Here’s a short piece from the excellent Random Acts of Reality blog by Tom Reynolds a London Ambulance EMT.
Everyone was ignoring the patient.
We’d picked her up after an episode of a recurrent illness, she was going to be fine but I felt sorry for her. Hardly anyone was talking to her, they were all distracted by her partner. I worried about how safe her partner would be in the back of our ambulance, it turned out that it wouldn’t be a problem.
When we got to the hospital the staff there were more concerned with the patient’s partner although she was a big hit with the department and she did cause a few organisational problems. A few other patients looked a little worried by her presence.
It made me feel bad, I felt that the patient was being ignored a little with everyone paying full attention to her partner. So I made sure that I talked to her, I’m guessing that although she was used to such reactions she would still feel upstaged.
“I bet you get ignored a lot when you are with her”, I asked our patient.
“Yes, but you have to get used to it”, she replied.
But why was all this attention being lavished on our patient’s partner?
Because our patient was blind and her partner was a guide dog.
I don’t know about you, but as I was reading this I went through all sorts of hallucinations about the patient’s ‘partner’, who they were, what they were doing to garner so much attention. Did you do the same?
I find it very difficult sometimes not to jump to conclusions when listening to somebody’s story, be it client or friend. Having a ‘beginners mind‘, listening to the story without rushing to fill in the blanks can take a lot of effort.
Sometimes I suffer from a common condition, particularly amongst men: premature explanation!