Álvaro Deblas is one of the doctors who cares for patients and families at home, in Malaga city area. He has been working at Cudeca for 12 years and today we will tell you a little more about him and his work together with his colleagues at the Cudeca Foundation.
The team consists of Noelia (who is the nurse) and Álvaro (the doctor). They currently serve the town of Almogía and 3 health centres in the capital (Cruz de Humilladero, Puerta Blanca and Huelin). In Álvaro's words: "From 8 o'clock we are already working, finishing organising the day's agenda and/or carrying out tasks with health centres or hospitals (checking medical records, ordering tests, completing reports, etc). We try to start the visits early and, often, they are not in the same geographical area, so travelling delays the purely healthcare work a little. We generally make 3-4 visits a day, in addition to receiving calls from the families and making follow-up calls ourselves. Almost every month we have some MIR students with us for training in Palliative Care: They accompany us on the visits and we keep an eye on their training. At the last minute there is the bureaucratic part of recording all the interventions of the day in our digital medical records program, which makes it easier for the colleagues on duty to be able to provide better guidance in the event of a doubt that arises for the families in case they need to consult".
When we asked him about the aspects he likes most about his work, Álvaro enthused: "This is a very special job: Helping and supporting patients and families in the care of patients and families in situations where suffering is evident. I emphasise above all that it is necessary to work as a team (with nursing, psychology, social work, physiotherapist, health centre or hospital)... this makes it easier to do it and we help better, of course". For Álvaro, entering the life of someone in these situations of vulnerability requires a lot of skills, given that you have to attend to all kinds of needs: from making them feel listened to, helping them make decisions to organising care... Cudeca's home care teams are trained to know how to adapt to the needs as they arise.
Álvaro admits that doing what you like allows you to be satisfied, to feel that your task is important; doing something you like and for which you have certain skills allows you to be happy, even if it sounds hard to hear when you relate it to the patients I see.
"I have fond memories of visiting patients living in the countryside, with breathtaking landscapes... even sometimes difficult to access. Many families welcome us as if we were one of them... once, Noelia and I were visiting a patient whose daughter was getting married in a few weeks, and we had to "get her ready" for that day. And we were visiting him in his house in the countryside, in a huge kitchen, while the wife was cooking...", this is one of many anecdotes that our home care teams hold in their hearts and for which, among other things, it is worthwhile for them and for all of us at Cudeca to keep doing what we do:
... caring for people at the end of their lives with our hearts in our hands.