As my children have grown and my mental space has once again opened up, I find I am once again passionate about Ideas. Ideas about people, their individual dignity, what makes us all tick, and how society aids or prevents us all from achieving peace and prosperity.
I work as a Registered Nurse in a busy New Zealand Emergency Department. This has been my job for near on 10 years. I began in my early twenties, green as they come, with a heart bigger that my body and a mind confused about how to help those who crossed my path.
Working in an ED you meet people at their worst. They are stressed and distressed, scared, hurting, dying. There is a very small window in which to make a connection. It is this challenge that has me hooked. In a sound bite of someone’s life, how can I make a connection that validates their personhood and strengthens them for whatever lies ahead.
Sure I can stick needles into the veins anyone from 6 days to 105 years of age. Mostly even successfully I might add. I am also quite fond of reminding people that a monkey could be trained to insert IVs. A bit of an exaggeration, and sure it’s a skill we’re all proud to master. But the real skill in nursing is all around communication. How do we listen? How do we speak? How do we share information that empowers?
All of this has led me to reflect extensively on the language that we use, when and how humor is appropriate, how we ensure that our words have been understood in their intended meaning… the power of successful communication is immense. It also appears to be fairly uncommon.
Big issues and small, the outcomes always come down to who is communicating what, and how, and to whom.
I believe in the inherent dignity and worth of every human being. Let’s talk about that.
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