate.
On National Nurses Week and every day, mesothelioma patients and their families appreciate the good work that their nurses do.
For information on other important resources, call the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.