Fundamentals of Caring

How do you know whether someone truly cares or is just acting as if they do? Are they just “being nice” or doing their job and you are just another number?

This is a very tough question, and can be very confusing!  Whether its regarding friends, family, doctors, nurses or really anyone, we’ve all had those times. It presents a very tough situation for everyone, but it’s especially tough when you are always sick and dealing with health care givers. That’s literally their job to be “caring”.  You also have people who say they’re your friends, but you wonder if it’s out of true friendship or pity.


So, I’ve learned to ask myself lots of different questions. I have made a list of characteristics that determines if  a health care provider really cares, and if a person is really a friend or just pity’s you.  I want to share with you what I came up with I call it the true characteristics of fundamental caring.


First, a person who truly cares is not fast to judge, they trust the other person. Second, they do not assume they know the whole story. Third, they listen with their complete attention, and talk to the patient or friend with an open mind and are understanding.  Fourth they do not act like they know everything, and understand people are all different.  Fifth is empathy (as I  was nicely reminded).  They need to understand another’s feelings and share them.   Not just have sympathy for them.  Lastly, and I think most importantly especially in the medical field, they do not make assumptions based on appearance, and what they “see”. I was watching the movie the fundamentals of caring, which inspired me to write about this. In the movie throughout they remember this one word. “Aloha” (A=Ask) (L=Listen) (O=Observe) (H=Help) (A=Ask again). Another great example of the perfect care giver. If you honestly take all of those characteristics and truly take them seriously, and “Become” those characterizations, I think you will be a great care giver and a friend.


When you are in a hospital, it’s very important to find and build a team of providers who have the above abilities. It makes all the difference in the world.  You can work together with fewer problems.  A nurse  who truly cares about you is positive, friendly, but most importantly they just believe in you.


As a friend, the person wants to spend time with you, they want to learn about you and they aren’t just nice to you when things are bad, they are there in the good and bad times.  I’ve had to learn this the hard way.  I thought people were truly my friend, but really it was pity.  I don’t ever want pity.  I don’t think anyone who is sick really does.  We want people who understand us and believe in us, which is a whole other blog I’ll have to write later on down the line.  I also want to write at some point how lonely the hospital can be and how hard it is to have real friends and make friends.  That’s why it’s so important that you have good nurses.  They are not only your nurses, but you talk to them more than you talk to friends.  They need to truly care.  I’ve been really blessed to have some amazing nurses and doctors who definitely fit my “Characteristics of fundamental caring”.


Another important thing I want for people to take from this post is, Just because someone looks good, doesn’t mean they feel good. Personally, I have a positive attitude so I try to distract myself from the pain, and other symptoms by singing, joking, and interacting with people.  Typically it helps a lot distracting myself and not lying in my bed focusing on the pain, but rather keeping my mind occupied and trying as hard as I can to ignore it. Of course it does not completely take my pain away obviously, but it does really help. Also, it makes me look “friendly” and makes people “like” Me.


The message I’d like this blog to give you is, we all need to learn to care. We should not make accusations, or judgment until we know where the person is coming from. We need to be more like Jesus.  He reached out to everyone and he loved them.  We need to understand others.  Jesus never showed pity, he showed understanding.  I want to be a friend like he was.  Kind, understanding, but holding eachother accountable.  I think then the world would be a better place.  Do you want to join me?

Please let me know.  Leave a comment about what you think about caring.  Do you have any other characteristics?  Is this helpful or am i just crazy. You can tell me. I can take it and I want to get better. Thanks

Props and thanks to my brother from another mother who inspired me to write this blog post Your the best, Christopher J! =)


4 thoughts on “Fundamentals of Caring

  1. Ms.Graham says:

    Dear Awesome Avery,
    Again your tenacity (Google it!) continues to astound and amaze me, good for you!! I believe, and I hope that you do too, that I am not just one of the lucky few who have had the opportunity to be your teacher, but that I am also your friend. In the truest sense as your descriptors indicate: I want to spend time with you, learning about you in good and bad times! So please….keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. theswingshiftmom says:

    I think you make some really great points. Unfortunately there are people out there who go into the medical field for the wrong reasons, how much money they’ll make, social obligation… It makes them look good or they were told to follow in a family member’s footsteps. It really makes it easier when you find the brilliant people that are truly there to serve and get to know their patients.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheryl says:

    Great thoughts Avery! All so very true! Someone’s words can only go so far. Their actions tell the real story. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. Hugs….Cheryl Veenstra

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Serra says:

    I’ve had 33 brain surgeries for Hydrocephalus/shunt malfunctions, and I could not agree more with this assessment. You need to have a team of doctors, nurses, and even their staff, that are willing to extend some measure of compassion and caring for the people on the other end of the phone line or counter or whatever else may be dividing you. I have been blessed enough to have a neurosurgeon who was so invested in me and my well-being that when I wound up in the ER because I was experiencing symptoms that indicated shunt failure but really meant I was pregnant, he heard the test results over the phone almost at the end of his hour-long commute home and drove back to the hospital to give us the news and rejoice with us. On the flip side, I have also had nurses that were awful enough to make me want to disconnect myself from IVs and leave the hospital AMA if they were to continue “caring” for me.

    Also, great movie. Watched it a few nights ago and felt everything so hard.

    Liked by 1 person

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