Compassion in a World of Chaos
The mission statement of the National Health Corps (NHC’s) is to foster healthy communities by connecting those who need it most with health and wellness education, benefits, and services while developing tomorrow’s compassionate health leaders.I specifically would like to focus on the latter part of the mission statement: developing tomorrow’s compassionate health leaders.
Since I started my AmeriCorps service four months ago, I have truly noticed the importance of compassion in the healthcare field, and unfortunately, sometimes the lack of it. One would think that everyone who goes into the healthcare field would have compassion, seeing as their jobs often involve helping others. However in life’s day-to-day chaos, both patience and compassion can often be overlooked, making the healthcare system harder to navigate, and making it more challenging to effectively serve my clients.
Specifically, I remember an instance when a client of mine called me in tears. Her child’s Medicaid had unexpectedly been canceled, which would mean having to pay out of pocket for essential medications her daughter needed that week. She called Medicaid on her own to find out what had transpired, but unfortunately, on the other end she spoke to a less than helpful person who was not able to take the time to give her a straight answer. Immediately upon hearing this, I began trying to solve this mystery for my client, as I always hope to be their biggest advocate. Turned out her husband began working a new job, making the family’s income too high to qualify Medicaid. For me this was an easy fix, I helped the mother begin a new application for Florida Kidcare and within the week her child was re-insured for the next month. It was at the end of the application, though, when my client said something that had a big impact on me. She said, “Thank you. Thank you for not only taking the time to help me, but to show me kindness and patience when no one else would.” This instance truly highlights the importance of the NHC’s mission, and the development of compassion as an essential leadership quality.