It’s been busy these past few weeks as my elder parent entered a new phase of life, dialysis at home. The transition to manage a chronic condition with medications and monitoring is now living in a home that looks more like a supply room. Boxes and boxes keep coming, my elder is also in transition–his grail is to improve the quality of his day to day life. Small measures that include some gardening tasks, walking around his favourite stores–the grocery store does not have quite the same appeal.
Our lives at home have taken on a level of complexity that is familiar to me, experienced in multiple decades as a health care professional. My elder has grasped the key points–protect self against infection, set up the machine, connect and disconnect, self assess for change–right on top of that; an allergic sequelae of hives, pruritis, not sleeping and the team quickly responded to his issues. The modern patient/client needs to possess the skill of advocacy, and it helps to have a nurse who lives in with you.
I was reviewing some school notes, really establishing what can be chucked as space is a premium with elder’s new treatment. I found some on fractals, repeating patterns that can be examined for characteristics up close, a distance away and at each level view the same patterns even on a broad scale. Think of a map with coastal lines, say from the space station, from a plane, from a mountain, by the coast–same pattern different scale. In nursing the pattern of helping the patient on their holistic healing path, encompasses the physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual realms. The interactions of social support are also in the patterns, as it has been said no man is an island. Registered Nurses through their practices of specialities, roles, and environmental locations demonstrate the fractal patterns of nursing practice. A community nurse teaches breastfeeding to a new mother; a public health nurse addresses a viral outbreak in a specific neighbourhood; a palliative care nurse provides holistic end of life care in a client’s home; and an intensive care nurse manages a patient with hemodynamic instability. Nursing patterns are recognized whatever the changing perspective; an individual, family group, and/or community.
As nurses (successful ones) we see the patient/client/community as a combination of objective and subjective assessments, the holistic view of the sum is more than the parts. This means we gain a deeper awareness of the current reality, can effectively plan, implement, re-consider options, evaluate and thread it together with care, empathy, and clinical judgement. The environments we practise in are more dynamic, and our abilities to respond quickly, safely, and collaboratively requires our best selves.
Self care is integral to our nursing bodies and souls, stay tuned as we go further into complexity science and artistry, while you contemplate your fractals. Namaste.
Registered Nurse Storyteller, Healer, Scribe, Transformational Leader
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