'Caring at Its Essence': HIV Nurses Recall Pivotal Moments With Patients

November 8, 2017


Nurse holding patient's hand

One of the central tenets of nursing is compassion: a quest to heal patients holistically and with empathy rather than focusing narrowly on the clinical treatment or prevention of a specific condition. For that reason, HIV nurses are crucial members of the care team for an HIV-positive person.

At the 2017 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) conference, we asked HIV nurses to share a moment in which their unique perspective made a big difference in the care of a particular patient. Many nurses we spoke with noted that, because nurses spend long hours with patients, they tend to have a more nuanced understanding of the downstream consequences that any medical decision will have on the social and cultural context of a patient's life.

Transcripts have been edited for clarity and brevity. All photos are by Sony Salzman.

Image credit: Wavebreak Media via Thinkstock.

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This article was provided by It is a part of the publication The 30th Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Conference.

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Please note: Knowledge about HIV changes rapidly. Note the date of this summary's publication, and before treating patients or employing any therapies described in these materials, verify all information independently. If you are a patient, please consult a doctor or other medical professional before acting on any of the information presented in this summary. For a complete listing of our most recent conference coverage, click here.


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