When choosing a career in the medical field, rather it be a physician, nurse or technologist, there will always be a demand, for qualified medical personnel. People go into a medical field for a variety of reasons, some for the money, some for the notoriety and then there are those who go into this line of work, because they really care and want to help others. While furthering their education, classes can be boring, interesting and well, deceiving. A good medical student realizes that every patient will be different, the symptoms may be the same, the pain may be similar to another patients, and the treatment may be the same for more than one patient, however, they are different and should be treated as such.
Ethics class is a crucial course for anyone in the medical field, but when ethics class teaches our future doctors, nurses and techs to treat every patient according to the textbook, something needs to change in the classroom. My daughter, Amy, currently works in an emergency room while studying for her registered nursing license. During one of her ethics classes she came across a bit of information that touched her so deeply, she considered changing careers just to avoid these types of misconceptions and it inspired her to post a note on “face book” describing her thoughts, on this particular information. Amy, is not a fan of writing, she despises it actually, so for her to write such a lengthy note regarding, an opinion about a class created to teach our future medical professionals, how to deal with patients “ethically” means that the message needs to get out. I am publishing, with her permission, the note in its entirety as she posted it, in the hopes that “medical” students everywhere will learn the meaning of “treat every patient individually”.
Anencephalic Babies (meme loves you, Christian)
By Amy N. Evans-Barger on Friday May 14, 2010 at 5:21am
While studying today I came across something that touched me in a very personal way. In my text book, Introduction to Health Care, the subject was ethics and how health care workers are confronted with ethical issues more so now than ever, due to the advancement of technology. The text suggests that, today’s society is not ready to deal with the advancement of medical treatment and procedures, ex: the prevention of conception, prolonging life, transplanting organs and performing life saving procedures. And here is where the text hits my personal spot: “In some cases, cures seem miraculous and add to human happiness. In others, society is confronted with difficult questions like the following:
– “Anencephalic babies are born without a brain, only a brain stem. They have no hope for a life other than remaining in a vegetative state. Should these babies be kept alive”?
– “Should an anencephalic baby be allowed to die so that its organs can be transplanted in babies who have normal brain function, but who need the organs to survive”?
When Christian was born, the doctors told my sister that her son would only live for a few short seconds and that she needed to prepare herself for that. There was never any new life saving technology techniques offered, there wasn’t even hope offered. Just a shrug of the shoulders and a nothing we can do. As my family gathered in the NICU, waiting for that last breath, we held him and sang to him and let him know that we loved him so much. And hour by hour, the doctors kept coming in with their we have no explanations, but he isn’t going to make it. We all sat in disbelief and wondered how we are supposed to plan a funeral for such a beautiful baby boy that, was still alive. It was when my mom called my great-grandmother about, how to plan a funeral and grandma told her not, to start planning a funeral ” because god works in mysterious ways and he blesses people with miracles everyday.” Hours turned into days, days turned into weeks, and my nephew was still with us. We then started questioning the doctors and asking, why can’t we try this, or that. None of them would provide any hope or help. My sister brought my nephew home and it is then, that they found a group on the internet, raysofsunshine.com that provided hope, suggestions, and encouragement, to not give up.
That Anencephalic Baby that, the doctors gave no chance of survival to just turned 5 on May 9th. And he is a true miracle, not of new technology, but of god. And that leads to my question, is it really new technology that society questions, or is it themselves, their morals and their beliefs? Hope in the world is decreasing daily, because people are afraid that it might take up more of their time, and if that is the way you feel, then those in the health care field, should truly reconsider what it is, you are doing. I understand, that there are some circumstances where hope, technology, and all the prayers in the world, are not going to change the outcome but, people should not stamp a your gonna die sticker on the bottom of your foot, because a text book said so. So I just ask everyone who reads this to please, “Keep Hope Alive”.
Amy Evans-Barger (SCC, RN Student)