Of course some people do a job simply for the money but I believe people with that view are in the minority. I believe more people are motivated by a need to work and do something that makes a difference in some way – however small in the grand order of things.
I remember many years ago meeting Chris - a builder who had fallen from scaffolding and injured his back very badly. He was over 50 years of age and could no longer do heavy work on the building site. He needed a job. He came along to the hospital I worked at enquiring about the job as a Mortuary Attendant.
Chris had no previous experience of this type of job but he was appointed nevertheless and he was given lots of support. He flourished and became qualified in that particular type of work. The pay was significantly less than Chris had earned as a builder but he loved his new job.
Chris took enormous pride in his work and the respect he showed for the bodies he had to deal with was just awesome. Everyone in the hospital who knew Chris knew that.
I was much younger - probably about 20 years of age – and an inexperienced health care administrator. I remember listening to his stories about the sort of work he did. Chris talked with infectious enthusiasm about his job and how he took it as a great responsibility to support the families and friends of those who had passed away.
It is a job I could never have done. It was a job that many might consider ‘lowly’ but just by listening to the stories Chris told helped me realise that no job is unimportant and his role was as important in the care of patients as any other job in the treatment of patients.
Even in death, dignity and respect for the patient is crucial – in fact in many ways even more respect and dignity is needed when ‘caring’ for the patient after they have died.