, Newburyport, MA


February 27, 2013

What has happened to caring?

This article started out with a plan to write about health care but is now extended to include the tendency of many people today not wanting to care about anything but their own interests and practice the easiest way to get out of work.

We, as Americans, have always had the reputation of being sensitive to helping others, to being generous in charitable donations and to being positive in our outlook. Since the late ‘90s service and health care had been extremely important to all of us.

In the past year, particularly, I see changes in those taking care of the ill and it saddens me to see the changes interfere with the patient’s care, not only in hospitals and rehab, but also with retail stores and service people and their customer satisfaction.

Someone recently told me that after having a loved one confined to a rehab for quite a lengthy stay, she received such negative attitude and obvious mannerisms from various nurses and personnel. She felt that she had to be an advocate for the patient because they didn’t reach out to her relation. Every time she tried to converse with the staff, there was minimal eye contact and great hesitancy in responding. One nurse asserted her authority and stated haughtily that she was in charge of this particular area.

I myself had run into this problem with a rehab nurse. Her feeling of self-importance was very evident. More than once I saw her eating at her desk, putting makeup on and answering sharply when she was asked questions. Some employees have a job to do and will not go beyond; she was one of them.

Fortunately, there are some wonderful nurses who are old school and their rapport with patients in the hospital/rehab is a pleasure to see. It’s like one extreme to the other.

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