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.

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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 liked to show she cared for her patients by getting very close to them physically, and even touching them at times. She would assist women in labor by holding on to them. She would use a communication style that was very trusting, supportive and real. When one of Naomi’s patients was getting an epidural, Naomi gave her encouraging words and physical support by holding her while she got the injection.
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.

When Jason observed that his patient’s health had worsened, he did not want to make the situation worse by letting the patent hear about his observation. Jason walked with a family member outside of the house before he expressed his concern about the health change with the family member. 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?
The movie showed Tonia Faust caring for several different patients, and the patient that most closely matched the name of Mr. Darold was a patient named Darryl. I watched this segment several times and could not hear anybody named Mr. Darold. Darryl was incarcerated for killing his wife and was waiting to pass away soon in the hospice center. It had been 20 years since Darryl had spoken with his daughter and nurse Faust helped Darryl get in contact with his daughter again.

Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development in later adulthood deals with 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 learned to love animals and farm life while growing up near her cousin’s dairy farm. She really liked the way animals affect people. During her interventions, she would use animals to help children with behavioral problems as a result of autism, bipolar disorder, and others. She would also use this same type of animal activity therapy for adults. The advantage of using animals is that they accept people the way they are without any prejudices. Animals don’t look and judge people the way other people sometimes do. An animal’s love is unconditional. Sister Stephen would organize events there patients could hold and interact with baby animals like lambs and kids. When patients focus their attention on baby animals, they would begin to let their guard down and break down the barriers that prohibit meaning relationships. Sister Stephen also used these events as a reward for good behavior.

7. Of the five nurses featured in the film, which one could you relate to the most? Why?
Even though I would not like to do the same thing, I think I can relate to Jason Short, the home health nurse the most. Personally, of all the nurses featured in the video, I feel like he had one of the most difficult responsibilities. It is a difficult job to go work in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice facility and have rounds to check on people, 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 you up. For me, Jason is providing assistance for the most needy and vulnerable people. Some of the most difficult environments for patient care is in the home. I think home health nurses go one step further than most other nurses because of the difficult and challenging environment.


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