I should thank you for this assignment. This was an amazing clinical experience.” He began to describe how the patient had told him all about his life, his world travels, and his time in the military. He’d heard stories about the patient’s beautiful wife of 50 years, who had recently died, and how much Mr. Hugh missed her. He said the patient told him he reminded him of his own son, the one he didn’t get to see as often as he would like. James told me that having a chance to listen to and “swap stories” with this patient had been very rewarding, far exceeding his expectations.
It was at this moment that I realized James was well on his way to becoming a nurse in the truest sense. He’d been able to see the patient holistically, while I’d focused on ensuring the student could perform tasks.