The Health Care Ticking Bomb

As a health care worker for almost fifteen years, I have dealt with all kinds of people, patients, and colleagues from different cultural backgrounds. I have communicated with them in at least four different languages, and let me tell you, it has been a unique experience. I have been both in the academe and in clinical settings, dealing with both acute and non-acute patients. It has been a journey, but one thing I never thought I would struggle with the most is dealing with the ups and downs of daily patient interactions.

Now, let me tell you something. Patient interactions require a lot from us, health care practitioners. It's not just about having knowledge and skills; we also need the right attitude. And let me tell you, attitude is personal and natural. You can't just learn it. I used to think I had the sufficient attitude, but I was wrong! Every time I interacted with my patients, a little part of me was either lost, numbed, or even confused. It was irritating because, as a nurse, I should have been my patients' source of strength and support. But I realized I had nothing left to give. I felt empty, and I just wanted to get the tasks done. I became efficient but less empathic. I no longer tolerated any BS, as I just wanted to deal with hard facts. It was easier that way. But in the end, it was me who needed help than my patients.

The hardest part was finding help and strength. I tried to look within myself, but there was nothing left. I tried to find some miraculous inner strength, but in reality, there was none. The only motivation left was dealing with day-to-day work as a puzzle to solve to earn a living. That kept me going, but I was losing time, not just for myself but for others, including my family and friends. My most effective coping strategy became the biggest hindrance to build stronger relationships and even find better solutions. The vicious cycle becomes worse and never ends.

But hey, non-healthcare folks! As your friendly nurse, I just want to remind you that we healthcare workers are human too, and we struggle just like you do. But, of course, we get to deal with life and death situations on a daily basis, no big deal. And by the way, have you heard of the latest trend in healthcare? All the cool nurses are having bad frustrating days, too. It's a great way to blow off some steam and let out all that pent-up stress and frustration. Who needs therapy when you can just break down in the middle of a shift, right? Plus, it's a great excuse to go home early and take a day off. We do not have a choice, but work. We love our jobs and truly care for you, but sometimes, our jobs is extremely exhausting that require a lot. Seriously, I would not wish anyone to deal with that in a daily basis, too.

But seriously, mental health is a huge issue in healthcare right now. We're expected to take care of others, but who's taking care of us? We see things that no one should ever have to see, and it takes a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. So, if you know a healthcare worker, give them a hug (or a virtual one, if you're not into physical contact) and let them know that you appreciate all that they do. 

So, here's a reminder to all health care practitioners out there: our work is tough and challenging, and we are not alone. It's okay to struggle, but it's important to seek help and support. And to those who are not in health care, please be extra kind to us. We are expected to show kindness, but we can also be ticking dangerous bombs.

We may be expected to show kindness and empathy, but sometimes we can also be a ticking time bomb. So, if you want to witness a spectacular explosion in front of you, go ahead and treat us like crap. But if you want to avoid a catastrophic disaster, treat us with kindness and respect. It's your call, really. Treat us kindly, and we'll deal with both kindness and not. Thank you. Have a fantastic day. Yours truly, Nurse Paul.


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