THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

What if…

In the course of my voluntary work, I’ve met various people from various backgrounds. Although, some of them do give me trouble by getting themselves into trouble, basically I don’t really have problems in dealing with them. I just do what I can, and avoid getting myself too personally involved.

At the GH during my HIV clinic duty, whenever the staff nurse (SN) refers new cases to us, we take down the patients’ details (we call them clients), we talk to them, we offer them our support service, and we leave it to them to decide whether they want us to be their buddies. It may not be easy to break the ice, sometimes it may take a few meets or calls before they open up, or sometimes they don’t open up at all because in the kind of situation they are in, it’s not easy gaining their trust.

But so far the cases referred to me personally were those of people whom I had never met before. I never knew them, I never knew their family. So although the clients may initially find it difficult to open up, at least they are not too worried about having me tell their relatives/friends about their HIV status.

I can’t really imagine what would happen if one day while on voluntary duty at the hospital, SN comes in with a new client to be referred to us… and that person happens to be someone I know and/or who knows me! A kampong folk maybe?

No, I personally don’t have any problems with that. I’d still treat him/her just like the other clients – assuring confidentiality and all. But I wonder if the client him/herself would be comfortable with me after finding out that I know his/her status? Would they trust me enough to be convinced that I won’t be telling anyone else about their HIV? Not even my own family members?

I don’t tell my family members who my clients are, whether or not they know the person. I don’t have the right to breach the confidentiality of my clients’ HIV status. But with actual cases of breach of patients’ confidentiality happening, particularly by those who knew the patient personally, would I be able to convince the clients that they can trust me?

Oh well, I sincerely hope nobody I already know will ever have to be referred to me for HIV!


Kerp (Ph.D) said...

But they can always switch their Buddy, right? That should settle it.

Pi Bani said...

Problem is not about assigning buddies. That one can do anytime. But problem is when the cases are first referred to those on duty at the HIV clinic, and masa tu then kebetulan orang yang dihantar masuk tu somebody yang I kenal... even though assign buddy lain, that person won't feel comfortable knowing the fact that I know his/her status!

Kalau sekadar I aje tau dia punya status tapi dia tak tau yang I tau, no problem at all!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Of all the "What Ifs", yang ni pulak dia terfikir ye? Adakah cerita ini mengenai sesiapa yang masih hidup? Just like my Mama who refuse to consult a leading O&G specialist coz she's a friend...hahaha... purrr....meow!

Pi Bani said...

Terfikir ke situ because quite a number of my clients don't want to go to this hospital or that hospital because kat situ ada nurse kenal etc. So it got me wondering, my kampong folks for example, don't know that I do voluntary work at the HIV clinic, so imagine if one of them is diagnosed HIV diagnosed +ve and tetiba masuk counseling room and sees this makcik there!

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Pi, one can never remain professional if u r emotionally involved. That is why u never see a doctor operating /treating their loved ones or even friends or relatives, unless in emergency cases. It can be very uncomfortable to both parties.

I can oso see u r the sorts that can break the ice with your new clients quite easily by the way u carve them up with your ‘chain saw’ into beautiful ice sculptures once u r done with them….kekeke, true or not. This is the distinct difference between a paid staff & a passionate volunteer.


Naz said...

Salam Kak Pi,
I guess there is always the possibility that that will happen one day. It's not going to be comfortable for either party.

I was at a well known medical center in KL once. Went in and the specialist started commenting on the previous patient...his condition and his attitude! I almost ran out. That was my first and last consultation with him.

Pi Bani said...

Carve my clients with my chain saw? Waah... I must be scary! ;)

Pi Bani said...

Aiyo, so unprofessional! If I were you I wouldn't want to go there again either!