To Be Professional When You Are Working

This photo was taken on the way to see one of my clients last winter.
This photo was taken on the way to see one of my clients last winter. | Source

Is it okay to be sad or do you always need to be professional when you work with people? It seems like the winter makes old people ill.

My work is to help people in their own homes. They all want to live at home as long as possible with a little help from me and my colleagues. Some need help to get dressed and undressed. I also help many of my clients to take showers, and now and then I buy food or handle out ready-prepared food for them. Some need help with medication and some just want you to stop by to chat a little. To help old people has been my work for almost two years now. I really like it, because it's a job with great variety. Most of the people I help are very nice and thankful. After a day at work I mostly feel satisfied. I help them with their daily life and they give so much in return. You get to know the clients and build a relationship with them. It's important to not get too involved with them and stay professional. These people mean much to me, but to be able to help them in the right way, I need to have a certain distance. This is what's hard sometimes.

Right now many of my clients seem to feel a little down. Maybe it's the darkness up here in northern Europe this time of the year that makes people feel down. Many of them suffer from heart diseases, diabetes, memory disorders and other common diseases among older people. Some are going to the hospital and usually come back home again after a couple of days or weeks.

Today it didn't feel good when I left work after I had finished my day, even if it should have been a great day. I have five days off from work and I'm going on a weekend trip with my family. I can't really concentrate on that today. I should be packing my bags right now, but my thoughts are constantly flying around thinking of one of my clients, who was sent to hospital today. A couple of days he hasn't been his old self. His heart didn't beat regularly and he just didn't act like he used to do.

The boundary between professional and personal relationship to this client are probably nearly erased. In this situation I don't know how to act like a professional. There are so many feelings involved. This client is a nice, warm and caring person. He always makes sure everyone around him feels good. I guess I'm a little chocked about the fact that his health deteriorates.

I'm aware of that almost of all my clients don't have many years, or maybe months, left to live. It's something I don't want to think about, but it's actually the reality. Nobody lives forever. This day has been one of the days, when I start doubting my choice of work. Once again the thoughts of professionalism come to my mind. But what if I can't be a professional with all of my clients. This time it's hard. I guess I still have much to learn. Life goes on ... for some of us.

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Comments 6 comments

Coyoterainmaker profile image

Coyoterainmaker 4 years ago from Kenilworth. Warwickshire. England

I wonder what is meant by "professional"? I spent many years working as a semi-professional football coach and I thought that it was hard.It was hard to concentrate 100% on football and on life, because the football was so important to me.It cost me relationships with wonderful women and children because of the time and effort I put into being a successful coach.

The problem was that I wasn't even close to being a professional. A professional knows absolutely that the profession comes first, before family and before any other emotional involvement.There are professional footballers who have been involved in car crashes that were their fault and even during the run up to the trial have played brilliant football.How many professionals are cheating on their partners but still separating their home life from their profession?

I work as a therpist in shiatsu, and the sessions often connect with a long held emotion which ends in tears for the client.It needs just a certain degree of empathy from me. But we all have days where we feel emotional too and then it's important that we have someone supporting us.There is a proverb in chinese medicine that says something like "when the child cries, treat the mother." When your clients emotions have been overwhelming it's you that needs the treatment, so that they can always receive the best of you.

I spent two years working in the Faeroe Islands and while on the surface it was an idylic place to be as a visitor I was always surprised at the amount of alcohol drunk and cigarettes smoked.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

Thank you, coyoterainmaker. Your comment is worth thinking about.


GoldenBird profile image

GoldenBird 4 years ago

Death is something that we humans can not accept easily, but it exists nonetheless. Once you accept truth, you will find peace and meaning. Death is a truth.

Yes, its really really important to maintain the said distance. Empathy which is not trained, can lead you into trouble or unneeded pain. On your job, if I am guessing right, you must be very clear about what you are doing.

You can not give them life, but can help them to be happy in their last days. It needs balance. Blessings.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

I appreciate you comment, GoldenBird. Yes, I need to be clear about what I'm doing. There are like an invisible line between me and my clients and I cant cross that line. It's a great job, and I feel very good to know that I do my best to make these people feel good.


emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago

My mom does what you do for a living, too and enjoys it very much also. I think she feels the satisfaction at the end of the day that you speak of. I know what you mean though about down days and relation to the darkness. Around here I feel like it is the coldness and darkness that really effects people. Come summertime everyone seems much happier and nicer. I also notice that when I am in a down mood, generally everyone else is too, and same for my happy moods. Mostly, sometimes I'll be down and my spirits will be lifted by a happy person. It's crazy if you really think about it all. Thanks for sharing this hub which was very interesting to read and well-written.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

Hi emilybee, the mood really changes with the weather. Everyone here around is waiting for a warm spring day to come. All we can see every morning is that it's snowing again. It really effects me and the people around me.

I'm learning every day to be more professional, and I really enjoy working with all these wonderful people. We have so much to learn from the old generation. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a kind comment.

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