Lifelong Learning Programme

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Personal Experience

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Don’t deny your emotions

Language: English
Country: Italy
Typology: health care professionals
I met Bruno in the oncology ward at the Cottolengo Hospital. I had just started to work as a nurse. He had been hospitalized to undergo yet another round of chemotherapy due to a lymphoma that had afflicted him for several years. It was a hot summer's night, Bruno could not sleep: he continually got up and moved the sheets. I went into the room to see what was happening and found him sitting bent on himself as if, this way, he could put up with the high temperature in his room. I suggested opening the window to let some fresh in. He did not react to my proposal but I opened it anyway. After about an hour, he called me and told me that he was nervous. I went to the medical center to take the tools to detect his vital signs. Once returned to his room, I found him sitting on his bed with a sheet in his hand and his face streaked with tears. He told me that his heart was weary. He wished I listened to him... it was his spiritual will. I stood open-mouthed, I had no words. I asked myself many questions: why did he choose me instead of my colleagues who had more experience, why did he choose the night? After that night and a long reflection, I realized that patients need to find before them technically trained people but also people who can heal their sorrows as men and women, because, after all, despite their appearance of sick people when they are in hospital, they are basically men and women. Bruno taught me that listening to the other is crucial in our job. He taught me the importance of not judging by appearances and from the first impression, because everyone has his past, his story, with happy or unhappy moments and, finally, he taught me not to forget that we all fear. He taught me that we should not deny our emotions in front of sick people.

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