I’m back on clinical rotation and I’m learning tons. Not the least of which is patience and how important it is. My clinical setting is a skilled nursing facility where patients have come in from the hospital and aren’t ready to go home yet. I was working with a patient the other day who among her functional limitations also has some memory and cognitive deficits which occasionally makes for a difficult treatment. While I was helping her use the restroom for the second time during our treatment session, she remarked “I like you!” When I asked why, she replied “Because you’re patient with me.”
That really set me back. Sure I seemed patient on the outside and kept a smile on my face, but not so much on the inside. But what mattered was that I worked at her pace and didn’t make her feel rushed and probably most importantly, didn’t let any frustration show.
It’s hard sometimes when working with older adults, or people with cognitive issues, or people in general, to stay patient. I’m young, usually on time constraints for treatment sessions, and typically ready to do everything quickly. You can’t do that with the older woman who moves slow because of arthritis. Or just wants to get some makeup on before she leaves the room. You can’t argue with the hardheaded patients. You have to be patient.
And it doesn’t just apply to patient care (Ha. There’s probably a metaphor or something here) . It goes for everything in life. We live in a society where everything has to be done as fast as possible, and it’s hard to remember sometimes to slow down. Not everyone can or wants to move that fast. Sometimes it’s good to slow down and remember that no one’s perfect. We’re all dealing with something, so be patient, and people will be more likely to be patient with you on your bad days.