Hospital Notes 40 – ‘CHANGED PERSPECTIVES’

I expect you all know the phrases… “Every cloud has a silver lining” and… “One man’s meat is another man’s poison” and some years ago ‘Tear Fund’ had the theme for Harvest that “One man’s rubbish is another man’s harvest”.

Well these are about seeing things from a changed perspective.

Now during most of my life I’ve experienced a feeling of excitement when hearing or seeing a helicopter flying low and close. However, when I see that now, my feeling has changed to sadness because, when I do, it is one landing at or taking off from RSUH and signals a serious medical emergency. The other week there were 3 such arrivals during my time at the hospital (one even coming from North Wales) and naturally I thought of the individuals and so many others affected by the need for that flight.

Recently I saw a patient sitting in the chair at their bedside apparently quite happy and well. I only realised all was not quite as it looked when an observant and caring nurse came up and said “that oxygen line won’t help you when it’s in your ear” as she removed it and fitted it carefully back into the nose of the patient. Once again my perspective on the situation changed.

Also, I met a distressed patient who said to me “I am in great need of help” and it transpired that all the anxiety was caused by an inability to contact a daughter. I was able to phone the number and pass over my mobile when, after a brief conversation, the anxiety was greatly reduced. Such a small action changed that person’s perspective, and made such a big difference to someone who was feeling lonely and isolated!

If you’d like to contribute towards changing people’s perspectives about Chaplaincy work in the hospital why not come along to Royal Stoke on Tuesday 4th April or Wednesday 10th May and join in singing to staff, patients and visitors at lunchtime (noon until 2pm) in the Atrium. You might find that your own perspective is changed and you want to become more involved and make a difference, as happened to me a few years ago.

Dave Rowlands