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

November 8, 2017

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Theresa Minukas RN, B.S.N.

Theresa Minukas RN, B.S.N.

Minukas is a registered nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

There's this HIV/hep[atitis] C-coinfected patient who also has a raging crystal meth addiction. He would cycle in through the emergency room pretty much every other day [talking about] his skin crawling, which is a symptom of methamphetamine use. [He] was not taking his HIV meds, was about to be kicked out of his housing, and his whole life was about to fall apart.

When he came in to talk about these things, I sat with him and I listened to him talk about the sensation of his skin, and for the first time in probably three or four years somebody actually listened to him, and didn't make him feel crazy about it -- validated the fact that, yes, this is real, but also, what are we going to do about it?

After a lot of work, and a lot of sitting there listening to him talk about his skin, he is now taking his HIV meds; we've cured his hepatitis C; he's in mental health counseling. He's engaged in his sobriety, and I don't really know where he would be without that.




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


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