Empathy In Nursing

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For the purpose of this assignment I have chosen to reflect on not knowing how to treat a confused patient with dementia.
During this experience I felt like I was of no help to the patient and as a result I was useless to the staff. I felt like this because I didn’t know how to talk to this lady. I didn’t understand how to act or what to say to fix the situation. Digby (2016) states that empathy is an essential quality for nurses in order to effectively care for a patient with dementia. Perhaps in this scenario I lacked the empathy to care for this patient properly?
I was trying to re-orientate Margaret and reassure her that she was in the best place for receiving the help that she needed. This however did not go as smoothly as I had hoped
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Griffiths et al (2014) stated that frustration is a common problem for nurses who are caring for people with dementia. I think that Margaret’s emotions were the biggest factor that influenced my feelings. The frustration on her face upset me as I desperately wanted to resolve the problem for her. However, part of the problem was me not allowing her to go home. Marquardt (2011) acknowledged that care for people with dementia is made more difficult in the hospital setting as the busy environment can disorientate them and leads to…show more content…
I would have more patience and try to get to the root of the problem instead of dismissing it. I would try not to get frustrated so easily and have the empathy to care for this patient. Empathy is essential for person-centred care and nurses must have empathy in order to understand the situation from the patient’s perspective (Girffiths et al, 2012). If I responded with more empathy and less frustration I think the patient in turn would be less frustrated and although the problem may not be resolved, anxiety will be reduced and a trusting relationship will develop.
Upon reflecting on this experience, I feel like I am more confident in handling the situation should it arise again. Reflecting on it has made me realise that not everything I did was wrong and has helped me to explore what I need to improve on. Reflection is important in the nursing profession as it allows us to think about our actions and talk about how we could have carried them out differently (Johns and Burnie, 2013). Reflection plays a big role in developing the student into a nurse (Barbour,
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