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Personal Experience

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Work starts at home.

Erna
Language: English
Country: Lithuania
Typology: health care professionals
Text:
I have been taking care of the people’s health in Varėna district for the last 43 years. All these years I have worked at Pirčiupiai Medical Point as a community nurse. I am the only medical person here. My working day starts ... at home, where I receive my patients. The reason is that in the last 11 years, the Pirčiupiai . Medical Point is open at my home in the Dargužiai village. The municipality has rented one room from my family and established a medical point in it.I have chosen the nurse’s profession because I wanted to be a medical woman. I spent my childhood in Valkininkai. There was a hospital nearby our house, so I saw patients from my childhood. They used to talk to us, children, and we talked back. I used to go to the hospital and I saw the way people worked there. I liked it. Knows all the secrets of the village. When I finished the medical school, I started to work as a nurse at nineteen. I saw many things during those long years of work, but I have never been disappointed in my profession. A nurse is an important and welcome person in a village. I know all my patients well and I communicate with them. I work in a very special kind of village – newcomers do not stay there long; they do not stick there. But the old dwellers of the village are very friendly and nice people. As I spent 43 years there, I most probably have become one of them. At the start of my carrier I most often took care of children’s health; there were about 170 of them. In recent years I devote most of the time to nursing of the elderly and various procedures. The villages become older and there less and less children. My patients are scattered around neighbouring villages. It’s good when a patient is driven to the medical point by his/her relatives. If not, I go to them myself. My husband usually drives me to the patients who live further away, who have difficulties walking or who do not walk at all. There 7 kilometres to Pirčiupiai; transportation cost is my personal business, and nobody will provide money for it. Elderly people whom I nurse wait impatiently for me visiting them and I cannot refuse. It is not medical care they are waiting for; it is communication. On a number of occasions they needed no medicine; they wanted you to stay with them and talk. That is why I am kidding sometimes that I know everything: who loved her in her youth, who took whom to the disco. It’s easier to work with moms previously it was not so easy to work with small children: we had to explain a lot to the young moms how to raise a child, what to do for the child to stay healthy, and how to take care of the child. Today, mothers have much more knowledge and it is easier to work with them. I remember one funny story from my working experience. A very self-confident girl came to our medical point who was going to start her primary education; she needed a vaccine to be administered as for all other pre-school children. The girl’s mother was at work, and she came to me alone, well dressed and asked: “Will it hurt me much when you needle the vaccine?” Without much thought to it, I replied that it wouldn’t hurt and that it felt like a bite of the bee. And she said: “This is stupid. Has the bee ever bitten you?” Then I said to her: “That was my mistake – it feels like a bite of the fly. You give me a big hug and I will just needle you a bit and that will be it.” Then she had an idea: “Could we make a deal? I won’t go to school, you just don’t needle me.” The girl has grown up and finished her school since. When I meet her, I always tend to laugh remembering our “deal”, and I ask her: “Shall we have a deal?” Award is no big deal am happy that the leadership of Varėna region understand the value of the nurses’ work, and they provide support when needed; however, it’s not everywhere that the leaders have such a positive approach and attention. I am director of Alytus branch of Nursing Specialists Organization of Lithuania, and I often visit the towns of Lazdijai, Alytus and Druskininkai. I know my colleagues’ problems, which are similar everywhere. The nurses’ work in the regions is becoming more difficult: less people live in the villages, so the nurses have to take care of more villages, which mean longer distances in between. A couple of years ago, I was awarded the honorary title of Emeritus Medical Person of Lithuania for my professional work, devotion to my profession and care for the problems and perspectives of nursing specialists. The award is no big deal for me, as I am just doing the job that is dear to my heart.


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