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Caring Behaviors for Nurses
Dani Smith
Dixie State University

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Caring Behaviors for Nurses

What does it mean for a nurse to care? To some, caring is the core value that led them to
becoming a nurse. The difference between a nurse who has caring behaviors and a nurse who
doesnt is what really separates out the extraordinary nurses from the others. According to
Brunton and Beaman (2000) some of the most important caring behaviors are appreciating the
patient as a human being, showing respect for the patient, being sensitive to the patient, talking
with the patient, treating patient information confidentially, treating the patient as an individual,
and listening attentively to the patient.
An example of caring behavior that I have seen personally took place at my workplace at
the Veterans Home. I was working as certified nursing assistant (CNA) at the time, and was
working with a wonderful nurse when one of our residents was actively dying for about three
days. This resident had cancer and was in a lot of pain, would loudly moan with pain, and was
very confused. The resident was surrounded by all his family, and a lot of family members were
in the anger stage of grieving. The nurse on shift prioritized her day and delegated what she
could to other nurses, so she could provide this resident and family with the support they needed.
This nurse gave this resident around the clock Morphine to keep the resident comfortable and
ease his pain. Along with pain medication, the nurse had the CNAs providing hourly oral care,
and bed baths, along with making sure the family had food and water and were comfortable.
When he did pass the nurse was in the room crying with the family, and providing comfort to
them. All the extra things the nurse provided had such a huge impact on how the family coped
with the death of their loved one. The nurse that day had a lot of other residents she was
responsible, had other charting she could have been doing, and had many other places she could
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have been. However, she knew what it meant to be a caring nurse. She treated the resident like
human being, she showed respect, was sensitive, and talked to not only the resident, but also
their loved ones. This nurse showed me what caring nursing behaviors I should strive to have.
Caring behaviors can make or break a good relationship between the nurse and patient.
Without these behaviors such as treating patients as humans and not just a job, listening to
patients and respecting them, being professional and treating each patient as individuals,
patients quality of cares suffers. In my situation, the family is going to look back on the
experience of their father passing away and remember how the nurse treated him, and the
excellent care she provided to everyone. Because the nurse provided caring nursing, the family
was comforted and the process was eased as much as possible. The type of nursing cares
provided will be remembered as part of the experience, so it is very important to be the type of
nurse that you would want working with yourself or your loved one.

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Brunton, B., & Beaman, M. (2000). Nurse practitioners' perceptions of their caring behaviors. Journal of the
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 72(11), 451-456.