Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Other people's views - working with patients who are 'different' from ourselves

George Galloway finally seems to have lost the plot in his recent statements regarding rape. This blog post is not really about what he has to say, except to say that I am personally outraged by what he (and similar others) have been saying. It is hurtful and offensive. These feelings set me thinking about what happens when we work with patients who hold different views from ourselves - on issues that are fundamental to the way we see the world. How do we work with our student nurses to enable them to deal with the tension that can sometimes exist when we have to hear and experience the views of others that sit uncomfortably with our own world views? For me this issue relates to the focus on caring and compassion that I have had running through many of my postings. My perspective is that it is possible to offer compassionate care even in circumstances that are personally challenging. The education of nurses involves the development of self-awareness, interpersonal skills, awareness of others and their needs, and a real focus on person-centredness. Delivering compassionate care can be learned in my opinion - I think that as long as the nurse has the fundamental characteristics required for compassionate care, the skills required for the enactment of that compassion can be learned. We need to help our students understand that patients have many views, characteristics and values - and each person is a complex mix. So, even though I cannot bear the thought of George Galloway today, I know that I could deliver compassionate care to him if I needed to.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Willis Commission - impact for education

A brief blog as I am just back from Nice and settling back into a different mode of being..... Was interested and very encouraged to see that degree nurses are not 'too posh to wash'. In other words, enhancing the education of nursing students does not appear to compromise their ability to be compassionate. It's my usual soapbox but I (and many of my colleagues who I discuss this with) know this. However, it is great that these early findings seem to bear out what many of us have been saying - that we need to ensure that our nursing workforce are highly educated. Of course, we must all place an emphasis on person-centred compassionate care as we work with our students in the university and in practice.