Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Continuity of care/the privilege of being there

Recently I experienced something that made me feel very privileged; I got to be there for someone.

Sounds weird, right? Like... that's what we do. We're there when people are sick, as they get better, as they come in and leave hospital - we're there, in the hospital. But with this lady's journey I was there for all the key turning points, from the moment she arrived on my ward until the moment that she unfortunately did not leave hospital. I was there to watch her recover from her initial injury, and there when she got more unwell. I watched her recover from the second setback, and told her off for not telling the nurses when she was in pain. I was the doctor who reviewed her and panicked and kept the registrar busy for 3 hours the Sunday she had a heart attack. I was there when we told her family that we couldn't fix her, with all our technology and fancy drugs and medical treatments. I was there two Saturdays later, two hours after her daughter returned from overseas, certifying her deceased. 

In the hospital, we usually don't see all of our patients all of the time. They get sick; they get better. They get reviewed, they get fixed by the nurses and their own determination, or you come into work the next morning and they aren't on the list. But for this once, I managed to be there, and it honestly felt like a honour.

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