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Medics- How often do you feel unappreciated?

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    Hi, this is just a general question to medics, students and people who are going to study medicine. I am wanting to go and study medicine some time in the future, I am leaving 6form this September but I have been offered a training position within a company which I have decided to take in order to save money and hopefully leave university debt free (ambitious and unrealistic ).

    I digress, my question is how often do you people feel unappreciated in a hospital and volunteer setting? I ask because although my ambition is at present to become a medic however, all through my work experience I have never once been thanked for the work I have done for people, little things such as making people a cup of tea and when I take it to them there reply is 'just put it over there'. Also on rare occasions when I have been able to sit in with the nurse people come in say what's wrong, the nurse helps and says 'OK we are done for now if your ok?' I have known many people say 'yes, bye'.

    Now I am not naive enough to think everyone is appreciative of the work the health services do but I don't want to be working with people (and if i did get the dream of being a medic, saving people) for no thanks for what I do at all.
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    Is really isnt about the thanks, its a job that you have to do that you should enjoy. As long you're satisfied you've done a good job thats all thats needed. Get over it

    (I'm a 2nd year medic)
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    (Original post by ThatsJustTooBad)
    Hi, this is just a general question to medics, students and people who are going to study medicine. I am wanting to go and study medicine some time in the future, I am leaving 6form this September but I have been offered a training position within a company which I have decided to take in order to save money and hopefully leave university debt free (ambitious and unrealistic ).

    I digress, my question is how often do you people feel unappreciated in a hospital and volunteer setting? I ask because although my ambition is at present to become a medic however, all through my work experience I have never once been thanked for the work I have done for people, little things such as making people a cup of tea and when I take it to them there reply is 'just put it over there'. Also on rare occasions when I have been able to sit in with the nurse people come in say what's wrong, the nurse helps and says 'OK we are done for now if your ok?' I have known many people say 'yes, bye'.

    Now I am not naive enough to think everyone is appreciative of the work the health services do but I don't want to be working with people (and if i did get the dream of being a medic, saving people) for no thanks for what I do at all.
    I suppose the essence of being good is to do good without want for gratitude or reward. Have a think about that OP...
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    I get thanked so often that it makes me tearful when it happens. I.e. hardly ever.

    But then I got to sit in the mess for 2 hours today. I watched most of white men can't jump and managed to avoid loose women. WIN!
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    Given that we are pretty much always an active burden on everyone, i don't exactly think it is us students that need thanking.

    (Original post by ThatsJustTooBad)
    ... which I have decided to take in order to save money and hopefully leave university debt free (ambitious and unrealistic ).
    ...and stupid. Student debt is by far the most generous credit you will ever get in your life. Mortgages are both far more expensive, and people actually will come and repossess your stuff if you don't pay them.

    Save up money for sure, but spend it on reducing your mortgage rather than student debt EDIT: or actually, by far the best option is to spend it on doing something memorable whilst you're still young and free.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Given that we are pretty much always an active burden on everyone, i don't exactly think it is us students that need thanking.
    It shouldn't be like that at all. That is just the wonderful, patriarchal UK medical system coming into play. Med students can and do contribute to patient care and they should be recognised for that. We aren't idiots.

    But as for the OPs question? The number of times I have been thanked are minimal. I would say I felt unappreciated 95% of my time in hospital.
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    Weird, i'd say patients are generally very appreciative and polite to me, with notable exceptions of course. That said, i'm not thanked that often because more often than not it's the patient who's doing me a favour by letting me learn on them.
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    (Original post by digitalis)
    It shouldn't be like that at all. That is just the wonderful, patriarchal UK medical system coming into play. Med students can and do contribute to patient care and they should be recognised for that. We aren't idiots.

    But as for the OPs question? The number of times I have been thanked are minimal. I would say I felt unappreciated 95% of my time in hospital.
    What do you want to be appreciated for though? Speaking to patients? I have assisted in surgery twice; and very occasionally do the odd menial task like removing cannulas, that's about the only times i could possibly be described as 'useful'.

    (Original post by hoonosewot)
    Weird, i'd say patients are generally very appreciative and polite to me, with notable exceptions of course. That said, i'm not thanked that often because more often than not it's the patient who's doing me a favour by letting me learn on them.
    Yeah exactly - patients and staff are (usually) very nice, but its me who is the appreciative one for that!
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    Also, being ill can do some serious damage to your manners...

    Not with everyone, of course, but it's understandably hard to demonstrate your appreciation when one is in pain, bored senseless, feeling nauseous etc.
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    As I medical student I definitely feel like more of a hindrance than a help, probably right now because that's what I am! I am far more grateful for the teaching and for the patients who tell be some really important things about their lives and their condition that normally no one would hear. For that I feel honoured and don't expect any thanks. Obviously I hear the frustration of the doctors who do deserve gratitude for what they do but for me right now, getting appreciated isn't the top thing on my list. I'm not aiming to be a hero...
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    I don't expect thanks, and I am paid to be there. What I do expect is courtesy and no abuse. Simples!
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    I'm not a medical student yet but currently work in a hospital setting (as an HCA), the patients I work with are very polite and often say thank you!
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    What do you want to be appreciated for though? Speaking to patients? I have assisted in surgery twice; and very occasionally do the odd menial task like removing cannulas, that's about the only times i could possibly be described as 'useful'.
    Well exactly, the role of a med student is minimal. You could admit patients, you could speak to family members, you could call GPs for records, you could book followup appointments...you could actually do the job of an apprentice junior doctor, rather than a mute standing at the back of a ward round pulling curtains or doing technical tasks such as blood drawing or cannula insertion.
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    To be honest I've always been meet with excellent manners by the patients who always seem grateful just for a cup of tea or a blanket or a chat, they especially like me when there's biscuits on offer. Maybe if you offered to do some of those tasks OP that make the patients feel well looked after you would feel more appreciated.
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    (Original post by JWC)
    Also, being ill can do some serious damage to your manners...

    Not with everyone, of course, but it's understandably hard to demonstrate your appreciation when one is in pain, bored senseless, feeling nauseous etc.
    But being ill doesn't mean you can be downright rude, which is what can and does happen.

    Obviously the 'confused ones' are an exception, but you still tell them not to be rude.




    As for people saying thankyou, what do you expect really? Not everyone is going to grasp your hands tightly and fervently tell you how grateful they are for that wonderful cup of tea. (Some people have done that, but that is not the point) You don't have to hear the word thankyou to know they are glad you are there. And its true, as a volunteer, I didn't get much thanks really. But I didn't need it, thats not why I'm there. I don't want people to bow down to me in awe of the wonderful teamaking and tablecleaning I was doing. Although, having said that, I didn't really do anything of much value as a volunteer, I wasn't very good at talking to the patients.

    Although now as a HCA I'm pretty sure I'm much better at comforting patients and going out of my way to make them feel better, and thats what I am thanked for. I guess I've seen that really, its not doctors and nurses who actually know the patients best, its the HCAs and auxiliaries who are often the ones comforting them and talking to them.
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    You're obviously allowed to want to be spoken to respectfully and feel like the people appreciate what you do - it doesn't mean you're going to get it. You're providing a service like anyone else, albeit while getting somewhat closer to the customer than they might tolerate from some other service-provider. Being a doctor is paid work like anything else, you're there to do your work and you're remunerated for it, you're not bloody Mother Teresa. It's also a slightly odd attitude to have when, unlike with other services, the person coming to you probably doesn't have much choice about who they get to see. It's a bit strange to be thinking 'well they came to me for help so they should be grateful' when they came to the only place they could get the help they need and are entitled to. They couldn't drop in at the nearest bank to have their wound stitched if they so desired, they have no choice but to come to you. With GPs the 'customer' can choose to see a different doctor if they decide you don't gel in your consultations so it's probably a bit different there.
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    I find I get thanked by patients quite a lot, but not by other members of staff. However, I don't feel like they should be thanking me as it's often the case that they've helped me out by teaching me, letting me do bloods, come to surgery with them etc.

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Updated: April 17, 2012
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