It’s not hard to be good

On a recent visit to her allergy clinic for bee shots, my girlfriend encountered a wonderful nurse.

Being a good nurse herself, she was able to identify the skill set that makes for one.
The process of administering shots is pretty straight forward. You roll up the patients sleeve to expose the injection site. Jab the needle into their flesh, squeeze the plunger, and then pull out the needle.  The entire experience only lasts seconds, but the process is not without skill.

beeWith the proper technique and enough practice, the process can be as routine as a basketball player sinking free throws one after another.

But, what’s routine to the nurse, isn’t necessarily routine for the patient. Although the procedure is simple for the nurse, the process can be preceded by anxiety and trepidation for the patient.

Many questions rattle through the patient’s head prior to the shot.

How big is the needle?

Will it hurt?

Will there be blood?

How will I feel after the shot?

Will my arm be numb?

Will I lose consciousness?

A good nurse puts a troubled mind at ease by talking with the patient. No, not about the shot or what to expect, but rather an interesting topic or something distracting.

The biggest mistake a nurse can make is counting down a shot. This isn’t Cape Canaveral were dealing with here, Houston we have a problem. The countdown to impending doom only leads to more anxiety and the potential for a painful experience for the patient. The shot administrator is also put at risk because the added potential for being greeted with a face-full of flailing limbs.

This nurse in particular was very friendly, chatty, and had a disarming charm that put her at ease.

As she approached the injection site she did so with an audible buzz produced by her voice box. After administering the shot, she quipped, “I feel like when ever I give bee shots, I have to make bee sounds.”

She made the experience fun and memorable.

It didn’t take much additional energy to be cute or funny. It did require a certain sense of charisma.

The chasm separating a mediocre performer and a good one can be very wide but the effort involved is actually very slight. Most of it comes down to a choice of whether we want to exert the effort or not.

Author: Jeff

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