I was upset recently to realise that in the midst of studying I had lost sight of why I went into Medicine.
It’s easy to do. Placements are hectic, stress builds around exams, studying in the library disorientates you and finding opportunities for sign-offs and achieving competencies become your first priority. Recently I found myself stressed in theatre on a Friday afternoon frantically trying to sort out achieving my last competencies on that placement and make sure I had all the paperwork for them sorted.
I was stunned to see the attitude of the student nurse and staff nurse, and how different this was from my own. Instead of worrying or stressing they were attending to the patients. Whereas I was concentrating on their surgery, they were concentrating on the small things that would make a massive difference to their hospital care.
The staff nurse was making sure that every patient who was waiting was warm enough and had enough blankets. Later, the student nurse held a patient’s hand through the whole operation to help her feel better. I discovered that she’d spent the whole afternoon chatting to the patient and alleviating their fears.
It made me realise that it’s so easy for me sometimes to get bogged down in the big things- studying, sign offs, exams- that I miss doing the little things that really make a difference to the patient. I went into Medicine to care for my patients and make a difference. After seeing this attitude of care I am more resolute to forget my own priorities and serve my patients as well as I can.