Doctors, nurses and medical staff spend their lives taking care of patients. The impact these health care professionals have on the lives of their patients can be profound. From treating a mild illness to delivering life-altering news, clinicians are there to treat every patient with medical skill, dignity and respect. The effect of your relationship with your valuable provider can be long lasting. Additionally, the great care of your nurse or medical office team member can provide comfort in a difficult situation.
While the focus of any doctor-patient relationship is always the patient, the influences patients have on health care providers are often unseen but are equally profound.
Many times in health care, a provider or nurse can be found standing outside a closed exam room door taking a long, deep and calming breath before walking in to see their next patient. It is that brief moment that allows providers to enter the room of a happy child after just leaving the room of a patient who just learned he has cancer. These moments happen periodically throughout the week as hard conversations are had.
In these instances, patients have questions and fear with appointments to be made and testing to complete. More often than not, these complicated steps can occur very quickly and can cause more questions and anxiety. There are hours spent on the phone, preparing records, sending and receiving documents and speaking to other providers to make sure each patient is getting the care they need.
Providers and staff wait just as anxiously for test results as their patients, because they want the same good news the patient wants. As a provider or nurse, there are many hats worn throughout the day including counselor, pharmacist, navigator, adviser, comforter and leader.
Ultimately, health care is not like many other fields. Clocking out at the end of the day does not mean forgetting about the day you just had. Our patients are often our family, friends, neighbors and community members we see day in and day out. Sometimes, health care is crying all the way home from work because more bad news was given than good that day — and then taking that same long, deep and calming breath just to walk through your own front door. At other times, it is going home and hugging your children just to be reminded of your own fortune. Many times it is finishing the day reflecting on whether the right thing was done for each patient you encountered.
In an ENT practice, there are many types of patients. Some are seen for straightforward medical conditions or simple surgical procedures, such as ear tubes or tonsillectomy, and outside of a single visit or normal post-op visit, never return. Others are seen for weekly visits for allergy injections or several times per year for ear cleanings. Then, there are the patients who are seen once a year for many years, such as patients who have had a history of cancer. Regardless of the time spent in the office, certain patients have a way of being unforgettable to healthcare providers and staff, and this impact, heavy or light, is lasting. This is our calling.
Without a staff and team such as the one that I am fortunate to have, we cannot provide the great care that we do. However, many times these critical members remain invisible to many. I hope that my words provide a transparent view of the unseen portions of your clinic or surgery encounter.
Dr. Sophia Omoro, ENT, shared these thoughts: “We, the ENT team at Lima Memorial, are honored to be in this humbling position of service and are committed to fighting for you and your health care in any circumstance. You deserve great care, and we are here to deliver it.”
Kayla Cooper, LPN, is nurse to Dr. Sophia Omoro and Jennifer Tobin PA-C, Ear, Nose & Throat, Lima Memorial Physicians