Sunday, November 17, 2013

First, do no harm…

Anyone in the medical community knows this quote. I’ve had the opportunity to experience it first hand of late. With my mom in the hospital, I’ve seen my fair share of nurses and doctors in the short time I spent there yesterday. One thing I noticed was the nurses that came in. The way they would look at her, listen to her concerns, answer them the best they could, and follow up. In the short timespan of an hour, I really grew to appreciate the care and the compassion they showed my mom.

The medical field, like education, gets a lot of flack. However, I believe that the majority of people that go into it do so because they want to help. They want to ease the suffering of others, help them go home better than they came in. It is a noble profession.

As I sat lost in thought on our drive home, I was jolted out of my zone by my son, Liam, spilling his milkshake on the floor of the car. One look at his face showed me that this was not the time to get frustrated. His eyes locked on mine and I could see the concern. I told him it was fine, we all have accidents. Fortunately, I had napkins stored in the glove compartment. I quietly mopped up the spill and gave some thought to the oath.

First, do no harm…

I am not operating each day. I don’t have someone’s life in my hands. Yet, in another way, I do. We do. Children come to us – some whole, some broken, some somewhere in between. The way we treat them matters. The language we use with them each day matters. It is not an easy task. There are days that we are exhausted. Days that we have our own concerns weighing heavily on our hearts. And yet, we teach.

Watching nurses and a doctor with my mom, I was reminded of what is important.: connections, compassion, caring. It is important in the medical field, in the classroom, in our homes, and in life.

First, do no harm…

A simple command, but such an important one. Be kind. What you do and what you say matters, more than you know.