So far we’ve had a fascinating discussion this month on all the ways we think about “care”. Before we introduce our next topic word (which will be “survivor”), it seemed valuable to write a summary post about what came out of the ongoing conversation, and the ways we see “care” in some ways differently, and in other ways very similarly. Here are just a few memorable themes:
Care is our shared purpose across the Cancer Center community:
“…from the parking attendants to the greeters to our medical assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, and my medical colleagues, the sense of a shared purpose delivered with compassion lies at the heart of the definition of “caring”. (Don, Physician)
Care is what we can give others, but also what we must learn to accept for ourselves:
“I have to remember to care about myself in all this, and to replenish my bank with things that nourish both body and soul, so I can continue to care and be cared for…” (Megan, Caregiver)
You can see a word cloud on this post too, which allows us to see what the more common words from all the perspectives pieces have been. Bigger words on the word cloud have been used most often, and smaller ones a little less often.
There are two things we might conclude from the word cloud and what we talk about (when we talk about care).
Firstly, one of the most popular words is “people”, and this matches up both with the humanity that all kinds of caregivers (whether family, staff or clinicians) must have, and the way we must keep thinking about patients as people first. Secondly, both “family” and “friends” are a common theme across many posts. The clinical excellence of the Cancer Center is so important here, but it’s also support we can all give to loved ones on their journey through treatment that remains crucial to all of us.
So what does this mean for us all, when we use the word “care”? “Care,” for many of us, has a strong emotional pull. Although, within a hospital setting we often use care to connote treatment, perhaps we should consider reserving such a powerful word for those humanizing moments that bring us all together.