We are all faced with making decisions daily. Some are easier to make than others. Such as what to cook for dinner this evening ? the solution is often guided by what is readily accessible in the fridge or freezer. If nothing suitable is found a trip to the local store will provide choices and the solution is purchased, brought home, prepared, cooked and eaten. This relatively simple process of problem solving does not require in depth examination of research data, facts, figures or risk assessments. Some would say it required a clear plan of action using common sense and knowledge driven by the basic need of sustaining life through eating.
Difficulties arise when faced with a problem that create a dilemma…….should I do this?…… or should I do that….?
It is a common belief that problems such as health, relationships, moving house, changing jobs, retiring etc etc… create the most stress. When under stress problem solving and making decisions may become more difficult as the process is often hindered or influenced by other considerations such as choices, emotions, information, beliefs and culture.
The last year or so has provided society with one of the biggest health problems in recent history. The existence of a virus that claimed millions of lives world-wide was something only read about or seen in science fiction movies. The reality of living through a viral pandemic has raised a huge number of problems for everyone and has affected all areas of our lives. Compliance regarding lock-down and self-isolation has been difficult for all especially when restrictions have prohibited visiting loved ones. Feelings of loneliness and loss have added to pre-existing stress levels resulting in poor physical and mental wellbeing.
My patients tell me that as a result of the Covid experience they have all made adjustments to their everyday lives and their perspective on values and what are “the important things” has changed. They have all been eager and willing to have their Covid vaccinations and understand that their action is not only helping to protect themselves but also safe-guarding the more vulnerable and at risk in our society.
The decision to take the vaccine is a personal one and I do respect individual choice. However, as a holistic practitioner working in private practice and at Dorset County Hospital Fortuneswell Cancer Unit there was no choice as far as I was concerned. I was invited and only too happy to accept my first jab in January and the second in March. The decision was simple and posed no dilemma for me. Founded on a strong moral belief that I have a responsibility to my patients both private and especially NHS to do no harm. In my mind that included taking every precaution necessary to keep my patients safe.
As a tutor about to run my first training course in over a year I have been gladdened by other therapists that are my course attendees who echo my sense of professional responsibility and have willingly shared their vaccination status with me to ensure we can continue to take-part in learning experiences with the lowest possible risk. For the therapists that have decided against taking the jab, please reconsider. Some of your patients may be more vulnerable than you know. I have just decided what I am going to cook for dinner after looking in my fridge. Simple !