I have been sitting back here on the beach the last few weeks. Happy to be able to do so.
And while things have been calm on the beach because I will them to be so, it doesn’t take a skilled observer to see the chaos surrounding our political process. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, you are most likely unhappy.
As my healthcare career continues to recede into my past, I realize how lucky I was to have been in a position to help people get better and be healthy. That may sound a little strange for someone who was not a clinician, but I know I made my contribution to improving the health of my community and even on occasion made an impact on a micro level.
I remember getting a call late one night from a family I knew who had just lost a loved one in a local car accident. Not a chaplain. Unqualified me! They sought someone to help find the resources they needed to cope with their terrible loss. I felt lucky that they considered me that someone who could help.
Nurses are lucky. Physicians are lucky. Therapists are lucky. Clinic receptionists are lucky. Billers are lucky. Environmental service workers are lucky. Even CEOs like me are lucky. We are fortunate to be in healthcare.
When you tell people you are part of a healthcare organization, whatever your job, you can tell from their expressions that they think you are lucky to be so. Whatever your political beliefs, they know that healthcare people put all that aside to focus on the most important person in the world—the person seeking care, solace and, if not cure, assurance they will not be alone on whatever journey is before them
With all the back and forward of debates about the Affordable Care Act, Covid-19, vaccines, increased incidence of depression and behavioral health problems, it is probably difficult for my former colleagues in healthcare to be aware of how lucky they are to be able to be there for others when the need is the greatest.
This is much more philosophical than I am usually comfortable with. As I look around healthcare from a distance, I hope all healthcare workers of all stripes realize they are lucky despite all the daily difficult challenges and real risks they face. And I hope that makes them happy. It always did me.