Miguel Olivo Flores - Advocating health equity

Submitted 2022-10-31

Working as a caregiver is an extremely noble profession and not just because of the need that our society has for our services, we are present in some of the most distressing moments in which a person can be, and in my case, I try to be as professional and compassionate as possible. Our medical training must go hand in hand with our humanity to respect and protect the dignity and integrity of a person in a critical condition. There are occasions when we have to act as fast as possible but we must not forget who we are, and also remember that the person we are working for has the same rights and needs. I try to prepare myself as best I can regarding emergency procedures, those procedures include the technics to preserve the patient’s life but also to provide information for him/her, relatives, and friends not just to educate them but to provide emotional support because seeing a daughter or a husband in an emergency room is one of the most stressing experiences we could be involved.

We as students have to learn from our teachers at school and in the field and sometimes we must learn just by seeing, in silence, but that does not mean that I am not thinking. Who I am, and where I came from are integral parts of my personality and the person I am treating is just like me. We have to learn and create our criteria. To become good nurses we must improve ourselves as technicians and as human beings to provide quality service. Venipuncture, intubation, Tracheostomy care, etc, are just part of our daily job as a nurse, but being compassionate, patient, and tolerant also form an important part of our medical profile. At the same time, people have to understand that nurses do need to get rid of stress, because of that I always seek the support of my friends, my family, and people that I love, to continue working and learning. I reap what I sowed.

My mind and my spirit have to be as healthy as possible, not just my body, there are days when we must work without sitting not even for 5 minutes, and the noises and smells of the emergency room affect my performance, maybe not as directly as I could think. To work knowing that I am there not just for the money but for the benefit of others helps me to continue doing my job at the level that my patients deserve and could help me to improve myself. I have learned a lot of technics and procedures at school but at the hospital, I learned that I can only fulfill myself in the service of others.

Sometimes we as students could be told to have a cold mind, here we could also become distant, and if that is the case our patients are going to be in danger, they do know the difference between a human being and a machine. The impact of our performance in the emergency room goes beyond the walls of the room we are working in.

I am studying in a nursing school to learn, yes, to learn how to be a caregiver and also to be a better person, goodness spaces as fast as evil or mediocrity. My problems and sometimes my needs as a person must be left behind if I want to cross the door to get into the emergency room, but my humanity and all its aspects must remain with me at all times.

If I have to make a hard choice when performing as a nurse I have to use my brain, not my heart but in the end, my actions are for the well-being of my patient, and I keep that in my mind as long as possible. These words may seem obvious, but in real life some people do forget about the ultimate goal, which is as I said, to maintain the dignity of a patient, and that’s when they become machines, no different from a monitor or a respirator.

There are times when our patients will be gone from this world and we are not going to be able to do anything to prevent that from happening, what we can do is know that we offered them the best of our abilities as a caregiver and as a person. Their families are going to keep with them the image we projected when we were working side by side with the rest of the staff, and that image is also the result of our performance. We must not keep our humanity apart from our own identity. We are in need, maybe even more than the person that is injured, they do not know how to fix their problem but we do. Having a hobby, practicing sports, or just talking with someone who cares for us is a good way to protect us from ourselves.

We must be humans, no matter what, and being human is much more than just walking into a room and doing our job as our superiors expect us to do it. We must love our profession because when we do that we open ourselves to the needs of those who are injured even if they can not speak, if that is the case we must remember that they do feel, with their bodies and with their hearts.