HEALTH CARE HEROES

Caring

Image by -RejiK via Flickr

I like Bo Sanchez as a writer.  He is very inspiring.  Today, I was reading his post again.  Entitled “Lord Disturb Me“, Bo talked about the fact that ordinary people can be heroes.  It is by getting out of our comfort zones for the sake of other people that ordinary individuals become heroes in their own right.

In health care, I also look up to heroes.  They’re not doctors.  Often, they are not even formally trained as health care workers.  But they do the job well.

I’m talking about the primary caregivers – relatives or friends or simply household helpers of terminally ill people who care for their sick loved ones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Their social life is nearly non-existent.  All they have is dedication – the type that true heroes are made of.

One of them is a loving household helper.  While the other family members are busy earning a living, she gladly serves her master – overseeing medications, calling doctors and nurses when new symptoms arise, and doing household chores.  She is overworked and underpaid, but it does not matter.

Another is the loving relative.  Because she is the least financially capable member of the family, she is left to take care of her mother.  Rarely does she get to be relieved, because her siblings do not have enough time.  Besides, the family does not have enough finances to hire professional caregivers and nurses.

Finally, there is the very loyal friend and neighbor.  She has her own family to attend to.  But because her neighbor is old and alone, she comes to visit her.  And when her elderly neighbor gets sick, she goes out of her way to call for medical professionals.

People like them make me believe that there are still many heroes in our midst.  Despite fatigue and sometimes even depression, they plod on.  It is as if they embrace the act of sacrifice.

Are you one of these “heroes”?  Are you tired and depressed?  Is the burden of taking care of the sick causing you despair?  Then you may need help.  Caregiver fatigue is so rampant.  You can still be a hero – but we need living heroes.  What use will your heroic acts be if in return, your own health is compromised?

Bo is right.  We need heroes.  But we need them alive so they can touch more lives with their heroism.

We need more health care heroes.  Let’s take care of the caregivers and nurture them, not just the patients that they care for.  For as long as the caregiver is at his best, you can be sure that your patient will receive the best care too.

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