Dear Healthcare Provider,
Thank you for the choice you made to care for others by using your knowlege and skill and implementing advances in science and the health care industry. You have a direct impact on people and their families.
From the standpoint of a wife desperate to advocate for the health care of her husband, I'd like to remind you of a few things. Note, this is a reminder to myself as well, as I am a health care professional.
1) Your patients are not their diagnoses. They are people. Living, breathing humans who have a place in the world. They have a name, a family, a circle of influence. Your patients are NOT "the lap/chole in room 522" or "the laboring mom in room 10." They are more than "just another knee tap"" and "just another tube feed," or God forbid "that guy who is back AGAIN." Your patient is someone's brother, wife, sister, son, daddy, friend, coworker. They might sit next to your child at school or might fix your coffee at the coffee shop. Treat them like you would treat your own.
2) Please take the time to listen. Beyond all the government and institutional restraints placed on you as a provider, listen to your patient. For instance, if your phone rings, use courtesy and excuse yourself as you answer it. Don't ignore the person who is right in front of you.
3) Health Care. Don't forget the "care" portion of the term. Care for the entire person, no matter what department you represent. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health work together to make a whole healthy person.
4) Remember why you are here. You've been given a unique opportunity to have influence in a life---many times life-changing influence. Most of you took an oath which included "helping your fellow man". No where did it state "I need to show others how much better I am than them."
There's a story of a doctor who passed away. At the funeral home, a man scraggly in appearance, smell of alcohol on his breath, sweaty and unkept, entered the room and walked up to the casket of the good doctor. The family, not knowing the man, sent a family member to approach the man and itroduce himself. The worn, dirty man told the family of how the doctor had seen him a lot, even saving his life once. He made the comment that he always treated him well, with respect, no matter what shape he was in. "Had to come say bye to my friend," the man said.
Please consider these thoughts as you do your work to take care of others.
C. Berg, RN, BSN
C. Berg, RN, BSN