A couple weeks ago, I wiped a woman’s butt for the first time.
Now before you readers freak out, I was volunteering at the hospital and assisting a healthcare worker in changing a patient’s diaper.
To be completely honest, it’s not as bad as you think it would be. I would say that the smell is probably the worst of it. But the truth is, helping someone with such a basic task gives you a sense of achievement. You really feel like you have been close with this person, because they are in such a vulnerable state. One of the reasons why I love nursing is that you get to help people when they are truly at their worst.
Yes, being near human feces is gross. But it’s so much bigger than that. When you are doing these tasks, you get to focus on the big picture. This is a person, who deserves your utmost respect and care. And it is a privilege to be let into their world and be able to assist them in these small ways. No matter how small the task may seem, it is helping to improve their quality of life, or at least their day in general.
Now, I don’t want to act like I’m out saving the world just because I’m changing diapers.
But I truly feel awesome knowing that I can help change someone’s day for the better, even if it’s as simple as helping them meet their basic needs.
In the hospital, people struggle with all kinds of tasks that we often take for granted. For example, using the bathroom, taking a shower, changing your own clothes, or even being able to reach the telephone on the other side of the bed. I get to help these people with these small things and help them feel just a little more in control and comfortable in an unfamiliar environment.
No one likes staying in the hospital, but I take it upon myself to make sure their stay is as comfortable as I can make it.