Be your all to give your all

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Michela Agius, a third-year medical student at the University of Malta. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

As I think about everything I love to do in life, be it studying to pursue my dream to become a doctor one day, travelling to new places or even going out with my friends, I think about the main factor that makes this all possible and that is health! It is the reason why so many of us go to check-ups, even when we are not feeling unwell, just to feel that sense of security that everything is all right and that there is nothing in out near future that can impact the way we want to live. However, as a student who is aspiring to become a doctor, this also makes me think about health care workers and it makes me wonder if they are being taken care of. In a world that has become so equipped and knowledgeable about patient’s health, it makes me think if the same effort is being done for those who provide the health.

Something that I have experienced as a student is anxiety. I know that when in that state, it is difficult to even do the simplest tasks, let alone find the energy to take care of others. And yet, so many health care workers experience mental issues due to various reasons, be it worry for their patients or worry if they’re doing enough to contribute. In medical school, we were told that doctor’s hold one of the highest suicidal rates and this really makes me think about how can health care workers fully help and treat others, if they are in such a state themselves?

We are living in a world that has become exhaustingly fast paced, where at times it feels almost impossible to catch up. As a medical student, I can clearly see how health care professionals have almost no time to claim a break, as there is always another patient to be seen, always another person to comfort, always another call to answer. But where is the finish line? For health care workers, it seems to never come. But the reality is at the end of the day it is patients who are going to suffer as how is it possible to help others when the person who is trying to help is exhausted and burnt out?

This is why I firmly believe that utmost care needs to be given to those that care for others. It is the only way to ensure the best results in patient care. For someone to give their all, they need to be their all, not only physically but mentally. This cannot be expressed enough, especially today, in a world that is in mayhem, where a global pandemic has taken over and the individuals experiencing the largest toll are those who not only are going through what almost everyone else is, but apart from all that, need to take care for others whilst even risking their own life in the process. This is why health care workers need to be taken care of, by being given necessary breaks and by enabling them to express their feelings and process their emotions so that at the end of the day, they can do what they set out to do; to make a difference in the world by caring for their patients.

About the author

Michela Agius is a third-year medical student at the University of Malta. She is an active member of the Malta Medical Student Association – MMSA. Through MMSA, she has given various talks, especially to children about various aspects of health, such as first aid and ergonomics. She feels passionate about teaching children as she believes that it enables her to encourage them about the importance of health and well-being from a young age. She loves to travel and experience new places and cultures. Above all she is a very hard-working person who cares a lot about the people around her and hence why she aspires to become a doctor to be able to help and give her contribution.

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