"Rubbing Elbows"

"Rubbing Elbows"

Excerpt from "Rubbing Elbows," by Alvin Yoder:

"When dealing with a whole day-room full of patients in a hospital which is understaffed, it is easy to regard them as so many names and faces and herd them around as so many sheep. We should never lose sight of personality."

"This is a good place to try out the principles of peace for which we stand and see if they really do work. Woodrow Wilson once said, 'If you come at me with your fists doubled, I think I can promise you that mine will double as fast as yours.' The opposite is very likely to hold true also. People do about what we expect of them, so we should continually expect the better things rather than condemn them for their mistakes and failures. Suggestions are many times more effective than orders, and also are a lot more pleasant to give. In this way the patient is made willing to do something rather than be rebellious. A patient’s observation of an attendant’s relationship toward other patients often makes a deep impression on him and affects his actions. The more we try to understand the patients and learn about them, the better we can appreciate them. Playing games with them and listening to the stories they have to tell helps very much to this end."

"The friendly and appreciative attitude of the patients toward us gives us reasons to believe that we have in part reached our goal. The patients’ friends and relatives whom we meet on visiting days also seem to be very appreciative of our efforts. Our relationship to the other attendants at the hospital has been favorable. During the summer when the weather is good, ball games have been played with different teams from the city; the regular employees as well as members of our unit participate. The windows of the wards close to the ball diamond are crowded with patients who enjoy seeing these games. They especially watch and cheer for the players who work on their own ward."


--Taken from Anniversary Review, a publication of camp #93. May 1945. p49. In "'Anniversary Review,' 1944," folder 14/99, series IX-13-1. MCC Records Collection, Akron, PA.