I believe that healthcare is a mission of love.
I believe that with love, patients will thrive and improve their lives and overall health.
As a Diagnostic Ultrasound provider for over two decades I have seen how fearful and vulnerable people become, I tried to develop a style that puts my patients at ease.
In good health when parents come in for the first time for fetal evaluation or in times of illness for diagnosis, they need compassion. I put myself in their shoes, so I can relate to them, their thoughts, and their fears.
Sensitivity for their legitimate feelings, love and respect, tempered with humor, is the way to their hearts.
Having been a patient, I can relate to them and level with them; I know what is like to be on the other side of healthcare and share my own stories, making myself available. I answer their questions. I encourage them to ask questions of their physicians if I am unequipped to answer or if I feel it will interfere with the patient-physician relationship.
At times, they arrive angry, as a way to cope; I try not to be judgmental or defensive, but understand that I am not the object of their anger. They feel powerless and it is their way to feel in control. I try to be gentle and touch their hands.
It is rewarding to give them a new hope, and see them leaving with a smile or a kind word, I smile.
Many tell me about their lives as if speaking to a friend and I listen. The elderly have the most interesting stories, most of them real, some created but they are always full of wisdom, from a world I would never see. I treasure these stories and remember many of them. They are comfortable and open when we listen with sincere interest.
This is a unique opportunity, a window to their hearts and I feel privileged to have their trust. I share with them that over the years I have found that most of my fears and apprehensions never came to fruition; they did not materialize because they only lived in my imagination, even when they felt real.
I promise and do pray for some of them in their struggles and feel blessed by God to be able to impact their lives in a way I never thought possible.
Many felt close enough to give me hug and thanked me for that glimpse of hope. Others, who came to evaluate their babies, thanked me for making their experience memorable.
I’ve received far more that I have given; my life is filled with hope, and my heart with love.
Interacting with patients, I think of my dad on his final days in Brazil. I hope that someone thought of him as a person, as their own father and loved him. I hope someone who cared for him valued his life until life was no longer possible.
I believe healthcare is a mission of love.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.