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The Compassionate Approach with Sandra Capito

Sandra Capito

In today’s episode – which was recorded September 2021, so information may be a bit out of date – nurse Sandra Capito joins your host Beth Quaas all the way from Melbourne, Australia, to talk about her work as a nurse to bring more compassion and empathy to the workplace for patients and fellow nurses. The goal? Making everyone feel worthy.

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About Sandra

I’ve been a Registered Nurse for 30 years. This amazing profession has provided me with knowledge and experiences in hospital care, community support, public health management, teaching, and disability. I have learned from and worked with some amazing human beings. These include both colleagues and patients and their families.

Looking back, the hours were long and at times relentless. The workloads were massive and exhausting – but we showed up everyday to provide care and safety to our patients.

Having returned into the “clinical setting” in 2021 during the worldwide pandemic, I was able to work again in a team – which I have always enjoyed. I began to observe the interactions around me. These were between nurse and patient; nurse to nurse and doctors; and nurse with student nurses and support staff-patient services assistants. As an outsider, you could easily conclude that it was a very well oiled machine – things seemed to be running well and everyone knew their role/function. As I have always been a very curious person, I would talk to and observe people. I would often be asked to lead the team and provide advice to nurses if they required it. As is my leadership style, I always made sure that everyone in my team was acknowledged and seen every shift.

What I observed was this:

The attitudes from senior staff directly affected the mood and “vibe” of the whole shift. Lack of effective and consistent communication left nurses vulnerable and disconnected. I noticed disengagement ( which looked like laziness) which then further perpetuated disconnection. I tended to aim for people who were in this category. I would ask them questions about themselves and how they felt about working. I would also share about myself.

Finding commonality has always been “my jam”. The interactions were often brief. My only goal was to acknowledge each individual as worthy and appreciated and that they mattered. Without fail, this changed their attitude. They were more likely to come to me if they had an issue or concern. They worked better and happier. They felt safe knowing we were all in this together. Simple I know, but effective.

We need as a profession to acknowledge each other’s paths, similarities and differences and embrace them. Everyone has hidden talents and skills and we need all of them to help evolve and shape the future of nursing.

Sandra on

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  • 00:00 – Season Three Intro
  • 01:17 – Welcome to Don’t Eat Your Young •Sandra Capito
  • 02:24 – Life Down Under
  • 04:04 – How Pandemic’s Affected Nurses
  • 08:22 – Retaining Nurses
  • 10:51 – Equity
  • 12:56 – Technological Advances
  • 14:44 – Shifting Attitudes
  • 18:40 – Personal Stories
  • 25:48 – Helping Supervisors
  • 27:35 – New Directions
  • 30:19 – Teaching Others
  • 33:03 – I’m Sandra
  • 33:55 – Tips or Advice
  • 35:38 – Wrap Up

Stories from the Incredible World of Nursing.

Welcome to Don’t Eat Your Young, the podcast that brings you stories from the trenches of the incredible, wonderful, exhausting, terrifying, joyous world of nursing with your host, Beth Quaas.