What Are The Challenges Of Vivian Bearing

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In the movie Wit (Bosanquet et al, 2001), the trials and tribulations of Vivian Bearing, PHD are learned. Professor Bearing is an expert on the work of 17th Century British poet John Donne. As a professor she was unrelenting with her students. When Dr. Harvey Kelekian informed Dr. Bearing that she has stage 4 metastatic ovarian cancer, they both are very matter-of-fact with the diagnosis. When battling cancer, Dr. Vivian Bearing faces many challenges: (a) communication with medical staff, (b) patient advocacy, and (c) the stages of dying. Communication with Medical Staff The medical staff while communicating with the patient were very matter-of-fact. Often medical staff would enter and leave the patient’s room without acknowledging her. Many…show more content…
Some of the medical staff would talk amongst themselves and refer to the patient as if she was not in the room. Patient Advocacy The only advocate for Dr. Vivian Bearing was her nurse Susie. Initially nurse Susie did not seem to communicate well with the patient. She was very to the point, used only medical terms, and showed no empathy. After developing a rapport with the patient, she helped advocate the needs of the patient with other medical staff. One of the medical residents caring for Dr. Bearing, Dr. Jason Posner, left her on the exam table in stirrups while he ran the halls looking for a nurse to assist the exam. When nurse Susie entered the room, she asked the doctor “why he left the patient laying in stirrups” (Bosanquet et al, 2001). Another instance of advocacy was when the patient was sick and on neutropenic isolation, nurse Susie asked that the chemo be reduced, and that patient be put on patient controlled medicine pump for pain. Dr. Jason refused, put patient on Morphine drip and continue “full dose” of chemo instead. While examining Dr.…show more content…
Stage 1 is Denial, denying the disease may ease anxiety or fearful thoughts (Patricelli 2017). Dr. Bearing did not feel it was necessary to be admitted to hospital for her chemo, she wanted to continue teaching. She also believed that the aggressive experimental treatment would cure her of the cancer. Stage 2 is anger, patient may wonder why this is happening to them (Patricelli 2017). Dr. Bearing became very sarcastic about her illness and began to refuse further testing. Stage 3, bargaining, the patient may bargain for a cure or to be pain free (Patricelli 2017). Dr. Bearing began to have flash backs of when she was a professor and did not allow a student to turn in a late paper even though the absence was for the death of a family member. She also reflected on her childhood. Stage 4 is depression, in this stage death is impending and there is nothing left to bargain (Patricelli 2017). Dr. Bearing is scared, has feelings of doubt, regrets treatment of students. She realizes she is alone, she hasn’t had visitors. Dr. Bearing places her head under the pillow and cries, she states, “she has stage 4 cancer, there is no stage 5” (Bosanquet et al, 2001). Stage 5 is acceptance, this is usually a period of calm and peace (Patricelli 2017). Dr. Bearing realizes chemo is not working and accepts what is inevitable. There are many instances in the film where communication with the patient was lacking, there was advocacy for the patient but there were also

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