Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Third Option

I love being a nurse, but of course with any profession there are the parts of it that are unpleasant.  I'm not even talking about the blood, gore and other bodily fluids, those don't bother me in the least.  (Actually I'm right up there with most nurses in that I can talk excitedly with other nurses, over lunch, on subjects that make most non-nurses retch.)  What I hate about being a nurse is having to chose between two equally bad options with out having a third option.  The proverbial rock and hard place scenario.

Do we not treat the patient or give them a medication that might do as much harm as good?  How do we respect a patients autonomy and watch them die from a treatable disease?  There is no easy answer. I know that all nurses have faced this type of scenario, as have many other professions who work with the sick and the vulnerable.  I'm sure that all of us have at one time or another wished that we could change the rules of the game, slipped in an ace, or conjured a third option from thin air.

I've started my PRIDE training in order to become a foster parent and have spent some time thinking about the similar situations that Children's aid social workers are faced with.  Should they split up a sibling group or try and keep them together even though that might mean losing a foster family who can't take the demands and leave?  Do you leave a child in a neglectful situation or do you bring them into care knowing that they will end up being baby sat in a motel room for weeks because there is no one who will take them?

Sitting in class listening to a similarly hard scenario that had recently occurred, and then in the days after all I could think of was "there should have been a third option."  There should have been a third option because we live in a country with abundant wealth.  There should have been a third option because I believe that I live in a country full of warm and caring people.  When it comes to kids who need protection there should always be a third option.

So I am becoming the third option.  I can't be the third option all of the time, or even most of the time.  But, by becoming a foster parent I will be the third option some of the time.  Mahatma Gandhi once said "You must be the change that you wish to see in the world."  Maybe, just maybe in being the third option myself I will help to create more third options.

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