May 042010
 May 4, 2010  Posted by at 10:42 pm Uncategorized Tagged with:  Add comments

Today me and my tutor spent most of the day in the palliative ward. It is very different from other wards, as things that might be prioritized (such as stabilizing blood sugar and lowering high blood lipids) in most normal circumstances generally don’t matter here anymore. The aim is to make sure that the patient is as comfortable as possible, on their last journey. Some get to go home, some go to special care facilities, but some pass away in the ward. It is extremely challenging to ignore my own desire to treat, cure and save the world when the patient has decided not to eat ,and it is hard to convince them otherwise as both of you know that it is only a matter of time before…. I found myself speechless a couple of times; I didn’t know what to say. It was hard to know where to draw the line between encouragement and nagging. I am worried I will do too little, and I am worried I will do too much. I wish I could have some time to reflect and kind of sort out those conflicting thoughts, as this is something we have never learned at school and I feel kind of lost. When I have had patients at a clinic I felt in control, it’s my office and they come to me, but working in the ward I feel lost – especially as I am at four different hospitals, each with God knows how many wards, and I have four different tutors. The whole day is packed with things to do, from early morning at five am to late night at eleven pm, and only in the midst of the night when I ought to sleep I start thinking about my patients.

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