I have been thinking a lot lately about what makes a good health care provider and I am sure that there are many aspects but what comes to mind for me first and foremost, are KINDNESS & COMPASSION!
Since my recent diagnosis of Colon Cancer I have seen a lot of health care pros in various settings and when I see the kind ones, I always tell them how much I appreciate their kindness.
There have been so many that I have seen lately from Surgeons, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Naturopathic Doctors, Oncologists, Anesthesiologists, Physiotherapists and the list goes on. I take every chance I get to thank them for what they do and for their kindness and compassion.
I recently expressed to my oncologist whom I just met, that I thank him for his chosen career as I cannot imagine how challenging and difficult it is to be in his role. I also told him that he was very kind. He thanked me and said that my words were inspiring and that indeed that is probably the biggest reason people get into the health care field is because they are kind and compassionate and want to help, which made my heart smile. I can honestly say that I actually had compassion for him!
I can see how it would be very easy to burn out as the years go by, but of course there are rewards too but this blog post is not about that, it is just about my appreciation of kindness, compassion and confidentiality as well. It is so important for a patient to feel safe, and cared for, especially when in a newly vulnerable state which may include physical, mental, emotional and spiritual vulnerabilities and fears.
Cancer is a diagnosis like none other and until you have experienced it, you cannot describe the experience which is also very individual and different for each person but I can pretty well guarantee that there are a lot of similar terrifying emotions and thoughts that people generally experience. And this is where that kindness becomes extra important.
And we all have a role in being kind. I am being showered with so much love and support from so many people and I cannot express to you how WONDERFUL this feels to me! I say it is the wind beneath my healing wings and I so believe it. I am learning how to receive and it feels good. I am so grateful that there are people in my life to support me.
I have often talked in business groups and when I have been a guest on a radio show for example, the importance of building a network and that even in our personal life we require networks…. these help us in times of need and we can in turn be an important part of a support network for others. This is the gift of life and of caring and of kindness, empathy and compassion.
How Might You Help Those That You Care About?
On another note, I will be doing a future blog post about ways you can help those people in your life who are going through a scary diagnosis like cancer. It is a delicate state of affairs and there are ways to support that include holding the appropriate space and balance between supporting and matching what the person wants or needs. I am hoping that my insights might be helpful to others because I know that this whole thing can be very awkward. It is similar to not knowing what to say to console someone grieving…. anyhow stay tuned for that one.
And in closing thank you to all of the kind and caring health professionals and everyday ordinary people who make a difference in others people’s lives every day just by being kind. I LOVE YOU ALL!