Who would ever think you could become so connected with a group of people in such few days? We were amazed by how close we became with these patients and workers in the Hospital de Dia, where we spent the majority of our time. Despite multiple communication barriers (sign language and Spanish) we really formed a lasting bond with these individuals.
These people were more than happy to take us in with open arms upon arrival, greeting us with hugs and kisses on the cheeks. They invited us to join them in breakfast, and included us in all daily activities such as coloring and morning exercises. The staff wanted to take photos with us and made our coloring pages into a book to help them remember the time we spent together. The patients faces lit up when they saw us either in the facility or out while doing their daily business. In one instance a patient was at a local food store purchasing groceries and saw us passing by. He yelled and waved to us and then we ran over to say hi and see how his day was going. We were thrilled that we made such an impact on this young man's life just by connecting and spending time with him.
When it came time to say good bye on our last academic day we were all emotional. Many of us had to fight back tears as we hugged our new friends goodbye. The thought of potentially not seeing them again made it tough, but still being able to keep in touch via email helped ease the pain.
These care providers really inspired us to go above and beyond for our patients and showed us that the nurse patient bond is truly built on trust, respect, and compassionate care. We learned that despite communication barriers people can still connect if they are willing to take the time and effort into trying.
<3 Mariah and Sara
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