Our stories connect us
Nurse. Researcher. Loves to share.
There is such a thing as too much sharing. It’s a lesson Paige Steuber learned in her third-year clinical placement. When her evaluation said she was being “too personal” by sharing a story with a patient, it struck a chord with the aspiring nurse. Conflicted, she wrote about the experience in a paper that caught the attention of Assistant Professor Cheryl Pollard. After digging a little deeper, Cheryl and Paige noticed a gap in nursing literature on self-disclosure (how much a nurse shares with patients). And a research opportunity was born.
Their study began with Paige interviewing nurses about their experiences.
“Because of my own experience, I felt like I was the only person who really struggled with self disclosure,” says Paige. “But I felt validated when I saw that our research participants felt the same kind of conflict.”
“ Letting people know they are not alone on their journey is very rewarding.”
Paige cares deeply about her patients, so the research she is doing is doubly rewarding. Not only will their findings help other nurses in their practice, but ultimately could help create a better experience for patients.
“Being part of a research study that could promote best practice one day is so meaningful,” she says. “It makes me feel good to be taking that extra step.”
In her current practice, Paige’s patients are children, so she often finds herself drawing from her family’s experiences. “I have two younger brothers who have special needs, so I talk about them with my patients and their parents. My brothers have gone through many different surgeries and procedures, and parents are often surprised to hear about other kids who have gone through the same thing.”
Paige says it’s important to note that sharing isn’t always about giving advice. “It’s about letting people hear someone else’s story—that a procedure worked out and that everything’s going to be okay—and to give them a chance to ask questions of someone who’s been there.”
Having been there with her brothers, Paige’s current practice hits close to home—and close to her heart.
“Sometimes I rely on the experience of my parents. I will ask them what would have helped them in a particular situation. It’s nice when you feel like you’re making a difference. Letting people know they are not alone on their journey is very rewarding.”
Paige Steuber is an alumna of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Find out more at MacEwan.ca/Nursing.