5B Response

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    Hannah Evans

    The film 5B is a wonderful portrayal of the shift in the healthcare system’s primary objective from curing to caring. As stated in the film, practitioners who worked in the AIDS unit of the hospital needed to let go of this notion of helping patients get better and instead latch onto the idea of caring for patients to lessen the immense pain they already feel through their deterioration. As HIV/AIDS spread horrifically with no comprehensive grasp on what exactly it was, how it was spread, and least of all, how to treat it. In this way, the practitioners of 5B showed immense courage; despite not definitively knowing that they would be relatively unharmed whilst working in such close proximity with AIDS patients, they put aside their fear in favor of doing what they knew to be right—providing patients with care and treatment when the rest of the world dismissed them, hazed them, or stayed away with terror. Instead, the 5B nurses, physicians, and volunteers acted with compassion despite the strain it put on them. They relentlessly made meaningful bonds and navigated this highly publicized and feared disease as best they could without a cure or effective treatment. One of the most significant parts of the film that stood out to me was the resilience of the practitioners; the connections they formed were so intense and meaningful, yet after a short period of time, they would eventually succumb to AIDS and pass away. That must have been incredibly painful for the nurses, doctors, and volunteers to see their friends die again and again, and yet continuing to endure that for the greater good and for AIDS patients to be cared for, regardless of the heartache and emotional strain it caused them. Because of this, 5B allowed me to gain an even deeper respect for nurses and for everyone who cares for patients during tumultuous, uncertain times.

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