Oncology nurse, Lindsay Norris writes about how her own experience of having cancer made her realise she hadn’t fully understood as a healthcare worker what her patients were going through during treatment, despite thinking she had.
“Even though healthcare workers don’t really know what it’s like to be you (well, us) it’s ok. Nobody does. I just hope that I was still able to give you a little guidance and strength to help you get through your cancer treatment. Even if I didn’t get it.”
Read the full article here >>>
Save the word
for your freshman essays.
Doesn’t it make
A rather large claim?
Think you can
into another human
as, in the movie,
the lively boy-ghosts
down the ear-holes
of pompous older men?
Don’t try it. Only
Jesus could do it and he
probably didn’t exist.
Try `sympathy.’ With that
your isolated self may
split a cloak with a beggar,
slip a pillow under the head
of the arrested man, hold tight
the snag-toothed hustler with red hair.
“What I do have a problem with is that not one of the four healthcare professionals that I interacted with during the two-and-a-half hours that I was in the hospital introduced themselves to me, or explained why they, in particular, were called in to deal with my problem.
And only one of them was wearing a badge. So I was left to figure out for myself who they were and what their various roles were.
In the United Kingdom, a young doctor called Kate Granger has launched an initiative called “Hello My Name Is”, which encourages everyone working in hospitals and healthcare to introduce themselves to their patients using proper eye contact (the kind that all parents despair that their children will ever learn until, one day, miraculously it clicks) and a smile.” … (Independent) >
A loss of emotional empathy with our patients is also one of the first things to disappear in doctors who burn out through stress, exhaustion and depression. Many doctors and other healthcare workers can still continue to work despite the loss of empathy, of course. But removing genuine caring from a healthcare interaction results in an experience reminiscent to being dealt with by an overwhelmed, undervalued, unhappy airport employee. Upsetting when your flight is delayed, but potentially catastrophic in healthcare. (Medical Independent) >
Using extracts from Donnacha Rynne’s Being Donnacha (11 & 16), Mikhail Bulgakov’s A Country Doctor’s Notebook (‘Morphine’), JD O’Connor’s BMJ ‘Looking Back’ piece about her days practising in the Yorkshire Dales, Carlo Levi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli and Julia Donaldson’s version of The Magic Paintbrush, we discussed various representations of neglected, forgotten and exploited groups of people/communities and how different types of people perceive them and react to the inequality in different ways.
Like Donnacha says about “people promosing to visit and then not doing so”, leaving him feeling that “there is always something missing from my life”, so too is Polyakov (in ‘Morphine’) let down and abandoned by his profession, and so too the people of Gagliano & Matera (in Christ Stopped at Eboli) have been forgotten by progress and medical science (unlike the people of Yorkshire?). In contrast, Shen (in The Magic Paintbrush) does not abandon her people OR her principles; Levi loves the peasants and cares for them like a saviour; O’Connor, like Shen, is already one of the community in terms of class, though she has to overcome the cultural and gender divide to be fully accepted and trusted.
Donnacha and Luisa (Levi’s sister) feel angry and would like something to be done, but Donnacha is unfortunately confined mostly to expressing it and internalising it, whereas Luisa and Shen (and you) have the privilege/responsibility/ability to act on it. Or maybe, like Levi and Bomgard (/Bulgakov) you will be more inclined to draw attention to the problems you witness through writing and thereby inspire others to act.
In your medical career, you WILL encounter your own Gagliano/Gorelovo/Yorkshire/neglected group, and the system/society (Emperor) will try to turn you away from being overly concerned for them. Whether you use your paint brush like Shen to act or like Levi to reflect, just make sure you don’t turn your back entirely (unless it is to protect yourself from too deep an engagement which could threaten your OWN well being).
Fiona Kearney, who has curated the show in association with Prof Fergus Shanahan of the APC, says she wanted the show to be empathetic. “While there have been a number of exhibitions which have used a diagnostic eye, there have been very few, if any, which have looked at it from a patient’s perspective,” says Kearney. “We felt that to really honour that, it was important to structure the show in that way.” (Examiner) >