There is a lot that’s broken in healthcare. Costs are soaring, insurance is a fiasco, and many people don’t get the care they need.
Though healthcare is a rewarding career, it can be relentless. The hours can be challenging, but more than that, the responsibility and stress tend to weigh on on every single person involved in a patient's care. (So much so that more than 50% are experiencing healthcare provider burnout.)
So it’s understandable if you’re a healthcare provider that you might feel a sense of frustration and hopelessness about the work.
The reality is that despite all of that, you are a hero. No superhero in any movie does as much good as any aide or doctor or nurse in their career. Healthcare providers save lives and change lives hourly.
Yes, it’s something I already know — but two things happened in the last week that brought this reality into vivid relief for me.
On a personal level, last Friday my 8-month-old grandson was swept away by ambulance and admitted to the PICU after airway issues began to severely restrict his breathing. Perhaps healthcare is broken, but it wasn't for him. Dozens of people cared for him over 4 days — and each and every person did so flawlessly, compassionately, attentively, and brilliantly. The people who cared for him saved his life — and the way they cared for him got him and his family quickly on the road to health and calm.
On a national level, that same weekend, a shooter killed 22 people and horrifically wounded 20 others. A New York Times story shows the incredible heroism, selflessness, ingenuity, and courage of the medical providers (from surgeons to housekeeping staff) who saved the lives of the wounded and kept the death toll from rising still higher. Of course, this was integrally linked with the professionalism, efficacy, and bravery of the first responders that day.
People who provide medical care take on the stress, trauma, and everyday struggles of their patients. And they do so in service of their patients' lives — placing the patients' well-being above their own, in many cases. That's the definition of selfless courage in my book.
Whether you do medical collaboration or not... whether you do telemedicine or not... whether you feel it on any given day... you are a hero. And while that can't make the job easier — it should let you feel pride for what you do.
Find more inspiring stories about healthcare providers working together here: