Friday, October 09, 2009

Tending to the sick

I wonder, what is the pre-requisite for being a patient-attender? You know, for one to effectively tend to the sick?

If ever there was a grey area, this is it. Sick people require matter-of-fact 'tenders'. From my understanding, having seen my mother tend my grandparents (her in-laws) and an aunt attend to hers, I have come to the conclusion that you need to have some of the following going for you if you are a caretaker: -
(Note: I have myself done a fair amount of I dare to launch a post into this subject)

1. Be cheerful but not overly chirpy, as you may thereby cause the ill to develop a complex!
2. Be matter-of-fact and not emotional or overly expressive since this can go either way with the patient. Emotional 'tenders' will be just that and this may not be in the patient's best interests. A sick person is already slightly emotional probably, and would not want faces to be pulled, long faces or to witness any smirks. I guess this is why nurses are all mostly a very objective and slightly detached lot.
3. The matter-of-fact business has to include a good level of 'lack of disgust'. Bodily functions are not always pleasant and one needs to deal with it or be prepared to at least. This is perhaps the most important point.
4. A good level of compassion and a slightly lower level of sympathy is required.
5. A sense of humour is most important. Rather than mere smiles for the patient, drawing out a chuckle or a laugh is far more beneficial and of course, more fun.
6. Handling people -- the whole matter-of-fact thing comes into play again. People will say many things and give many opinions (mostly useless) and mess with the atmosphere around the sick bed. They need to be politely and firmly refuted. After all, most of these folks will not walk their talk, so shutting them up is a good option.

There are more points am sure, and it's not as if I am an expert or can be in line with more than one or two of the above points, but having closely observed the general, productive ways of caretaking, I just wanted to ponder more about it aloud in a post...

One thing is for sure. Anyone can fall sick enough to require special care. It can happen to anybody. Remembering this is jolly good. The 'it has not happened to me' business is rubbish thinking.

Oh..and remembering Point 1 above,... CHEERS!;)