One of best ways to be a better nurse doesn’t involve skill but does take practice, according to West Coast University graduate Keith Brar.
“Listen and try to understand your patients as best that you can. Try to understand from their point of view,” the 2014 WCU-Orange County bachelor of science in nursing graduate said. “Listen to understand them and take the time to think about an answer and then responding. I think working on that communication skill with the patients and their family members helps you out tremendously in the field.”
Why did you want to be a nurse?
I have a lot of family members that were working in healthcare and I was kind of contemplating on where I wanted to go, so my parents kind of really pushed me into this direction. But once I started and I got my feet wet in a clinical situation, a spark kind of went off and I just wanted to do it. It was something that I figured that now that I'm in, I want to keep going and keep going all the way through.
Has there been a moment you knew you made the right choice?
I had a patient continuously for about two weeks that I was working… I’d worked three days and a couple days off, three days and a couple days off… and from the first day that I had him to the last day, he was always very — he snapped a lot, he was very angry, kind of down, depressed but the day that he left, he was very thankful. He gave me a thank-you card saying, not exactly his words but something like, 'your attitude coming in, you being happy, you listening to me, taking the time to sit down and talk to me changed my attitude around.' He said it's very hard to find somebody to listen to me, and you were that one person so you made my experience here bearable. And something like that, just little small remarks like that thank-you card made all the difference.
What do you want students to know about being a nurse?
It's a profession that's still growing and there's a lot of need out there for a lot of the nurses and in the profession. You can grow a lot in it and so I think once you're in it, there is so much variety in it that you will find your spark and passion somewhere, so just give it a chance, stay patient with it but make sure that you're always giving it your 100 percent when you do show up.