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For Our Community

A Nurse's Perspective on Family Medicine


Each morning at Bozeman Health Family Medicine officially begins with nurses, doctors, and front desk staff “huddled” around a whiteboard displaying our statistics for the day. On a typical day, we might be expecting 182 patient appointments, 12 new patients, 500+ phone calls, and we may have a one or two safety concerns that need to be addressed. As soon as "huddle" is finished our staff quickly gets to work as the clinic doors open. Within minutes the clinic is hustling and bustling. Although nurses in the clinic have busy schedules they still take time to show kindness every day. Over the past few weeks, I have been watching and journaling some of the small acts of kindness I have witnessed in our clinic to share…

  • A patient who recently had hand surgery is leaving the clinic on a cold blustery day. I see a nurse help the patient put on her jacket and wish the patient safe travels home. The patient starts to walk to the exit but the nurse quick stops the patient and says “Hold on, can I zip your jacket up for you? It’s so cold out there.”
  • As I’m giving immunizations to a very upset kindergartner, another nurse who was extremely busy and didn’t really have any time to spare hears the kindergartner’s cries and stops to help. Instead of passing by she grabs a pink bunny stuffed animal that has been donated to our office to give out to pediatric patients and knocks on the exam door to help. Pink bunny stuffed animal to the rescue- within seconds the kindergartner is comforted and all smiles.
  • A nurse holds a patient’s hand while their blood is drawn and sits with the patient as they nervously wait for the results.
  • A nurse gives a patient who has difficulty walking a ride out to her car in a wheelchair.
  • A nurse on her lunch break helps an elderly patient who couldn’t remember where they parked their car search the parking lots.
  • A nurse runs on her lunch break to another office to pick up medical supplies for a patient coming into our office later in the day- just to make things a bit easier on the patient who is having a tough week.
  • Every day, nurses carry infant car seats, diaper bag, babies, or whatever else a mom has her hands full with down the clinic halls.
  • Another nurse warms up some water for a cold patient and gets a blanket. And then offers to warm the water up again when it gets cold, as the patient’s been in the office all afternoon.
  • Another nurse sets up a coloring station in an empty exam room so a mom can talk to her doctor without her kids in the room for just a few minutes.

Our clinic nurses show kindness every day by paying attention to the patient and listening, trying to see the patient’s point of view. By respecting patients and helping patients maintain dignity even in their most vulnerable moments.

The list of these small acts of kindness goes on and on. Sometimes it’s easy to see the busy clinic by the numbers and the statistics but it’s important to slow down and notice the acts of kindness happening here every day.

"Each smallest act of kindness reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it's passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away." Dean Koontz

Categories: Simply Healthy