I have recently come to realise that a big part of why many health care professionals become so exhausted/disillusioned/burnt-out, is because of all the emotional burdens of our patients, that we have to carry. It's true...I guess patients hope that somehow, you as a health-care worker may be able to assist them with their other stressors, in addition to their medical conditions.
I seem to be faced with this quite often and it's actually very taxing. I don't know if I have a 'face that makes people wanna talk' but honestly lots of patients seem to want to share their problems/stressors with me. Believe me it can get VERY depressing. My poor mum!
The worst part for me is that often I simply cannot come up with a reasonable solution and I get this feeling that the patient wants me to help... but...there is no rapid solution...what am I to do!!! At the same time you don't want the patient to feel that you're just disregarding their problem and you don't want to come across as being glad you yourself are not in their dreary situation. Gosh it is really really difficult!
Abusive husbands, abusive children, children on drugs, mean employers, job losses, financial issues, not coping with terminal illnesses, not wanting to live any longer....the list goes on. Oh and lets not forget patients with psychiatric conditions!! Seriously they can tell you the sickest things!& all while keeping a straight face...It's really gross:(
It's difficult to describe the emotions you go through...you feel really sorry for the person but don't know what solution to offer... wait there is no solution...or is there & you just cant think of one?....the situation is quite bleak but you've gotta offer some hope....sometimes it's even difficult to find the right words of comfort
:( I don't know what to say...help!...I have to say something...without my voice breaking....I'm the Dr remember? The patient's looking to me for help/hope/comfort??? The situation looks hopeless and I feel helpless.... Sigh.
I guess it would be a tiny bit easier if the person was Muslim? Coz there's always comfort in Allah's words. Somehow when I use the word 'God' to comfort someone it always sounds so cold and...distant...oh dear!
Seriously all these stories/stressors haunt you.....and you kinda have to learn not to think too deeply about it...but you keep thinking back to what you could have said or how you should have acted.... Honestly, I don't know how to deal with such situations...or do I? There is no "Right" way anyway, coz responding to emotions cant be taught and learnt, right?