Saturday, 2 February 2013

New Year's resolutions?

Blogging should be a regular habit, but it's one habit that I have been remiss in keeping up as I moved into the new year in January 2013. I told my Principal that I planned to blog when I first started out as he is a regular blogger and he emphasised the need to be regular in writing. Well, I haven't managed it recently but a new iPad provides me with easy access to the tool to do it. No more excuses!

In thinking about the blog, and reading others' blogs, I have considered how it should be focused as I progress with it. Should I be using it in the capacity of a nurse educator's diary? Or should I be making pronouncements about nursing education? Or something else altogether? I've concluded that I should just go with the flow and not worry too much about it! So, I start afresh and will learn as I go along. As before, conversation and debate is welcome.

Returning to one of my favourite topics - compassion in nursing and healthcare education remains a talking point amongst practitioners and the media, with pre-registration education remaining at the forefront of the debate. The article in the link focuses on the selection of students for the profession - important but we should not be aiming to recruit fully-formed nurses. We should be selecting for potential. And yes, I do believe that compassion can be taught. Of course each person must have the innate characteristic in some form, but through an educational process the demonstration of compassion can be developed. I know this because I have seen it - debating with students about the place of the so-called 'softer' aspects of practice with a growing understanding and appreciation of the difference that a compassionate approach makes to the patient experience. The honing of compassionate skills is challenging and I personally think it is a lifetime's work to continually grow both personally and professionally in this respect. A place for further research I think - particularly with the changes to nursing education.

I am fortunate to be attending the NES Research and Innovation in Recruitment and Retention conference on 21st February where I will be presenting the findings from a project that investigated selection processes for nursing and midwifery education. I look forward to the debate around a topic that is so important to us an educators - particularly the issue of recruiting for values/compassion.

And so, I have restarted my habit of blogging. I aim to mimic some of the regular bloggers that I read and keep going now. Thank you for reading.