Image: Patricia Bertényi

On the Empathy Network

Confusion

“Hang in there a little longer,” the nurse’s voice echoes over and over in my mind. I wonder how many times that has been said and heard. And when it will come true? I check every bed in the row, moving slowly towards Harri’s bay. I want to put the pear-flavoured juice on his table. Maybe he’ll be able to drink it today. I might be with another patient when he comes to. I want his wife to know that I left it for him – that I made sure the juice was right there and ready. Maybe his wife will believe me when I say that I don’t care about the choices that he made, or that I didn’t have enough time for him. The sorrow caused by continual assurances drives out other thoughts and clouds the mind. Come on now – focus. The juice is important. It’s pear-flavoured, for Harri. Did I turn the coffee maker off this morning? I don’t remember anything about what happened at home.”

The fantasy of substandard care for the unvaccinated is a source of sorrow.

A perceptible polarisation between the vaccinated and unvaccinated in various encounters has caused a huge misunderstanding from the point of view of health care professionals, suggesting that unvaccinated patients are less worthy than those who have been vaccinated. Many conversations with patients and relatives during the pandemic have stressed that nobody at the hospital is to blame for the current state of affairs, and everything possible is being done for the health of the patient. Professionals are relieved that hospitals are not the focus of the greatest fanaticism concerning vaccinations. Once inside the hospital, every human being is treated in the same way, and with equal dignity.

Chief Physician Mika Valtonen and intensive care nurse Sanna Nerjanto discuss what the pandemic has been like from the perspective of health care staff.

Even off-duty professionals have felt responsibility and concern for the pandemic

The continual flow of news about infections, hospitalisation rates, deaths, the number of people vaccinated and the global pandemic has prevented health care professionals from winding down from work when off duty. Particularly in the early days of the pandemic, uncertainty about the characteristics and spread of the virus caused continual concern for people about their own health and that of their loved ones. Health care staff are constantly worried about whether they can attend christenings, weddings or gatherings of any kind, or whether it would be better for them to put their personal lives on hold until the pandemic clears.

How did you feel?

The alternatives concern the fundamental feelings related to this phenomenon and page. We call them secondary feelings. It may, however, be that you did not feel this way. Perhaps you felt something completely different? In that case, select “some other feeling” and, if you so wish, write about your feelings in a letter.

When my days off were postponed to a later date again and again, I felt…

Järjestelmässä tapahtui virhe. Yritä hetken kuluttua uudestaan.

Thank you.

You were not alone with your feelings.

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