The Doctor who broke my heart, the patient who opened my eyes
- 26 Life is hard and income is meager in our country. Many took nursing course as a stepping stone out of poverty. I confess. I’m one of them… until something happened that changed my heart.
I want to be a nurse anesthetist because I learned that it is the highest paid nurse. That had been one of my dreams. Until one day, I was assigned at the Delivery Room of a Provincial Hospital. I was so excited to assist as a student nurse. The mother was having a difficult labor. She is fully dilated and the baby is ready to go out. She was shouting. She needed to exert effort to push the baby out of her womb but she kept on shouting instead. The Doctor lost her temper. She instructed the mother to stop shouting and focus to push the baby out. Now I see a different scene. Both of them are shouting. The Doctor is shouting because she’s already tired and irritated, and the patient is shouting out of labor pain. Surprisingly, the doctor lost her temper, rolled a newspaper and hit the patient’s head, then left. She went to the labor room just near the delivery room enough for me to hear her say that she’s going to transfer to a Private Hospital, and she’s going to have a big adjustment. She doesn’t know how to deal with patients in a private hospital since she has worked so long in a public hospital. I was stunned. I focused on the patient. I comforted her. I reviewed breathing exercises and labor techniques for her to deliver the baby safely.
The Doctor went back anyway, and helped her deliver the baby. I was a student during that time, so helpless and heartbroken. The patient did not sue the Doctor. I have never heard of them again since as a student we are always assigned in different hospitals to affiliate. But both of them taught me a great lesson. At that moment, I felt that it’s so hard to be poor. Richer people get better service and respect. But I wanted things to be different. I had a change of heart.
Patients rich or poor need to be treated equally. To live in a changed world, I have to start the change by changing myself. I must eliminate fear and learn to get out of my shell. I need to be assertive and learn to stand for what is right in the right and proper way. I partly hated myself during the moment I shared because I wasn’t able to do something to correct the Doctor’s behavior. That Doctor taught me what NOT to do. Patients are to be loved and treated in a special way. They have their rights which should be respected. If there are things they don’t know, they must be taught and assisted.
I felt a new calling weightier than money. I want to be a nurse midwife and provide more care. As a new registered nurse, I want to gain more experience in the delivery room and let my hands perform miracles in bringing babies into this world. And if there are more advance studies I will pursue, it will be to serve mankind.
Sometimes one may feel that life isn’t fair. But nothing will change if nobody will initiate. Money earned can be lost but a service given out of love lasts eternally.
From 'Philippines'; 35 Years Old; Joined Sep '08; Posts: 34; Likes: 30.2Sep 18, '08 by romanticThank you!
I had the similar experience only the patient was me. That is the major reason why I want to work in Labor and delivery unit -- I know that I will bring love and compassion to all of my patients independently of their social and cultural background and their age.
I feel the same but would never be able to express myself as beautiful as you did.
Thank you!0Sep 22, '08 by SisterKateRebekah, what a wonderful story. :wink2: When I was a student I was too nervous at first to speak to doctors, but one of the most important lessons I have learned over the years is that Doctors are human too and they make mistakes. What we as nurses must do is be strong enough to stand up for our patients when we see poor care from whatever source, be it nursing or medical, and advocate for our patients when they cannot do it for themselves. Well done for looking after your patient so well, it sounds like you will make a very fine nurse.