A year ago, my mother had got diagnosed with Covid. That phase of November- December in 2020 was a bit difficult emotionally even though she was quarantined at home and totally stable and healthy by God’s grace. We had access to every facility as well as the best treatment. Then why was it emotionally difficult? The answer to this is, because I am a Doctor, a physiotherapist by profession. It sounds strange, isn’t it? A medical professional who sees patients every day, has done duties for covid patients and such a statement from me! Recently, my father had got his kidney calculus removal surgery done. The surgery was minor and had gone really well but still those few days too were a little harsh.
At such times, I ask myself if I am becoming vulnerable and if my mental strength is weakening. I start doubting my abilities as a doctor. Being in this profession, it is a bit easier to draw an emotional disconnect between you and your patient. But when you or your close ones are on the other side, you don’t really see them as just another patient and thus it becomes difficult to have that disconnect! You literally cannot keep yourself emotionally cold and it starts making you feel vulnerable. That is where the heart under the white coat speaks up.
As a part of medical profession that involves a lot of communication with patients, it is important to be more of a listener in order to be an effective communicator. In this process of listening and understanding, you tend to feel more emotionally empathic towards the patient. At the same time, this field needs you to be empathic and from time to time step into the patients’ shoes, as to what do these humans go through. It is a tough phase for them and their families because during that moment they find it difficult to process even a minor health issue. There is a fine line between sympathy and empathy and you need to maintain that balance. The way you speak and the words you use in the process can create a huge impact, either positive or negative.
Hospital and clinics are the places where you need to put your emotions a bit aside. You need to perceive the other person as a simple human who needs help and is not in a good state of mind. Being too emotional imbibes a negative energy into them and being too cold or stone hearted gets you detached from perceiving what they feel. The moment you realise that human emotions are basic in nature and we all feel them as per the situations in our lives, you will learn to connect that disconnect. You will build heathy relations with people, whether they are your family, friends or even patients whom you have never met earlier or merely had any acquaintance.
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