MY COMRADES

Dr. Geeta Sundar

When you need a cup of coffee after a crazy night, or during a crazy night at work.

When you need a patient shifted stat to a scan or the OR on a wheelchair or trolley.

When you want the unpleasant, icky substance off the floor.

When you break a thermometer or spray the ground with dressing solutions.

When you need the parts prep done emergent for a surgery.

When you need a ruthless patient or bystander to stand down and not spit in your face.

Who do you call?

Let me give you a hint – not your senior, not your intern, not the nurses, not your colleagues.

But…

The peon/janitor male worker.

The peon/janitor lady worker.

You know whom I’m talking about. You know each one of them. You have been thankful, grateful to them. You have yelled at them. You have or you know someone who has insulted them. You have given them free prescriptions when they have asked for some analgesia. You have from the softness of your heart given your personal number when you heard their sad stories. You have been comforted and happier when they wished you a good day. You have felt so indebted to them when they supported you and understood your struggles as a doctor. Some days, you have appreciated their contribution joyously, for they have saved your skin in front of your seniors, whilst other days you have been humbled at their care when they offered you water to parch that shriveled up throat.

Everyone who is anyone, acknowledges the doctors, the nurses. Yeah, yeah, blah blah, sure, we are all healthcare workers in the forefront and we care and we give and we treat. We deserve that thumbs up. We deserve the accolades.

But so do so many more people.

The very squad, the troops, the pawns, the ones who hold the fort when the tumbling rocks the solid ground, are almost never mentioned; almost never thought of, almost never thanked.

In a truly thankless job, they roam the hospital corridors, almost blending in with the walls, seen, conversed with, but never once prominent, filling in thousands of shoes, filling in for thousands of desires, mopping up heaving spew, or other nasty body fluids off the pavement, doing what they are asked of, listening to harsh words from many, and yet facing each daily struggle with a smile.

Whatever be the reason they are doing what they are doing, I am no one to judge.

I want to take this stance and salute them. Each one of them. Give them a piece of my regard, a benediction, a salute and tell them that they are the very backbone of my success each day and the very reason I go home without a dark conflict lining the inside of my heart. I will be forever grateful and obliged for the small drudgery they do each day. In and out.

I am happy to stand with such a selfless, respectful and modest army.

I am delighted to have braved each patient with a force of this command.

These are my kin. They are my brothers and sisters in alms.

These people are my comrades.

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