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

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

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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.

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.