quiet the power of introverts in a world that cannot stop talking
Source: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

It's common in nursing to be told by others that you shouldn't be a nurse, and some may even call you a “fake nurse” if you don't meet their own standards of what they think is required to be a nurse. The first time I was told I cannot be a nurse was by an elderly woman who believed only women can be nurses.

Then C19 came, and even though, as part of the team effort, we saved 99% to 100% of our vulnerable geriatric patients prior to the jabs, those who want to believe the only way to live is to be jabbed have called me and others who support the same point of view as I do, “fake nurses.”

Over the years, I've had pro-abortion proponents tell me I cannot be a nurse because I believe in the medical science that supports life starts at conception. The latest, most interesting comment (not initially directed towards me specifically) was made on social media where the person stated, “With all due respect, if the nurse is an , he/she does not belong working in Hospice.

This article aims to shed light on the valuable contributions that introverted nurses can bring to the field. By dispelling stereotypes and highlighting the strengths of introverted individuals, we can hopefully remove the bigotry towards introverts.

Introverted nurses bring unique strengths to end-of-life care, focusing on active listening, keen observation, thoughtful reflection, empowering education, and meaningful connections.

Thoughtful Listening and Understanding

Active listening becomes the cornerstone of creating a safe and nurturing space for patients and their families. By intently focusing on their words and emotions, introverted nurses offer them a sanctuary in which they can freely voice their worries, anxieties, and hopes. This willingness to lend an ear serves as a beacon of comfort during a time of immense vulnerability.

Our aptitude for active listening extends beyond just hearing words – it entails comprehending the emotional undercurrents beneath them. By picking up on subtle cues, we tune into the unspoken, enabling us to understand not only the physical needs of our patients but also their psychosocial needs. This empathetic grasp empowers us to tailor care plans that embrace the holistic dimensions of their well-being.

The hallmark of our patient interactions often translates into extended visit durations. Instead of hurrying through tasks, we invest the time to listen attentively, aiming not merely to comprehend but to genuinely understand and offer assistance. This patient-centric approach sets a paradigm where compassionate care prevails over hurried routines.

Keen Observation and Sensitivity

Our natural observant nature enables us to notice subtle changes in patients' conditions, ensuring prompt interventions. This attention to detail is especially vital in , where even small signs can have significant implications. Our sensitivity to nonverbal cues helps patients communicate their needs, enhancing their comfort and quality of life.

Just this past Tuesday, August 8, 2023, the writer was engaged in a meaningful conversation with a family that had brought their loved one home from a healthcare facility. Amidst the discussion, the writer repeatedly noticed subtle alterations in the patient's breathing from an adjacent room. The writer's ability to tune in and pause the conversation exemplifies the writer's dedication to comprehensive care.

The keen observation and sensitivity to the subtle change of condition lead the writer to ask the office for an extra visit for the patient just based on the understanding of the subtle alterations of breathing pattern prior to the actual physical assessment.

True to the writer's promise, the writer returned the next day to reassess the patient's condition. The course of events that unfolded underscores the importance of the writer's timely response. Placing the patient on daily nursing visits was a strategic move, enabling the writer to closely monitor their evolving state. Subsequently, the patient initiated the active dying process on Friday, August 11, 2023.

Thoughtful Reflection and Care Planning

Introverted nurses approach care planning with careful consideration and a focus on individualized needs. Our reflective nature allows us to create holistic care plans that respect patients' values, preferences, and cultural backgrounds. This personalized approach enhances patients' comfort and dignity during their end-of-life journey.

In the midst of a busy week, the writer, a dedicated hospice registered nurse case manager, took a moment to reflect on the profound importance of empathy in their role. The writer had already invested over forty hours by Thursday, August 10, 2023, demonstrating the writer's unwavering commitment to compassionate end-of-life care. This reflection was prompted by email communications concerning a newly admitted patient, one whom the writer hadn't yet met in person due to missing the post admission visit. This patient's story struck a chord, as it revealed the poignant struggles of the patient's wife in the face of her husband's recent pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

Amidst the demanding schedule, the writer recognized the urgency of the situation and promptly requested an “as needed visit.” This thoughtful action was not initially requested by the family, but the writer's insight and empathy led them to understand the importance of providing support beyond the routine. By proposing this visit, the writer aimed to ensure that the patient's family had all necessary resources and information in place. Equally significant was the writer's desire to alleviate the burden and stress that the patient's wife was undoubtedly experiencing as she cared for her ailing husband.

The writer's decision to request the “as needed visit” was a strategic and compassionate approach. It was evident that the immediate needs of the patient and his family required attention, and the writer's empathetic insight guided their actions. By offering support beyond what was initially expected, the writer not only addressed the practical aspects of care but also demonstrated a deep understanding of the emotional challenges that accompany such circumstances. This approach aligns with the writer's values of empathy and , and it exemplifies their dedication to empowering patients, caregivers, and fellow nurses.

Empowering Education and Support

Our ability to connect on a deeper level empowers patients, families, and caregivers with the knowledge they need. By breaking down complex medical information into understandable terms, we ensure that all parties are well-informed and can actively participate in the care process. Our empathetic teaching style creates a sense of partnership and trust.

Introverts pay attention to their thoughts and the words they choose to express themselves. This self-awareness helps them ensure that their communication accurately represents their ideas and intentions. They also monitor their tone of voice, its volume, and modulation. This includes the pitch, pace, and rhythm of their speech. By being mindful of their vocal cues, introverts can convey emotions and emphasis effectively.

Introverts practice active listening, focusing on the speaker's words and intent. They also observe body language, facial expressions, and gestures. This holistic approach helps them understand the full context of the communication. Introverts extend their introspection to the people they're communicating with. They keenly observe the body language and tone of voice of their conversation partners. If they sense confusion or misunderstanding, they fluidly adjust their communication to enhance comprehension.

Drawing on their intuition and past experiences, introverts can detect when someone might not fully grasp their message. This insight allows them to adapt their communication style in real-time, making explanations clearer and more accessible.

Introspection for introverts involves a dynamic interplay between self-awareness and attentive observation of others. This approach enhances their ability to communicate effectively and ensures that their messages are understood as intended.

Meaningful Connections and Lasting Memories

In the realm of end-of-life care, introverted nurses play a vital role in fostering meaningful connections with patients and their families. Through empathetic and understanding interactions, they create a nurturing environment where patients feel comfortable sharing their life stories, wishes, and desires. This practice not only enriches the patients' experiences but also leaves a lasting impact on their families.

Empathy is the cornerstone of effective . As an introverted nurse with the natural ability to listen and observe enables the introverted nurse to utterly understand patients' emotions and needs. This connection forms a foundation for meaningful interactions that provide comfort and solace.

Introverted nurses have a unique talent for cultivating safe and serene spaces. By ensuring a peaceful atmosphere, they encourage patients and families to share their thoughts, life stories, and even unspoken wishes. These conversations allow patients to leave behind a legacy and provide families with lasting memories.

Their empathetic nature enables them to gently unearth patients' life stories. By delving into their past experiences, hobbies, and accomplishments, they help patients feel valued and understood. These stories also aid in tailoring care plans that reflect patients' individuality.

Through compassionate connections, introverted nurses empower patients to voice their desires for their final days. These wishes may involve spending time with loved ones, engaging in certain activities, or finding solace in religious or spiritual practices. By fulfilling these desires, they contribute to a peaceful and dignified end-of-life journey.

Introverted nurses' ability to connect deeply with patients extends to their families. By listening to families' concerns, fears, and hopes, they provide a source of emotional support during a challenging time. This fosters a sense of trust and comfort, helping families cope with the impending loss of their loved one.

Conclusion: A Unique Approach to Compassionate Care

Introverted nurses bring a wealth of benefits to terminally ill patients and their families through their thoughtful listening, keen observation, personalized care planning, empowering education, and meaningful connections. Our ability to provide comfort and support on both emotional and physical levels is a testament to our dedication to compassionate end-of-life care.

Resources

INFJ and being a hospice nurse

Introversion and Hospice & Palliative Care: Insights from ‘Quiet' by Susan Cain

The book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Why Introverts Can Be Amazing Nurses

Can Introverts Make Good Nurses?

Providing Comfort During the Last Days of Life with Barbara Karnes RN (YouTube Video)

Preparing the patient, family, and caregivers for a “Good Death”

Velocity of Changes in Condition as an Indicator of Approaching Death (often helpful to answer how soon? or when?)

The Dying Process and the End of Life

The Last Hours of Life

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Gone from My Sight: The Dying Experience

The Eleventh Hour: A Caring Guideline for the Hours to Minutes Before Death

By Your Side , A Guide for Caring for the Dying at Home

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