“If you feel like you have a calling in medicine, you should follow that calling.” Advice I Received Before My Leaving Cert.
Traditionally, society valued those who worked to care for others. The vocation was inseparable from religion and was supported by religious orders. This support was important as it was undervalued in terms of income and working conditions. Women were in the majority in these professions and this has remained the case to this day.
When you have a “calling” or calling from a higher power, it is more difficult to speak up and ask for an improvement in your work life. As our society has changed, educating our people is not associated with organized religion. It is secular and takes on value through the work itself. Everyone deserves a safe and healthy workplace.
Covid-19 brought this into focus as some worked with infected patients, putting themselves and their families at increased risk of infection. Because access to PPE was inadequate initially, there was a sense of betrayal among many healthcare workers as workers were passed by death and ongoing illness.
The word “calling” carries a lot of baggage in professions that provide a framework for caregiving for people of all ages. It’s time to redefine the word and shift focus to the meaning that this type of work entails.
The death toll and the impact on the physical and mental health of healthcare workers are enormous. This sense of injustice was not mitigated by the pandemic payment, as it differentiated between those who were eligible and those who were not.
Because of this legacy, the word calling carries heavy burdens in professions that provide a framework for caring for people of all ages. It’s time to redefine the word and shift focus to the meaning that this type of work entails.
The Great Resignation has been attributed to a reassessment of purpose in many sectors of employment. The upheaval of lockdowns influenced this introspection, with some people working in finance, government and business looking for more human connection, even if it meant changing working conditions and a drop in pay.
It’s natural to expect a period of dissatisfaction after such a big social event. In a report last year on why so many want to change jobs, advisory group McKinsey pointed out that post-pandemic workers now expect their job to bring meaningful meaning to their lives, and if they don’t, they won’t find it for Leave employers who can offer it. This applies to all sectors and healthcare is no different.
Can we learn lessons from the experiences of those who work in the nursing profession and those who don’t, but wish for more human values in their work? Because we live in a connected world; There are few jobs that don’t make sense.
There is no doubt that there are tremendous benefits to a career in human care and protection. In the last 27 years as a doctor I have found a personal fulfillment that has exceeded my expectations as a student.
The ability to share human experiences is extraordinary – helping a baby be born, helping a grandfather walk after an operation, sitting in silence with the bereaved. It is work that inspires humility and respect for the power of the human spirit to endure terrible events. And live again with joy.
If young students don’t see this potential fulfillment and choose to work in nurturing jobs, our society will struggle.
Everyone should have this fulfillment in their work. As humans, we are wired to connect. Having a purpose to nurture others or serve a greater good is something outside of us that makes us feel more connected. When a person has a strong purpose in their work life, it positively influences many other interactions. It gives a tremendous perspective on your own life as you see the big picture in terms of what is important.
The benefits of a strong emphasis on work are clear for our society as a whole. If young students don’t see this potential fulfillment and choose to work in nurturing jobs, our society will struggle.
Our economy may be booming, politicians may tell us we’ve never had it so good, but if we don’t have a vibrant, well-stocked workforce in education, healthcare, and social care, what’s the point? Our children need education, we all need healthcare, we all need help as we grow older. Adequate care in all these phases brings a population a high standard of living.
Choosing a career that leads to healthcare, education, or social care will bring many benefits to you and your community. It rarely gets boring, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement and plenty of camaraderie and friendship to support you as a person. You will affect people’s lives and have the ability to do good. That gives you back in the form of personal satisfaction that goes beyond salary.
If you choose a career that doesn’t place you in a caring role, it’s important to see your contribution to our community as a supporter of caring. Your support comes from the systems you work in – as a designer, engineer, jailer or garbage collector. Every job has meaning because each one adds value to the life we lead.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/we-need-to-redefine-the-word-vocation-and-ensure-a-vibrant-fulfilling-future-for-carers-41952262.html We need to redefine the word “vocation” and ensure a vibrant, fulfilling future for caregivers