My friend has had successful radiation twice and sadly a new tumor had shown up just as her significant other had to leave town on another family emergency so I had the privilege of taking her to an appointment with her radiation oncologist. My friend is a sharp, astute, and empowered patient with many questions about her cancer and treatments. And she is tired and as you can imagine worried.
She received such compassionate expert care that I can’t help but highlight some observations about the doctor, nurse, and organization in general.
Nurse Catherine Smith and Dr. Su Metcalfe were compassionate and unhurried as they demonstrated respectful listening. They did all the ‘right’ stuff of receptive body language, validation, and clarifying. Yet more than that, there was this almost palpable energy that gave me the feeling that my friend is someone they care about and have expertise they are using to help her. In addition to their clinical expertise, they are teachers and collaborative partners. They respect my friends’ preferences and want her to understand her options not decide for her.
And the organization itself should be noted. There were no interruptions or alarms going off, our wait time was minimal, the setting was comfortable and the receptionist pleasant. There was a musician playing soft guitar music. This too felt comforting and genuine. No one was running or appeared to be flustered. It seemed that these professionals are supported in their work to provide excellent care.
We just ran a series, “Why Don’t they Listen?”, well sometimes they do. And it makes a huge difference!