By Peg Lopata, Contributing writer
Being in healthcare, as we all know, has been and continues to be very challenging. But Delshan Eddins, 57, a certified medical assistant in an oncology office at Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, is finding many ways to keep her spirits up–and those of her patients too, many of whom are elders. For herself, she has her faith, her family, music, and her love of caring for patients.
Eddins, a mother of three children, graduated from Bunker Hill Community College after her career in business was over. She had been out of school for over twenty years.
“It wasn’t easy. I didn’t know if I could do it. I had a child in high school, middle school and the youngest in daycare. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I prayed and asked God to help me,” said Eddins.
Not only did she graduate, she made the dean’s list and her grade average was an ‘A’.
It didn’t get easier once she found work, but because she loves helping people in need, she was glad to get up every day and do her job.
She said, “I have been both fulfilled and extremely satisfied.”
Her dedication is evident. Her patients know they are in good hands with her.
“It is my hope and prayer that every patient and person I come in contact with feels my sincerity,” said Eddins.
The pandemic made caring for people more challenging. In the early days of the pandemic, everything changed in Eddin’s home life and work world, as for the rest of us. Her youngest had to do all her schooling online. Not able to see her friends got her down. At Eddin’s hospital employees were separated, lots of departments were closed and she moved into the temporary, but very necessary job of screening patients entering the building.
“The hospital,” said Eddins, “seemed like a ghost town.”
The difficulties were especially compounded for her by the fact that she could not and still can not not touch patients.
“I cannot hug our patients or even give a small peck on the cheek,” said Eddins. “No contact is allowed. This is the worst for me.”
This deprivation makes her work even harder to go beyond just her responsibilities as a medical assistant. She makes sure that even if she can’t hug patients, she gives more than just what’s required.
“I help patients in whatever way they need. I will take a patient to the garage to find their car, or ride on the elevator with them if they are afraid. I try to give the very best care, physically and emotionally,” said Eddins. “I listen to and comfort my patients. I love putting a smile on their faces. I love hearing them laugh. It truly brings joy to my heart.”
Other interests round out her life: her children, grandchildren, a kitten, going to the beach, and reading. But it’s her faith that keeps her strong and helps her understand what’s going on.
Said Eddins, “I tell you sometimes bad things happen to good people and it can be a bitter pill to swallow. People are dying all around us. But I feel if I can get a better understanding what Jesus did and the example he set, I can get a better grip on my surroundings.”