By Joshua Embry
In graduate school I wrote a paper about the violence that health-care workers experience at the hands of patients. I had witnessed such behavior while working in a hospital environment. I had also heard nurses talk about patients whom had physically assaulted them, put their hands on them in inappropriate places, threw things, or made inappropriate comments. At the conclusion of the paper, I was alarmed to see the amount of disrespect that was occurring in our nation’s hospitals by the very people who nurses and doctors sacrifice so much for.
I wrote this paper in 2016. Fast forward to today, as we struggle to break free from the grip of Covid-19, we see evidence that the disrespect has grown stronger.
How did we get here—and where did we go wrong? The answer to that question I am unsure of, to be honest. However, I do know that the disrespect shown toward our medical professionals must change if we want to continue to thrive as a society.
Health-care professionals are not perfect; like any field there, are those who practice medicine for the wrong reasons. However, the field itself, the field of medicine and science, must be respected and trusted. We need to transfer that respect and trust to future generations so that they can apply medical facts to their own lives and make the best decisions related to their health.
Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Let’s give the future generations the opportunity we were given by our grandparents and parents. Let’s give them the opportunity to respect those who have given so much, in some cases their all, to provide medical care to those in need.