“There is such fulfillment in helping others, and I pray we never lose the passion to do so.”
To the ones who came before me, especially my late Mother, who was a nurse by profession, I tip my hat off to you. I have nothing but love, and respect for you. My heart goes out to the hard-working doctors and nurses of Vaiola hospital; my seniors, mentors and friends. We are honoured with the most noble of professions, ‘the betterment of the people in our care’.
We save lives on a regular basis, and yet our mistakes can mean lives lost. Despite our best efforts, our own susceptibility to failure, the reality of an imperfect system and the unpredictability of the future makes way for inevitable mishaps and furthermore, unwanted repercussions. As such, we have been torn down by the public on social media, at times in person, and it has shown us that perhaps we are slowly losing the trust of our people. What do we do then? Do we quit, do we give in, do we falter, do we cower away from our duty and slip quietly into the night? By no means!
Mistakes are inevitable. We live in an imperfect world, with imperfect people. It is unfortunate however, that in our line of duty, those mistakes can mean putting people’s lives at risk. But we knew this the day we swore our oath to join the workforce. We knew, that the possibility of not being able to save someone, came with the job description. I do not write this as an excuse for our practice, neither is it a way of dampening the sorrows of those disappointed in the hospital system. No. I lost my Mother 2 years ago, and although she was a casualty of the same imperfect health system, consistent of imperfect people, I have found peace in forgiveness and love. To those whom the system failed, I am deeply sorry for your loss, your outcry is justified. I pray that peace surrounds your heart.
I write this to encourage the spirits of medical staff everywhere, who may have been affected by the posts you see on social media, or the talks you have heard at social gatherings, or even friends and family who may have told you they don’t trust in your hospital anymore. This one’s for you. We make mistakes, and we expect failure when it knocks at our door; it is no excuse, it is a fact of life. However, this should in no way impede our ability to improve, provide better services or dim our passion to save lives and to help others. Let me remind you that you have been amazing, you are amazing, and you will continue to be amazing at what you do. I speak forth life on your medical practice, your relationships, your career, your finances, your families and loved ones. I pray that God touches your hands, so that despite your mistakes, despite your failures, God still blesses the lives of the people you lay your hands upon! Greatness is not about being perfect. Greatness is found in an unrelenting dedication to self-betterment. We are not perfect, and neither is the system, but we will continue to grow and be of better service to our people. This is our oath.
It is true, I am young and perhaps even naive to say these things but I am passionate about what I do. I love my job and although I live in an era where social media or the public could attempt to tear me down at any moment, there is no question in my mind that I am going to continue to save lives to the best of my ability. Of course, there are those who will say “he is young, give him a few years and he will lose the drive soon enough” but it is my moral responsibility to prove this wrong. It is a responsibility adherent to all of us doctors, nurses and non-medical people alike. A good friend of mine once said, “we are all meant to be doctors, not to save lives, but to bring healing where-ever we are”, and he was right. We cannot all save lives, but we can all help people when they need help and when we have the capacity to do so.
There is such fulfillment in helping others, and I pray we never lose the passion to do so. The video attached is an example of what my day to day job looks like:
As young doctors, we are often the first they call onto the scene when a newborn may need resuscitation. Although I’ve done it countless times, there are some pleasures in life I can’t even begin to explain. It is the sense of purpose I feel, and the confirmation of the career and life I chose to live. Times like this you look back and you think about the countless hours, sleepless nights, and missing moments of family time due to extra shifts and then you hear the child’s cry, and you’re a part of her first breath of life. You see her mother’s smile and realise that you are blessed with the privilege of God working through your hands to give a child a shot at this beautiful thing we call life. You sit back and you look at your hands, you silently smile with tears in your eyes, and think…
“This…was all worth it.”