A Shift of Attitude and Energy: Satya

We all like to believe that we are truthful. However, there are countless facets to this precept. I narrowed my study to the aspect of being honest, or true to myself. Then narrowed it even further to an aspect of my life that I have struggled with for years: my job. In my job I am faced with multitudes of situations that I am personally and ethically opposed to on a very deep level. These situations ultimately make me feel like I am not living my truth. I work in a hospital, in direct care with patients…people. I work alongside doctors, nurses, case managers, therapists, and numerous other staff members responsible for some level of patient care. On any given day, I would literally run out of fingers to count how many negative, speculative, ignorant, and sometimes simply cruel comments I hear regarding patients…people. They are usually centered around the “choices” that a patient has made in their life that has led them to the sad destiny of needing medical attention. Often, the favorite subjects of these commentaries are: 1) alcoholics and drug addicts, 2).psychiatric patients, and 3) bariatric, or very overweight, patients. The commentaries often include a statement like, “How could anybody ever ______!” I’ve even heard such blatantly cruel statements as, “What an idiot.” This was a comment from a doctor regarding an alcoholic. Another comment, “How stupid…” was from another doctor, regarding a 23 year-old who nearly overdosed on prescription pain medicine. I have actually heard a nurse refer to an overweight woman as “disgusting”. She was not referring to something that came out of the patient, but the actual person. Over the years, I have become somewhat desensitized to this type of banter among so-called professionals, simply because it is so prevalent. However, I am still amazed and appalled at the complete lack of compassion from healthcare professionals who are trained and paid to care for others. As much as I love certain aspects of my work, I am deeply affected by this overt dispassion for humanity. It leaves me feeling as though I am being untrue to myself, to allow myself to work in this climate everyday. It also leaves me questioning humanity, itself.