Assignment #1

“Wit” Analysis Reflection

In the movie “Wit” we are introduced to Vivian Bearing, a stern English professor who holds a P.H.D. specializing in 17th century English poetry, with a telling story. Just minutes into the film, Ms. Bearing is terminally diagnosed with a debilitating illness, Stage IV advanced metastatic ovarian cancer, where she is faced with an extensive path of chemotherapy treatment with little time to voice her immediate concerns. What I found most interesting as I continued to watch this film were the unrelenting issues observed on a daily basis within health care. I immediately identified one particular issue, seconds into the film, that I found unapologetically amusing. Walking through the first scene, we were also introduced to Dr. Kelekian, a very knowledgeable MD, who lacked a significant amount of empathy and compassion in his deliverance of his communication skills. As a registered nurse, I believe that when caring for the sick and/or less fortunate, it is imperative to maintain a constant empathetic approach for the emotional sanity of your clients. All throughout the film, on behalf of the health care team, I’ve observed several instances of decreased amounts of compassion and concern to client Bearing in her most darkest moments.

Going back to the first scene where we have client Vivian and Dr. Kelekian, I was taken aback at just how detached and heartless Dr. Kelekian appeared. When delivering news to a patient that can and will have a major impact on them mentally, physically and emotionally, I feel it is good practice to be as caring and compassionate as possible. Sadly, when Dr. Kelekian expressed to Vivian her diagnosis, he was blunt, aloof and very lackadaisical. In my opinion, I felt that since Dr. Kelekian knew Ms. Bearing had a substantial level of education and was a professor herself, he felt that he didn’t have to go into specific detail with his explanations. This is where he failed to treat Ms. Bearing as a patient rather; he created an environment that lacked compassion and any once of empathy, which set the tone of the entire film.

In another instance, Ms. Bearing brought to her viewers attention just how ridiculous and merciless grand rounds were. While observing this scene I can completely emphasize with her because in attendance with the physicians, during rounds at my job, they act in similar behaviors. The Doctors barged into Ms. Bearing’s room without asking for permission, introducing themselves, hand washing or asking if they could touch her for a physical assessment. I was in complete shock as to how the Doctors failed to view Bearing as a sick patient and try to reconcile her feelings before their approach. It saddens me to be apart of a world where certain behaviors that are taught to us within the medical field seem to not exist within the real world. It bothered me to watch Ms. Bearing deteriorate right before the Doctors eyes and none of them could show a once of compassion for her and her illness.

What I’ve noticed while watching this film was that Vivian’s assigned nurse Susie was the complete opposite of how the doctors were portrayed within the Movie. Susie was warm, mild tempered, autonomous, caring, compassionate and genuine. Watching her interact with Ms. Bearing brought warmth and joy to my heart. She made me feel proud to be a nurse. She always made Bearing feel involved in her care; she was informative, professional and most importantly real. She treated Bearing as one of her most loved family members and that is the beauty of nursing. In one particular instance she explained to Ms. Bearing the idea of advanced directives, DNR/DNI.  She explained to her thoroughly as to what is in laymen’s terms where she could easily understand, something that the doctors failed to set forth.

Nursing is one of the most beautiful professions in my opinion. Caring for those who are helpless and in need brings inner happiness that could never be attained elsewhere. In the short film “Wit” I got the opportunity to observe close hand the dynamic between the relationship of the nurse and client vs. the physician and the client. I came to the conclusion that the nurse will always be the caregiver and the one to make sure the patient is emotionally and mentally stable where as the physician makes sure the client is physically stable. It would be amazing for the medical field to break down barriers where we see the physician taking on a more caring role such as the role nurse Susie provided. I believe with one step at a time, that goal could easily be attained.