What It’s Like to Be a Doctor During Current Times

Dr. Matt Morgan works in a hospital in the intensive care unit (ICU) in the UK. He took the time to reflect on his experience working as a doctor during the global pandemic and how it has affected him and those around him.

Doctor in protective gear
What It’s Like to Be a Doctor During a Global Pandemic

Choosing to Be a Doctor in the ICU

Many doctors have stories about how certain patients or family members that they’ve worked with over the years as a doctor and how they’ve stuck with them in their careers. For Dr. Morgan, it was a patient he cared for, an 18-year-old boy named Chris, who had died of Sepsis after spending six weeks in the ICU.

Chris was the patient that had stuck with him throughout his career, and he was the reason Dr. Morgan chose to work in the ICU. As a doctor, Morgan wanted to think and act, but most recently, he realized that he wants to communicate with patients, families, and colleagues, more than anything.

He mentioned that communication — in the healthcare industry — is a powerful, valuable, and yet one of the most dangerous procedures, but it matters.

However, with current circumstances, face-to-face communication with families, when they need it most, is done. Instead, the bad news is broken to them over the phone where the silence can be mistaken for hanging up.

Being a Doctor During These Difficult Times

A medical team in protective gear caring for a patient
What It’s Like to Be a Doctor During a Global Pandemic

Since no one, apart from the patient, is allowed in most hospitals, doctors do all they can — moving heaven and earth so that families can spend some time with their loved ones who are dying.

While most family members of the patients are constantly waiting for the phone to ring for some kind of news, always hoping for it to be good, Dr. Morgan found himself beginning most conversations with “Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad call.” However, there were more times than he can count that he’s had to start with “So sorry to be doing this over the phone.”

Each doctor will promise to play the patient’s favorite song, hold their hand, and tell them that their family loves them because the patient would die shortly after. These are the patients that Dr. Morgan will carry with him.

He does mention that it’s not all bad and there are heartwarming reunions that can make up for the hard days spent as a doctor in the ICU.