Monday, January 30, 2012

Our Patients Are Our Teachers

Back to my blog home page:

I was finishing up the work day when Marnee walked into the rehab department. She walked up beside me and handed me a small white envelope.

"Don't open it now. Open it when you get home."

It was stuffed.

On the outside back of the envelope she had hand written a beautiful saying by Kahlil Gibran, one of my favorite poets.

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much what life brings to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens."

Inside, this beautiful woman had written a card to me.

Dear Tre,
You are a beautiful young lady.
A gift from God
to so many of us
who need you.
Your smile
warms everyone's heart
and your expressions of confidence
and words of encouragement
are a blessing to this world - -
Thank you, thank you -
May God bless you
with peace of heart
and mind
and love of all -
Your grateful patient,

Inside the card was a beautiful olivewood rosary made in Jerusalem.

Tonight, I think about this wise woman who has taught me so very much. She has taught me more, I think, than I have taught her. Marnee has been my teacher. She has encouraged my spiritual growth.

I work in a setting in which many therapists are embarrased to admit they work. I am not only happy to work in skilled nursing facilities; I prefer to work there because of the quality of the relationships that are nurtured during our time together as patient and therapist.

It's like Kahlil Gibran wrote, Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life...

As therapists, it's the attitude we bring to skilled nursing. If you don't want to be there, don't take the assignment. You give yourself and your potential patients the gift of allowing someone who really wishes to serve this population if you choose to go somewhere else.

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