Thanksgiving…for my healthcare teammates

The last week has brought my family face-to-face with the fury of modern healthcare. For privacy reasons, that’s all I will say about the specifics.

But I can say this:

My people, medical folks that is, are an exceptional group of humans. First, there is the knowledge and experience to diagnosis. Second, there’s the talent and daring to fix. Third, and most important, there is the compassion to explain and feel their patients’ pain. None of these can be gifted; they must be hard-earned.

And it’s not just doctors that I am thankful and proud to be of. We are, indeed, only one part of the care team. When you sit on the other side of healthcare, the tough side, it’s not hyperbole to say that being in the presence of a compassionate and skilled nurse brings the word ‘angel’ to mind. You find yourself whispering…”thank you…” as they walk out the door. (At least those of us who talk to ourselves do.)

Then there is the culture of a hospital–another thing you notice more from the tougher side of healthcare. Though we all know these institutions face incredible pressure to deliver care that is both within the bounds of a protocol and cost-efficient, it’s clear to me, now more than ever, that health care can still be done with human kindness. I saw it. I felt it. The human touch matters. For healing, it matters so much. This, you can feel in your heart and just know to be true. No studies are needed.

I know good and kind people populate the planet and use their talents in many different ways, not just in the care of others. This would be obvious.

But health care people—these are group that I am proud to call teammates. Both their humanness and their abilities give me surges of emotion. Regardless of where healthcare goes in the future, and one could be pessimistic, the emotions that come from using hard-earned skills to help others will remain this vocation’s greatest gift.

So thankful for my peeps.

JMM

2 comments

  1. NICE post John. I’ve also had frequent recent opportunity to interact with our health care system in different capacity in helping family members. I do have 3 impressions: i) I totally AGREE with you that there are MANY providers in our profession who are truly compassionate if not awe-inspiring. This has been wonderful to see from the “patient/family perspective”; ii) When in the hospital – one needs an advocate. As good and well-intentioned as various providers may be – stuff gets missed unless there is someone helping the patient and just “being there” to ensure that things don’t get forgotten …; and iii) Financially – I don’t know how the system can sustain itself at its current pace. Unless one has good health insurance – 99+% of the population is no more than one moderate-illness away from financial hardship (if not bankruptcy) – and this is unlikely to change unless fundamental problems are addressed … This is not the way it should be in this wonderful country …

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