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Thank you, Doctor. Thank you, Nurse.

December 4, 2015

There are many reasons to dislike Facebook, but one of my biggest reasons for not leaving it is for the curation, or as HRIT guru Naomi Bloom describes it, “people/organizations you respect pointing you to great articles, blog posts, books, conferences and more.”

Last night during a 3AM “can’t sleep scroll,” I saw the picture below from “Epic Human” on Facebook. With not much else to do, I read the post. You should, too. I have a deeply personal appreciation for medical professionals, and their human experience often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Trust me. This short story of an ER doctor is worth your time…

By Epic Human

ER DoctorA photo of an ER doctor that went viral a while back showing him crouched down against a concrete wall grieving the loss of his 19-year-old patient. “Though this is a common occurrence in our field of work, the patients we lose are typically old, sick, or some combination of the two. The patient that died was 19 years old, and for him, it was one of those calls we get sometimes that just hits you.”

Sometimes we don’t know how to articulate how we feel, but ladies and gentleman, one of the responses to this photo from another fellow ER doctor is on point:

“The part most people fail to realize, is that this man now has to compose himself, walk into another person’s room, and introduce himself with a smile and handshake to the next person. Sometimes healthcare workers walk in to see someone new and before even introducing themselves, out comes; “We’ve been sitting here for 45 minutes and …” or ‘That guy next door has been moaning forever and nobody is helping him.” You literally had to direct yourself 100 percent at someone grappling with death, and the rest of the show goes on around you.

There’s times where you run, and rush, and hurry, and skip eating, and go 12 hours without urinating, and you’d give your firstborn for a cup of water, and through it all, you lose, you get complained to, and you get zero sympathy from your coworkers or management. I’ve been covered in phlegm, urine, feces, blood, infectious drainage, sweat, and tears. I’ve had to go from ensuring a person continues to breathe, to a room full of angry people because grandma wanted a Tylenol and the call light has been on for 10 minutes, and we’re going to another hospital, and we want another doctor, and this place is getting a call to the administration, and I’m going to call a lawyer, and I’m calling Channel 6 news, and we know so-and-so and he’s going to hear about this.

Health care is a life of fighting, defending yourself, sacrificing yourself, working weekends, missing holidays, and sometimes things like losing a patient makes you want to throw up your hands and say, “F— it, I’m out.” But you can’t. You do it because you love it. You do this thankless and unappreciated job because you want to. I can’t believe I’m in 6-figure debt and gave up the nights and weekends of my 20s so I could voluntarily do it. But I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”

You can say that again my friend, my hat’s off to you.

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