Psychiatry

Know Your Limit

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Came home from work late today…again.

I’m passionate about my job as a psychiatrist and spent about two hours with each patient that I was called to consult on the medical floor this weekend.  Lunch and dinner were an afterthought.  I felt the hunger pangs, but pushed on because the appreciation received from each patient for taking time to understand their situation made hypoglycemia worthwhile.

Today, I spent several hours on a complicated case.   Coordination of care took place, notes thoroughly written, and necessary calls made.  I left the clinic with a goal to leave work behind.  However, the patient is still on my mind.  Accepting that I can’t save a patient is one of the most difficult aspects of my job.  No words of appreciation expected, no reassurance of their safety, no guarantee of tomorrow.

I can’t cure, I can’t heal, I can’t save, but it would be out of my character not to at least try.

30 thoughts on “Know Your Limit

  1. Hey girl, Such a poignant description of the terribly complicated work we do. Please try not to use the word “can’t”……you do not know what you can and cannot do in terms of the impact you have on a person’s life. We may never know. And you are right about ‘trying’. Long ago I decided that is what I want on my gravestone….”She Tried….RIP” Keep your integrity. We are in the same club.

  2. I love this post … That fact that you try renews hope in compassion, and caring, which seem like distant memories in Today’s world. It is so hard to leave work at work, and home at home, the two will overlap at some point. You may not be able to heal, cure, or save, but You do make a positive difference in the lives of others, and just being there for them is probably more than they have ever experienced before. Stay strong, keep doing what you are doing because … You ARE the difference 🙂

  3. I love how you portray our profession in the most authentic ways, whether it’s a positive reflection or frustrating reality. There is so much value in what we do, and we have to remind ourselves that even if the impact isn’t externally obvious or appreciated, we somehow made a difference in the deepest part of others and/or ourselves.
    Love you Sis!

  4. Do your best and you will receive the best. Without “fail” we cannot comprehend “success”. You are enough just as you are. Accept the truth is simple, and you are making a great contribution to the world fulfilling your life purpose. Be the way you are, no need to try or change anything. Love and happy New Year! A:)ex

  5. Hey, don’t take work home. Don’t spend two hours with a client. Acceptance is the key word, as you said. Accepting what you can do as a professional, seeing what’s possible, and seeing it all objectively. (I know I’m being blunt and harsh).

  6. Greetings from Australia,
    I feel fo you but admire you compassion for your clients. Your profession is extremely challenging in man ways; as a physiotherapist I do get the chance to heal and cure which is extremely rewarding within the realm of musculoskeletal injuries. But it’s the compassion that you have for your clients that will impact them in ways that you will not know and make not immediate. You have a great attitude anda love disposition which I love in people when I experience it.
    God bless you

    • thank u konstantine! that’s wonderful you’re of a profession of healing. mental health professionals contribute to a healing process, which often isn’t immediate nor concrete, as you said. some days are grueling, but i feel blessed everyday to work in this profession

      • Well spoken indeed, you are sowing seeds, sometimes the harvest is apparent whereas other times it yields fruit more slowly. But know this a heart full of humility and love will always yield a fruitful harvest. 🙂

  7. You said something to me that lept in my spirit …”I left the clinic with a goal to leave work behind. However, the patient is still on my mind.” Perhaps this is the answer to and the reason why Father God closed the doors on my MSW pursuits. Ummm I’m going to ponder this one: knowing my boundaries in the area of caring for or helping others.
    Thank you for sharing your experience.😊

    • thx so much for your comment. maintaining boundaries is an ongoing challenge and you’ll find a range of clinicians that are either so detached/numb and those who cross boundaries and break down on a regular basis. if becoming a MSW is your goal, welcome the unique opportunity to balance helping others and learning more about yourself each day 🙂

  8. Subconsciously we’re drawn to professions that we ourselves need to heal through. As a healer myself, I find success to be most powerful when I put myself in the spotlight of healing.
    Blessings…

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