Friday, 30 March 2012

The UK policy divide?

I make a very obvious statement here - health policy is becoming increasingly divided across the UK nations. The stark contrast between the conversations that I was listening to amongst colleagues in London, and those that we conduct in Scotland seem to be pulling us further apart. I don't really wish to make too much of a political statement (as how can I on the one hand wish for greater similarity/joined-upness while feeling relieved that Scotland's health policy isn't that of England's?). However, it has been very interesting for me to be exposed to the realities of the changes in England - albeit vicariously through my colleagues' experiences - and to appreciate the testing times that are faced across the health sector in England. That is not to underestimate the challenges in Scotland - and the similarities in relation to the need to ensure that we deliver safe, effective person-centred care in challenging contexts. Educationally speaking, we will need to ensure that we prepare our students so that they have a voice and can use their voices to influence policy in a way that doesn't seem to have happened recently in England (despite their voices being heard, health professionals have not managed to impact in the way they would have wished in relation to the current health policy). Part of the process of transformation through education includes, for me, the development of confidence, skills and knowledge to enable our students to engage effectively with policy debate.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

A tiny impact on professionalism

This may sound like a bit of a rant, but I wish that people would greet me properly when they email me. If I get a simple 'Ruth'  without a hello, hi or dear I feel like I would if the person was shouting to me down a corridor. 'Hey' is common amongst students - it must be a sign of getting older, but hey used to indicate something negative (hey, you!). Maybe it's not important but it feels like a little bit of professionalism slips away when emails address me without a simple greeting of hi/hello/dear. We as educators are role models for our students. We are also part of a caring profession. When a small slip in communication occurs (even when the communication is virtual), for me there is an equal slip towards dissatisfaction with an interaction. We all know that many complaints in healthcare stem from poor communication. Personally, I think it helps if we always use a respectful approach when dealing with people - formally, informally, electronically, in person.
Thank you for reading!