Seeing the Patient as Family – Day #2

I had many “aha!” moments yesterday, but the one that has stuck with me the most happened after we watched Just a Routine Operation. Chris asked us to close our eyes and imagine the deteriorating patient before us. Then we opened our eyes and discussed what that felt like. But it was the next reflection – closing our eyes and imagining that the patient was a loved one – that really affected me. All of a sudden, I felt so uncomfortable. There’s no way I would want to operate on my family or friends, especially after realizing that they were quickly deteriorating. I wouldn’t be able to stay calm and handle that professionally because I would be too involved from an emotional standpoint. After I mentioned this, Chris asked something along the lines of “why do we leave or forget that connection with the patient? When do they become the subject and not the person?” Wow. Thank you for opening my eyes, Chris!