Do you ever feel so busy that you feel like you really don’t have time do the million and one things you have to do? I know I feel like this sometimes, especially on such a fast paced ward. I think sometime you just need to dial it back and look at what’s really important. We have so much paperwork and task orientated things to do which are equally important but it is the patient who really needs us. I was looking after an elderly lady recently who really needed her teeth cleaned, the poor love had some food that was building up on them. Although I had so many things I had to do, I thought had a feeling that this lady’s family would come that evening. So I gathered what I needed and it took a good 10 minutes to clean these teeth but at the end of it they were sparkling. This lady was not orientated, but boy was she happy when she had clean teeth, she was laughing away and saying “oooh that’s nice”. Surely enough the daughter did come in and she had told me she had the worst day and that she was so grateful that her mum’s teeth were cleaned, she started crying because her mum wasn’t all happy and laughing the last time she saw her. She told me that she couldn’t believe that day that she had had and that it was lovely to see her mum so happy and without a care in the world. He grandchildren had picked the most beautiful flowers and drawn the most amazing pictures so I made sure to put the pictures up and to find a vase for the flowers.
I guess what I am trying to say is that although family might care about that big fancy technical thing you and the doctors may have done, they care more that their loved one is being cared for, they care that they have has a shower, their hair has been washed and their teeth have been cleaned and that they are comfortable. Although, sometimes we don’t have time to do all of these things because we may have some really sick patients, they appreciate it even if its one of these things you have done. To see my patient and her daughter so happy was magical, it really hit home. At the end of the day we do not know what the family of our patients is going through, if we can help lighten the load and make them and our patients happy, I think we are doing pretty well.