It goes without saying, to work with people who have suffered through medical anomalies and tragic accidents, means to put the needs of a patient before one’s own and to be the one to acknowledge their feelings, their fears and their desired wishes. To care for another individual means to treat them with the same kindness and respect any individual would like to be treated with, it means to never complain for any request however big or small, and it means to look beyond the disability and see the patient for the person they are. In cases around Australia, disabled patients have been abused, neglected and belittled by carers who appear to have checked out. The negative mindset and lack of patient care among the disability sector begs the question, “what is happening in our health care systems and how are these patients surviving?”
You’re the Voice
Looking among patients in the disabled sector, it is alarmingly clear that 90% of patients do not possess the capability to speak up for their human rights and express their needs to others. To neglect and ignore the rights of any one person is stripping their humanity from them piece by piece. It is often the carers who are the voices of patients – the ones who can determine the required needs for the patient and help the quality of life they can lead. To be a person’s voice is to be their teammate and advocate. It means to know that their needs are greater than your own.
Hamish Gibson has suffered from both physical and mental disabilities and has in the past require essential funding from the NDIS and has been successful in obtaining work through the company. Hamish tells Sydney Observer, “Often the necessary care for patients has been neglected and it is left to our families and parents to care for us. I proudly stand up as an advocate for people who suffer from mental and physical disabilities, all of our voices, no matter what volume and diction, will be heard.”
To pursue a career in the service of caring for others means to set aside any personal element of selfishness, to ultimately step into their shoes and provide a holistic approach to patient care for someone who doesn’t have the capability in caring for themselves. You’re the voice they don’t have, you’re often their companion that they really need, you’re their personal assistant, their nurse, their cook and their shoulder to cry on.
To have the opportunity to shape a positive outlook on life and provide the best quality care any human deserves is the greatest privilege and distinct honour for it is you that play the role of ambassador, you’re the voice for patients that have not been heard, you’re the protector of rights and you’re the one that can see beyond the disability and see the patient for who they truly are.