Combining Caring with Science
When the health care team works together toward a common goal of reducing pain and suffering and improving the quality of life and outcomes for the patient, caring becomes a natural element of this process.
However, there are some team members who will be more wrapped up in the process of caring than others. They will be more intimately involved in the day-to-day care of the patient and will perhaps express more emotion and empathy than others. Nurses often spend far more time with patients, especially in a hospital setting, so they are said to be the ones who are best at caring.
Caring is an art, and it will take time to find a balance point. With time and experience, it will come. Science and technology will continue to evolve and it's important to continue the learning process. As better treatments and cures are discovered, it becomes easier to improve outcomes and reduce pain and suffering.
There will always be times when something will go wrong when you least expect it, no matter how hard you try to keep it from happening. Learn to expect the unexpected, and you will be better equipped to deal with it and to continue to care and to maintain objectivity.
Always treat your patients and clients in a manner that you would expect for your most cherished loved ones. Walk a mile in your patient's shoes before you condemn him for his actions. Before you decide your patient is noncompliant, remember that literacy is an issue affecting almost half of all Americans. Perhaps he just doesn't understand.
Caring is not a sign of weakness. It brings a human side to a scientific situation. It helps to reduce fears and anxiety, to build trust, and to ease pain and suffering. It is essential to achieving positive outcomes for your patients.
Medicine is not an exact science, because no two people will respond exactly the same way to a disease or treatment. However, there are strong similarities among patient responses, and that's how diagnoses and treatments evolve. It's important not to lose objectivity by becoming emotionally involved with your patients; such an attachment makes it easier to lose sight of a diagnosis or a response.
For those aspects of health care that are not hands-on, the art of caring is also essential. If you understand that your job carries a high degree of importance in your patients' lives, you will always strive to put forth your best effort. Your job will have meaning and bring satisfaction to your life.
For instance, if you are a medical illustrator and you take extra care to be exact in your drawings, you may at some point make a difference between another health care worker making or missing a diagnosis. You may never know it, but if there's a chance it can happen, you will always try to do a better job.