It has been a very long time since my last Raggedy visit to Casa Dorinda. This school year has come about so quickly after an extremely long summer and I found myself attempting to catch up in all my classes and work. Entering my third year at UCSB, reality has finally begun to set in. I feel extremely stressed to figure out my life now that graduation is only two short years away. This impending feeling became overwhelming this past week and resulted in my very first panic attack. Not knowing how to cope, I decided to be Raggedy.
Putting on my Raggedy makeup and driving to Casa Dorinda I was hoping that a visit to the residents would help me put things into perspective. Walking through the halls, I was called inside by the frustrated family of one of the residents. This resident has dementia and is difficult to understand. During our visit, her family noticed that her hearing aid was missing and called the nurses to help look for it. Everyone was frantically looking around the room and I noticed that the resident was mumbling something. She was trying to get her daughters attention, but no one seemed to listen. She finally said, “I know where my hearing aid is, but you guys don’t care to ask me.”
Everyone was so consumed with finding the hearing aid that they overlooked the minor details. I have recently started a job as a medical assistant and I now understand how healthcare workers can become so engrossed in the job that they forget the person they are working with is not just a patient, but also a human. Many times I am juggling multiple patients, phone calls, doctor orders and I try to complete all my tasks quickly. I need to stop and remind myself what the purpose of all of this is. As a worker in the health field, we are servants to the community and must commit to our patients.
Leaving Casa Dorinda today, my mind seemed more at ease. I might not have quite figured out my post-college plan, but I definitely know I will enter the health field. Whether as a doctor, a nurse, a caregiver, I know I want to commit to bettering health care, even if I’m only a simple reminder to my colleagues to stop for a moment and listen. As I was leaving, the resident’s son caught up to me and sincerely thanked me for what we do. He said that although she may not make much sense and is difficult to understand, her face lights up when the Raggedys come through the door.