Friday, October 21, 2011

Hospitals and hospitals

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks, which marks the mid-way of the prac here at Toowoomba Hospital. I'm definitely losing my initial enthusiasm, but I'm still enjoying nonetheless. I suppose what has been most discouraging is that in the acute setting, most of the patients end up dying or being under palliative care anyways, it made me feel redundant in some ways. But the important thing is this:

Even if someone is dying, or is predicted to never ever improve and just slowly waste away, it's still our job as a health professional to provide the best that we can to them, albeit their time here being so limited. I've had 4 patients die over the span of 1.5 weeks,  (I had naively predicted 4 to die throughout the entire prac and my clinical educator said I was being way too conservative, haha). I don't feel devastated or emotionally rocked by deaths (so far) mainly because it is a circle of life which we need to accept:

Look at the words below. What do they describe?

BALD TOOTHLESS INCONTINENT DEPENDENT RELIANT FRAIL HELPLESS  DIAPERED NON-VERBAL 

Much like any other old person? Yep. And guess what, much like a baby too. When I saw a couple of patients curled in foetal position, wearing mittens so that they don't pull their naso-gastric tubes out, and of course, wearing diapers, it just reminded me of how life truly becomes one full circle at the end. We enter as a baby, we leave as 'bigger' babies. 

The Ciiirrcle of lifffeee.

Now I just have the most increased fear of aging! 

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