Have you ever heard of Carl Rogers? Carl Rogers is a psychologist that developed a theory of personality called Clent Centered Therapy. When I took my Orals for my Masters degree, I used his theory to defend my theory. As time went on, I began to see how his theory could make a big difference in Nursing. What if supervisors used some of his basic tenants. Lets’t take a quick look at this.
His basic premise is that all living organisms move in a forward and positive direction. What if instructors and supervisors believed this? Many times it seems like the opposite is true. It seems as if supervisors think the worse til proven otherwise. Nurses are living organisms which means that they move in a forward, positive direction. If this is the case why not give the nurse some freedom and flexibility and believe that she will do her best when she cares for her patients. No nurse is in it to hurt anyone. They are in it to give the best care possible and to succeed in her field of nursing. If supervisors could grasp hold of this wouldn’t it make a huge difference both to the nurse and to the facility? Maybe the supervisor could give a little of that support that is so desperately needed by nurses. I think it is apparent that a lot of changes could occur.
How about putting yourself in the other persons place, which is better known as empathy. This is of great importance in Carl Roger’s theory. I could not have been effective in my work with patients if I hadn’t put myself in their position. In counseling, one needs to do this in order to understand how the patient is feeling. You can not help the patient if you do not understand how he feels. Without empathy it is very easy to become judgemental.
I did my internship in a forensic unit. I worked with several patients that had attempted to kill someone. If you don’t put yourself in his position at the time of the crime, how do you work with him? In all of the cases I am referring to, the patient was very psychotic at the time and afraid of what was going to happen to him if he did not obey the voices to do what he did. Only from this perspective was I able to work with them in a positive, helping way. Otherwise my personal feelings about hurting other people would have effected how I related to the person.
What if the supervisor took the time to see what the nurse was experiencing at the time? If she takes the time to talk with the nurse and understand how she was feeling at the time she will probably respond very differently. Without this the supervisor becomes judgemental and consequently her way of dealing with the nurse is probably completely different than it would have been if she experienced what the nurse was experiencing at the time. Again, I am not necessarily condoning what the nurse did , but at least if it see it from her perspective I can understand better and handle it better.
Staff nurses often feel that they are judged and not treated fairly. If they could sit down and talk with the supervisor and explain how she sees the situation then maybe she would not feel so criticized and she could learn from this experience how to deal with in another way, or perhaps the supervisor would see that there is another way to get the same outcome. Both sides need to learn to see things differently and work together.