It is just impossible to believe my time at Hospice Casa Sperentei is coming to an end. How can it be ending when it seems I have just arrived and there is still so much work to be done? It has been so rewarding to work with nurses who are so eager to learn and grow professionally. I have said previously and it bears repeating that I am humbled and honored to be surrounded by health care professionals that do so much for patients with so little and do it with an enthusiasm and dedication that makes me believe anything is possible. There is no doubt that the health care system in Romania needs much improvement. Many Romanians do not have access to health care and I have witnessed too many patients that have been unable to receive care due to their lack of insurance or the lack of money to “pay off” the doctors and nurses in order to receive care. As a health care professional this has been incredibly difficult to accept. Although I was quick to judge I learned that most health care professionals need this “dirty money” just to survive in this country. So there is no easy answer as all of the social and health issues are interconnected and complicated. But I smiled with pride every time I witnessed hospice staff I was working with turning down the “dirty money”. Slowly but surely hospice will change the face of what quality health care should look like in this country.
The new inpatient building will be complete in December but the opening delayed until they can raise more funds needed to open the doors. When it is said that one person can’t make a difference, I say oh yes one person can!! I will be reminded of the president of Casa Sperentei, Graham Perolls, who twenty years ago watched helplessly as a young man died in front of him while he was visiting Romania from his native UK. It was this experience that started his journey to improving end of life in Romania. I will watch with excitement as opening day nears and the patients in Bucuresti that need end of life care will have it available.
I am proud of the work that I have accomplished in improving the education and skill of the nurses (and doctors, which still warms my heart at their eagerness to learn from me as well)
here but if truth be told my Romanian colleagues have taught me more than I could have ever taught them. I am thankful for their collegiality and friendship and making sure I knew how much they appreciated me. I have never been more proud to be a GSK employee and return with a renewed sense of pride having seen first hand of the great work our company does to help patients everywhere in the world do more, feel better, and live longer.
In closing…this I know for sure. That my hand in a patient’s hand and a warm smile convey caring despite a language barrier and that my life has been enriched by the Romanian people I have served and the Romanian colleagues I have served with.
Sanatate (wishing you good health)
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