We all have bad days. The problem with having a bad day and working in healthcare is that it’s unacceptable for your mood to affect the quality of your care and people are sick every day. The trouble with healthcare on a bad day is that healthcare requires hundreds of human interactions within a shift. Hundreds of moments where patience is required, where you must do small tasks that are annoying and big tasks that are important, and all the tasks between that together help people heal. You notice everything a little more on a bad day. So how do you get through it?
Not so long ago, my shift landed on a bad day. But, there was a patient who turned the shift around for me. He told me how he raised his sons. He was a single father. He had a path he wanted them to go on and he thought his job was to lift them back up to that path when they fell rather than push them down. That’s what he did and he was proud of them. He told me he was lucky.
I think I’d like to approach bad days like this father approached his sons. A bad day is a fall from the right path. It just takes some nudging to get back on track again.
The benefits of working in healthcare on a bad day are the kind, wise patients you’ll likely encounter. They’ll set things right, even though you’re the one that’s supposed to be curing, if you listen to them.