While attending the Indianapolis Mega Adoption Event at the state fairgrounds, I strolled up and down the aisles of various colors of balls of fur. Imagining myself in their paws, staring out beyond the wired fencing, I would watch numerous people continuously pass me in all directions. Every so often, someone might stop by to speak to me, poke his or her fingers in my cage for me to sniff, and even possibly give me a gentle rub. I would then get excited, thinking I might be released from my bondage, only to learn, a few moments later, I still am sitting in my prison. I even find myself growing sadder as I observe the doors of other cages around me being opened and my four-legged friends walking away with their new owners.
Like that of the animal awaiting its adoption, our patients may share similar experiences. They feel trapped in their beds, having lost much independence and relying on the medical team for all their needs—medications, bathroom, repositioning, etc. They may see people continuously walking by the rooms, hoping one might attend to their needs or even just give them a moment’s attention. Finally, an associate enters the room to complete a task but then quickly leaves, and this patient watches that person enter another’s room to respond to an alarm sounding. After much time has passed—what feels like an eternity, some patient grow very discouraged, sensing that there is no hope for the medical dilemmas they encounter.
Have you considered you may be the one who changes this patient’s perspective? Through your care, you may offer freedom from the bondage of the diagnosis and its effects. With your words or even just your presence, you can offer encouragement where there seems to be none. As Aaron and Hur, according to the Old Testament, held up Moses’ arms, encouraging Joshua’s perseverance in the battle with the Amalekites, you, as a member of the medical team, hold up the “arms” of the patients and their families, bringing them hope to—what appears to be—the hopeless battles they are fighting.