Listen to me

Being at the receiving end of care as a health professional myself has been an eye opening experience. I have been overwhelmed by how amazing some people are at their jobs, displaying the right amount of empathy and humour and genuinely taking an interest in the well being of those they look after. But equally, I have observed and been on receiving care where I have left myself wondering why that individual chooses to work in that role. I appreciate that stresses of the job, outside pressures not to mention what might be going on for that individual that I and others are not privy too, can influence how any person may be or act. But at that time, and in that moment when the person sat in front of you requires your care and your help, they need you to listen to them, take an interest in what they are saying and show even basic politeness. The power of listening, truly actively listening is immense. In this world we are all so busy that it is very easy to quickly forget how to really listen to each other. But the impact when we do is really important, especially in healthcare.

Even if the listening party doesn’t know the answer or there is no answer to know, by actively listening to the individual they have shown empathy, interest and compassion. They have shared in the importance of the message that individual is trying to share. An inability to do this can leave the individual feeling dismissed, unhappy, alone and result in a loss of trust in those they need to trust the most. Its no wonder that so many complaints in the NHS come down to communication. Why because all too often people think they are listening, but the way you act, the way you respond will indicate whether someone is truly listening.

This is my poem called listen to me based on some of my experiences through my journey. It definitely doesn’t apply to everyone who has cared for me as some have truly helped me and for that I will be forever grateful.

Listen to Me

I know you are busy,
And that your job isn’t easy.
I know that you care,
And have limited time to share.

But this journey I’m on,
Of it I’m not fond.
It feels me with dread,
And I need to be lead.

It is your help that I need,
And for that I plead.
Please open your ears,
Have them pricked like a deer’s.

Look between the lines,
For the hidden signs.
That my outer shell,
Will not sell.

Because you have the knowledge base,
To help me win this race.
This is what I seek,
So that I am not weak.

But your words can be dismissive,
Or your answer omissive.
Can come across judgemental,
Although I’m sure this is accidental.

So please take the time,
To listen to this story of mine.
To help me share the truth,
Like a powerful sleuth.

A patient I may be,
But beyond this please see.
I’m so much more,
Just open the door.

For this is the greatest gift you can give,
To help the power shift.
To give me the tools to help myself,
So I’m not teetering on the edge of the shelf.

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