Self-awareness and HIV nursing

Michelle Croston1 and Kirsten Jack2
1North Manchester General Hospital; 2Manchester Metropolitan University

Patients with HIV often present to services with complex and challenging psychosocial issues. As nurses, we are often required to discuss the sexual disclosure of HIV, testing of children/sexual partners, issues around sexuality, risky sexual behaviour, harm reduction and the onward transmission of HIV. When working with others in a professional capacity, it is important that we are clear about our own personal beliefs, values and needs. We need to be aware of how these differ from those of others to prevent emotional exhaustion and burnout, and to enable us to provide non-judgemental care. Self-awareness is a process that enables nurses to learn more about their personal beliefs and values. It enables objective examination of oneself, and is considered an important tool during the development of a therapeutic relationship with patients. I wonder if I’ve changed in the night. Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is, who in the world am I? Ah, that is the puzzle! (Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [1]). Read More…