In today’s shift I spoke to a new patient who had been admitted this week. She was really distressed and was speaking in an incoherent way. She displayed a variety of emotions such as fear and anger which I thought was rather worrying and she was repeatedly asking questions such as, “Is he here yet? He’s come, hasn’t he?” She was also refusing to eat her food, saying that she had to deal with ‘him’ first. I spoke her with a tone comfort and reassurance in order to calm her down and make her feel more relaxed. I then approached the nurse as I was concerned about this particular patient’s wellbeing as she appeared to be quite anxious. The nurse told me not to worry about it as she has a tumour located in her brain and has been displaying this type of behaviour ever since she was admitted. She also told me that that this particular patient also suffers from Bipolar Disorder which explained her intense emotional state.
This experience was something which really affected me as I was able to see the direct effects of cancer on a patient and this made me recognise the significance of the services that are provided by the hospice – without this specialised care her needs may have been neglected and this made me reflect on the importance of caring for the patient as a whole in a holistic manner. I was also able to appreciate the uniqueness ofeach patient’s care as sometimes it may be a multitude of different conditions which are contributing to their overall state. I was able to reflect on how a doctor must be able to consider each patient as a whole individual rather than just focussing on their diagnosed conditions independently.
I was also able to observe the ambulance crew bringing in a new patient into the hospice. I noticed the way they were speaking to the patient and making sure that he was feeling comfortable in order to demonstrate their care for the patient and not appear as though they were just doing this job for the sake of it. This allowed me to recognise the need for true compassion when pursuing a career within healthcare. I was also able to appreciate the fast pace of this type of career and need for efficiency within your role whilst ensuring that you are still working to very high standards.
I then spoke to the hospice physician who told me that he would be working until midnight (5 hours past his shift) due to now having to admit this new patient. I noticed that despite having to unexpectedly work these extra hours, he wasn’t disappointed but just demonstrated a willingness to help another patient. I am able to reflect that this attitude of whole-heartedly committing yourself to caring for the public is significant for a doctor. This also helped me to recognise the need for versatility and unsociable hours a doctor is expected to work. This further motivated me as I will be prepared to work to the best interests of any patient in order to make the, feel satisfied with the care they are receiving.