During day 3 of this incredible experience I’d like to use this space to express how incredibly touched I was by our discussion about showing emotion to our patients and our families. It does break my heart that we often, too often, find it inappropriate to show raw human emotion in order to avoid looking weak or unprofessional. In my opinion, in our line of work, I feel that expressing such emotion in fact portrays just the opposite; it is perhaps the most genuine way we can in fact show patients and families the we are deeply invested in our work. I hope from the bottom of my heart that all of us never forget that discussion and do not allow someone to take away that humanity from us. We work in a profession that forces us to witness many devastating events, and fighting that emotion and fighting our humanness will only continue to force the divide between caregiver and patient.
Along the same lines, during our discussion of care of the caregiver I wish I would have participated because I feel that there was one area the conversation was missing, taking care of ourselves. In this profession it is vital to be self-aware. In other words, when we witness something that rocks us to our core, we must take time to process those things. I think it is easy to shut it all out and carry on with the next set of tasks at hand; therefore, I believe it vitally important to not only take pause in those moments when tragedy occurs, but to also take pause away from work to reflect. I have found that this personal reflection prevents me from bottling up extreme amounts of sadness until I one day cannot physically or emotionally keep it together. I have found that by instead of running out of work to find a way to distract myself from the happenings of the day, I take time to actually think about how the shift’s events have affected me, why they affected me and begin the healing process then, rather than later when I become overwhelmed.
This experience has been more than eye-opening for me. I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity for self-reflection as well as reflection upon the system as a whole.
Thank you to everyone, I will never forget this experience or the lessons it has taught me.