Do you remember this person? She is a bedside nurse. She walks up and down hospital hallways in her white nursing shoes all day long while caring for her patients. She is trained for active duty. I’m asking you this question because nursing researchers have had an epiphany. They believe that they have discovered something new in the field of bedside nursing.
Over the years I’ve observed that the more degrees and letters that a lot of academic nurses get behind their name, the more out of touch they become with bedside nursing. This came to light once again when I attended a mandatory inservice at work. I was told that we were going to talk about an innovative concept that was going to revolutionize patient care and the nursing profession. Imagine my surprise when the speaker talked about hourly rounds. Did you know that nursing researchers have discovered that patients are happiest when their nurses spend time with them at the bedside every hour, and anticipate their needs? Wow, what a concept. Academic nurses living in the ivory tower of higher learning have discovered through years of painstaking research that patients also want nurses to answer their call light promptly when they need help getting to the bathroom. Holy cow! Hourly rounds decreases the amount of time patients spend using their call lights, decreases injuries due to patient falls, and increases patient satisfaction while they are in the hospital.
Did I miss something? I remember learning all this stuff years ago when I was attending a lowly diploma nursing program. We were always walking up and down the halls in our nursing shoes. No one conducted studies on how to make patients happy back then. A little common sense goes a long ways. The formula to good patient care starts with clean bed sheets and a filled water pitcher, and ends with a connection to your patient. That’s not new. That’s nursing.