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Physician’s Work Experience with Terminally Ill Essay

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Updated: Jan 27th, 2021

Introduction

In the course of one’s life, there are some unprecedented events that take place when one least expects. One such event is death. At one point in life, one will have to face and live with the aftermath of the death of a close family member or a friend. It is during such times that a person has to face the realities of life and the help of a third party is required. The death of a terminally ill person has an impact on several people, including the physician, who was helping them. This paper shall examine what I expect to be my future experience in working with a terminally ill person as a physician.

My general feelings towards working with the terminally ill and their families

The thought of working with the terminally ill as well as their families elicit mixed feelings within me. I feel delighted that finally, I will be able to cause a positive impact on people in their last days on earth. Particularly, I am happy to know that I have a chance to influence a helpless person’s life and make them have a joyful and peaceful transition during death. As many people believe, how one ends anything is important than how they started. This means that I can help the patient correct some of their past mistakes as they reflect through their past life and find meaning in life, even in their last days.

On the other hand, I have fears that some of the things and negative changes that may happen to the patient may be beyond the help that is humanly possible, and therefore, I may just have to watch as the patient goes through them. These could be changes in their body anatomy, for example, loss of hair due to some therapies, which could affect their dignity.

A particular context I would prefer to work in

I would particularly prefer working with people who are advanced in age as opposed to young children. This is because, it is easier to counsel the elderly because they may already have gone through some past experiences in life and therefore, understand death as a reality. Again, such people are able to make decisions concerning their lives after I have counseled them and given them the options available in a particular situation. These people also have family members who offer them the support they need. According to Doka (1997), the thought of a loved one in the middle of a difficult experience in life is believed to cause one to have positive feelings and find meaning in their life. Since finding meaning in one’s life in the most difficult circumstances is what gives a person the will to live, the elderly, who have close family members, are able to respond positively to the therapy and consequently, have a peaceful transition to death.

On the other hand, I would not prefer to work with young children, who are terminally ill. This is because trying to counsel these children and help them find meaning in their lives may be a difficult thing. Again, although the death of any human being evokes almost the same reaction from those around them, the death of a young child may be particularly painful because they may not have achieved much in life.

The single most rewarding aspect of working with dying patients

To me, the single most rewarding aspect of working with terminally ill patients is seeing the person find meaning in their life, even in their situation. This is because the news that one is suffering from a terminal disease can be very devastating to any human being. Since death normally depicts an end to everything that one had or hoped to have in life, they may opt to just sit and wait to die. However, I would be very particular in helping the patient understand that they can find meaning in life and live one day at a time and find dignity, even in death. Achieving this would be the most rewarding aspect of my career as a physician.

The single Most Difficult aspect of working with dying patients

One of the most difficult aspects of my career as a physician would be to work with a person who is very negative about life and has no meaning in life. Such a person would be very difficult to deal with and their response to any medicine issued would be very slow. They may also opt not to take their medication, quickening their death. Again, the person may not be ready to open up and share their fears and anxieties, hence becoming hard for me to counsel them or do anything to help them. This is because, for someone who is terminally ill to be helped, they must be willing to share their fears, anxieties, and expectations with the physician.

Conclusion

Working as a physician with the terminally ill patient as well as their families involves a range of services. It comprises supporting the patient medically, emotionally, spiritually, physically, socially, and generally in all areas of their life. Helping the patient together with their family find meaning in their lives, even when they are aware of the imminent death of their loved one should be the ultimate goal of the physician, and this is what I would zero in on.

Reference List

Doka, K. J. (1997). Living with grief when illness is prolonged. Bristol, PA: Taylor and Francis.

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