New Semester, New Rotation Venue & Excitement vs. Nervousness

Student NurseOn a physiological level, excitement and nervousness act very similarly in the body.  Starting clinical rotation in a new venue with a new instruction and a different group of students produces both…

Our car-poolers were no different than I was heading up to the medical center.  Were we going to find our way there?  How were we going to navigate the car park, the supply rooms, the med-surg floor?

Fortunately, we were met with a great deal of help and support.  There was less nail-biting once we met our preceptor, our guide-nurse and received our fancy student badges.  (Huzzah!)  We were reassured that we were not in it alone, that we would encourage each other and come to rely on the strengths and support of our cohorts who will, inevitably, become some of our closest allies this semester…

It is an exciting semester that we begin.  Fresh.  Newbies.  Probies.  Attending to the needs of our clients and delving into unexplored areas of learning.  It is a challenge and an opportunity and reframing our nervousness as excitement is the first step to walking confidently into a patient’s room and being the support that our clients need us to be

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Being Teachable is the First Key to Learning

Be Willing to Admit Ignorance, So You Can Learn

Very few people seem to be comfortable with admitting that they don’t know something. Maybe they feel that admitting ignorance about a subject will make them seem stupid, so they’ll feign knowledge and attempt to go with the flow in any given situation. This is highly detrimental on many counts, from a person being seen as an insufferable know-it-all, to projects going awry because an employee claimed to know something they didn’t.

If you don’t know something, admit to your lack of knowledge, and then immerse yourself in the subject so that you familiarize yourself with it. The universe is full of things that we don’t know, but the only way to grow and change is to open ourselves to opportunities to learn… and those won’t come about if we don’t leave space for them by saying “I know” to everything.

[LEGISLATIVE UPDATE] Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act

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H.R. 1339:To amend the Public Health Service Act to increase the number of permanent faculty in palliative care at accredited allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, nursing schools, and other programs, to promote education in palliative care and hospice, and to support the development of faculty careers in academic palliative medicine.

New Cosponsor: Rep. John Garamendi [D-CA3]

New Cosponsor: Rep. John Conyers [D-MI13]

New Cosponsor: Rep. Michael Grimm [R-NY11]

Thank you to our newest Cosponsors.  Please thank your legislators for supporting legislation that YOU believe in.  If they are not listed as Cosponsors, touch base with them and let you know what you support.  Your voice goes a long way towards creating change.

 

Explore the full text & track this bill:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1339?utm_campaign=govtrack_email_update&utm_source=govtrack/email_update&utm_medium=email

Take time to thank our supporters, or voice your thoughts to your representatives.

Need help finding your legislators?

Find your representatives: http://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup

[LEGISLATIVE UPDATE] Palliative Care & Hospice Education Act Move Forward

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[LEGISLATIVE UPDATE]  S. 641: Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act

A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to increase the number of permanent faculty in palliative care at accredited allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, nursing schools, and other programs, to promote education in palliative care and hospice, and to support the development of faculty careers in academic palliative medicine.

New Cosponsor: Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-MA]

Thank you to our newest Cosponsors.  Please thank your legislators for supporting legislation that YOU believe in.  If they are not listed as Cosponsors, touch base with them and let you know what you support.  Your voice goes a long way towards creating change.

Explore the full text:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s641?utm_campaign=govtrack_email_update&utm_source=govtrack/email_update&utm_medium=email

Take time to thank our supporters, or voice your thoughts to your representatives.

Need help finding your legislators?

Find your representatives: http://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup

 

 

[LEGISLATIVE UPDATE]  H.R. 1339: Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act

To amend the Public Health Service Act to increase the number of permanent faculty in palliative care at accredited allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, nursing schools, and other programs, to promote education in palliative care and hospice, and to support the development of faculty careers in academic palliative medicine.

New Cosponsor: Rep. Walter Jones [R-NC3]

New Cosponsor: Rep. Paul Tonko [D-NY20]

Thank you to our newest Cosponsors.  Please thank your legislators for supporting legislation that YOU believe in.  If they are not listed as Cosponsors, touch base with them and let you know what you support.  Your voice goes a long way towards creating change.

Explore the full text:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1339?utm_campaign=govtrack_email_update&utm_source=govtrack/email_update&utm_medium=email

Take time to thank our supporters, or voice your thoughts to your representatives.

Need help finding your legislators?

Find your representatives: http://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup

[JOURNAL] Embracing New Beginnings & Becoming ‘Teachable’

ImageWe all carry preconceived notions with us.  It is easy to enter into a new experience and view it through the lens of yesterday’s circumstances, and in the context of what we have previously learned.  In some of these moments, we sell ourselves short.  We can create a situation where we aren’t fully available to gain new experience, to see information with new eyes and to hold space for epiphanies.  In doing so, we can stand in the way of our own learning and growth.

It is a gift to come to the new with fresh eyes, with a sense of wonder and fascination.  Here, I believe, we meet the extraordinary.

Like other events, orientation to nursing school only happens once.  You are only a first-timer filled with all of the excitement, nervousness, fears, and newness the first time.  It is a shining moment.  Take it in.

Our preceptors and instructors are bursting with knowledge, experience, and passion for imparting the aforementioned on us.  Their varied, caring personalities so evident that they cannot be dulled by the mountain of  paperwork, policies and housekeeping  to be addressed at the beginning of the semester.  There is an electricity that is almost palpable in the room.  An audible hum fills in the gaps in conversations between people who have just barely met, but with whom we will become intimately connected during this adventure.  When class begins, the room becomes dead silent.  The hiccup of a single mosquito would echo as we lean in to each word uttered by our new instructor.  This is where the magic lies and where our journey together begins.

In this moment it is important to become teachable.

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”  [http://www.myrkothum.com/the-10-very-best-zen-stories/]

This is one of my favorite Zen parables and so fitting for this day because it is such a powerful reminder to my often overflowing western mind.  We work to gain as much knowledge as we can so we can ‘make something happen,’ so we can get credentials,  so people will think we are smart, etc.  This is in stark contrast to this parable which reminds me that perhaps the highest moment of creative thought is the empty mind (which in zen-buddhism is called the beginners mind).  Emptying our cup allows us to be fully present and attentive with what we are learning without bringing outside clutter and mind-chatter along for the ride.

Becoming teachable creates a space for genius to happen.  When we enter into a classroom, or clinical setting filled to overflowing with our previous knowledge, learning and perceptions there is no space for the skills, protocols and information shared there.  We are already full.  When we empty our cup, we begin to listen more deeply.  All of the skills that we have learned up until this point are still there and yet, in the moment, we make ourselves available to create a space for learning, cultivating and practicing.

Empty your cups, my friends… there is much to learn.