NURS 315

NURS 315: Professional Communication in Healthcare
Discussion Guide: The American Nurse
Directions: As you view this movie, respond to the following questions. Type/Word process your answers and submit as directed by faculty (note due date on syllabus).

1. How do the roles or images of nurses in this film compare to those of nurses in Sentimental Women Need Not Apply?
In Sentimental Women Need Not Apply, it describes how nursing got its start. In 1855, during the Crimean War, a lot of men were dying because of a lack of care. Doctors then accepted help from nurses, and Florence Nightingale was brought to the military hospital to help the wounded solders. In the beginning, it didn’t require any experience to be a nurse and the hospitals would take all the help they could get. Nurses in the 1800’s didn’t have much choice in areas to work. Those that ended up in the war got shocked with what they saw. Some nurses got traumatized as well.

In The American Nurse, it shows the different areas of nursing and why the nurses chose the areas that they did. Nurses became more and more professional and the type of work became much broader. Today a nurse can work almost anywhere (school, hospital, companies, Airport, home care, travel nurse, research, education …).
The one thing that both movies have the same is the passion that nurses have to care for others, the professionalism and the empathy for their patients.

2. What professional or ethical values were displayed by nurses in the film?
All nurses in the films showed commitment, privacy, human dignity, justice, autonomy in decision making, caring, extreme empathy, and competency in their job.

3. You saw Naomi Cross, RN interacting with her clients. What did you notice in terms of her communication with them?
Naomi Cross would get very close, and oftentimes touch her patients, who were sometimes in the middle of labor. In one scene when her patient was getting an epidural, Naomi was directly in front of the patient and holding her close while she gave encouraging words. Her communication style was very supportive, trusting, and real.

4. Jason Short, RN, the home health nurse, takes a family member outside to talk with her about the client. Identify and describe the communication skills he used.

Jason wanted to make sure his patient did not hear any negative words about his condition, so he took the family member outside to discuss the concern he had with things that he had observed on his patient’s heath change. He showed he cared, and while he spoke with his patient, he met all his patient’s needs by using palliative care so his patient could get some relief from suffering.

5. Consider Erikson’s stages of development. What developmental issue did Tonia Faust, RN, the prison nurse, address and accomplish with Mr. Darold? How did she do this?
I couldn’t find a Mr. Darold in the movie. There is a man named Darryl (Darrow) that was incarcerated for killing his wife. Darryl was in the hospice center, waiting to pass away soon. Darryl had a daughter whom he hadn’t spoken with for 20 years and nurse Faust helped Darryl get in contact with his daughter.

Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development in later adulthood focuses on Ego Integrity vs. Despair. Nurses use strategies to encourage patients to look back on their lives with satisfaction, and with few regrets (ego-integrity). When Tonia asked Darryl if there is anything he would like to accomplish in his life, he said that he would like to talk with his daughter again, so Tania helped him to connect with his daughter. When Darryl looked back at his life he recognized that his daughter was the best thing about it, and before he passed away, he wanted to reconnect. This was very important for Darryl, and after the daughter was contacted, she kept in contact with him twice per week. Tonia also helped Darryl write letters, and these actions helped Darryl feel like his life was not a failure.
6. What modalities does Sister Stephen, RN use to “connect” with the clients and enhance communication with the residents at the long-term care facility in WI?
Sister Stephen grew up near her cousin’s dairy farm, and she loved farms and animals. She liked the way animals can affect people. During her innervations, she would use animals to help children with behavioral problems such as autism, bipolar, sexual, and more. She also used animal activity therapy for older people. Animals don’t judge, and they accept people the way they are without any prejudices. Animals give unconditional love. Sister Stephen would bring baby animals, like lambs and kids, so the residents could hold them and interact with them. The baby animals would help break down people’s barriers. She would also use the interaction with the animals as reward system for the patients.

7. Of the five nurses featured in the film, which one could you relate to the most? Why?
I think I can relate to Jason Short, the home health nurse the most because I personally feel like he had one of the most difficult roles of the nurses featured in the video. It is one thing to go work in a facility and have people come to you for assistance, or perhaps have rounds to check on patients in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice, but it is a different thing entirely to go to where the patient’s live.

Jason went to where people live and cared for them in their homes. Some of his patients looked like they lived in the middle of nowhere. He also had no one to help him if something happened to a patient, only the patient’s family. It would be a tremendous challenge to provide comfort and care for a family and a patient at the same time with no one else to assist or back him up. For me, Jason is providing assistance for the most needy and vulnerable people. Home health nurses I think go one step further than most other nurses because they have to deal with some of the most difficult environments for patient care.