Spending time on the other side (being a patient)
Updated: May 11, 2022
Over the years i have spent time in hospital as a patient from broken bones ( many many broken bones through my stupidity) to life saving operations and life changing ones. Within this pandemic is no exception, as Im just about to have my second operation.
Im writing this whilst im sitting in a very busy pre- op unit for ENT, due to restrictions im on my own and during the run up to this op I've had to isolate for a week, trying my best to stay clear of any covid patients prior to this isolation period (by no means a easy task), Its like trying to stay dry whilst swimming in a lake! imposable.
Even though I work as a nurse and I know I shouldn't but my nerves always get the better of me, I cover this up by appearing totally cool and relaxed, trying to crack jokes with staff but deep down my sphincter is quivering and im wondering if I've put my life insurance stuff in a easy place to find. (just in-case) . Irrational thoughts go through my head, will I react to the anaesthesia? or just arrest on the table? what if I've actually sharted whilst they are cannulating me, because I defiantly let out a nervous fart as the tourniquet went round my arm. (I will then forever be know as that nurse who shat his pants) not an impression i want to leave for myself.
Luckily none of the above happened and my surgery was a success (all this worry for a 30min op) when I look at it like that im such a wimp. Having knowledge is a great thing but also such a bad thing as your brain just plays tricks on you and before you know it your second guessing a fart.
Before and after this op as I look around, looking at an area that's under great pressure and seemingly short staffed but yet everybody is doing there job, with a smile and nothing was too much ( not that im that annoying patient buzzing every 2 mins for a pillow fluff or to pour a drink that's right in front of me, that I could manage myself, due to hospital paralysis I expect people to baby me until the moment I have to leave and im up dressed, complaining I haven't got my paperwork in two seconds).
I couldn't have asked for a better experience in this hospital, It made me realise that even though I dont think it people watch your every move i.e. patients and know how busy you are or stressed you are, seeing you work yourself to the bone still with a smile on your face taking time to chat to your patients explaining everything. This takes a special kind of person to maintain this day in day out and for most its about the love of the job, helping overs to get better or have a better quality of life through your interventions, this is what makes nurses special or any other healthcare professional special, this resilience with a smile and the passion to care, which I most defiantly saw in today and something I try and pride myself for doing.
So if your unlucky enough to find yourself in need of hospital treatment and your lucky enough to have a team of dedicated health care professionals (lets face it all of us are very dedicated) please remember that we are not machines, we have emotions and we may not show them to you because we have to be strong for you or your loved ones, when no one else is around, we will hold your hands offer kind words of reassurance and just go above and beyond our job roles to make sure you patients and family's are happy and get better, so spare a fought for that, be a patient patient be kind back and please remember you are not the only person in the room we as professionals are spread thinly and try our best.
Being on the other side as a patient has again shown me how stretched we are, how much of a wonderful job we do and will continue to do, how very lucky we are to have the NHS, yes its not perfect but no one is left out we are not priced out of health care and we have hard working professionals looking after us, who are sacrificing there time from there love ones to look after you or yours, this is special! This is something to be proud of but is some thing that needs some TLC not a hammering, we each are worth every penny we earn and much more.
Being on the other foot has been and always will be a humbling experience that I take forward to help me in my own practice.
i owe my life to the NHS and the special people that make it work, the ones that see the worry in your face when your anus is quivering, they wont judge even if you shouldn't have trusted that fart! It will be there secret and they will help you through it.