If You Work in a Hospital - A Poem
Submitted by Jim Owen, MAT, retired EAP Counselor (Served several hospitals)
Jim Owen, MAT is a retired EAP Counselor and Regional Manager for Workforce Performance Solutions. He provided EAP and Consulting services to multiple health care institutions and their staff in Northern and Eastern Maine. WPS is headquartered in Portland, Maine, and is a division of Affiliated Healthcare Systems, Bangor, Maine.
It is a truism, There are good days and bad days at work, However, if you work in a hospital, Bad days can be truly horrible, Despite everything you do, People can’t be put back together, People die, Babies don’t survive being born too early, People get nasty infections, People leave with chronic pain, Mistakes happen.
If you work in a hospital, Your expectations, Have grown along with the improvements, In medical science and technology, And you expect to “win” much of the time, However, As even great baseball players know, Every batting streak comes to an end, It is easy to forget that, When you are dealing with people’s lives.
If you are a patient, If you are a family member of a patient, Your expectations, Have grown along with what you have heard, About the improvements, In medical science and technology, And you expect the health team to perform miracles, Every time, Regardless, and you get angry, It is easy to forget that life is more like baseball, Even the greatest players don’t always catch the ball going over the fence.
If you work in a hospital, Bad days can be truly horrible, When you find yourself caught between, Tragedy, Your own perfectionistic expectations, And the disappointment or rage of grieving relatives, What are you going to do with your feelings, Of grief, loss, and frustration, Or of irrational guilt, Before you move on to care for the next patient? — Jim Owen