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26hr photo project: "It is both very humbling, and very inspiring."

This photo series by a resident doctor in Calgary documents the stories of physicians before and after their call.
By: Rebecca Hay
July 18, 2020
Photo: Rebecca Hay (Instagram)

Dr. Jackie Harrison says: "In ICU, it’s always been the physiology and the medicine I really love - that’s my background, and that’s how my brain thinks. But what I’ve really learned to love the more paediatric ICU that I’ve done, is meeting the families in the most vulnerable and sometimes horrific situations a family could experience; to be a part of those conversations, and a part of their support team. It is both very humbling, and very inspiring.

"The greatest thing I’m struggling with in COVID is the barriers to doing that well. With all the personal protective equipment we have to wear, there’s less body language, and it feels very unnatural to me. I am one of those people that likes to sit with people, hold their hands, and pat their back, and it’s awful to not be able to do that. It’s harder for me, and harder for the families. They are admitted to ICU when their kid is very unwell, and not able to have support and family at the bedside. I understand why it happens, but some of it feels inhumane. When COVID was on the rise initially and there was all this concern over PPE, I was so nervous to come in to work and protect myself and my family. But now, I feel like I am not as good as a doctor as I used to be because I am limited in my human interactions. I am hopeful it is not the new normal. I can’t imagine how hard it is for families in the critical care units." Swipe to see Dr. Harrison before and after her call.

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"In ICU, it’s always been the physiology and the medicine I really love - that’s my background, and that’s how my brain thinks. But what I’ve really learned to love the more pediatric ICU that I’ve done, is meeting the families in the most vulnerable and sometimes horrific situations a family could experience; to be a part of those conversations, and a part of their support team. It is both very humbling, and very inspiring. The greatest thing I’m struggling with in COVID is the barriers to doing that well. With all the personal protective equipment we have to wear, there’s less body language, and it feels very unnatural to me. I am one of those people that likes to sit with people, hold their hands, and pat their back, and it’s awful to not be able to do that. It’s harder for me, and harder for the families. They are admitted to ICU when their kid is very unwell, and not able to have support and family at the bedside. I understand why it happens, but some of it feels inhumane. When COVID was on the rise initially and there was all this concern over PPE, I was so nervous to come in to work and protect myself and my family. But now, I feel like I am not as good as a doctor as I used to be because I am limited in my human interactions. I am hopeful it is not the new normal. I can’t imagine how hard it is for families in the critical care units." . Thank you Dr. Jackie Harrison! ❤️ Part of an ongoing series, 26hr, documenting the stories of physicians before and after call.

A post shared by Rebecca Hay (@liferecaptured) on

About 26hr photo project: Photographer Rebecca Hay is a resident physician training in Paediatrics in Calgary. "Physicians commonly work shifts up to 26 hours long—often without breaks or sleep, caring for families and vulnerable people. A lot can happen in that time, both beautiful and exhausting. I started the photo project "26hr" to highlight the human aspect of medicine and the incredible people working these shifts, and to explore their stories and perceptions."

Rebecca is on Instagram as @liferecaptured.

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