Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sharing Stories (again)

The idea about a book containing stories about nursing and nurses seems to be taking off. I now realise that it is important for me to explore my own story as well as encouraging others.
I keep putting off writing anything on the page. I am not sure what I am scared of, maybe it is the worry that I haven't actually got anything interesting to say but if I am encouraging others to do the same then I ought to do it myself!!
I admire those who can write prose and get their thesis written, their draft novel. I seem to have little stamina and find I get put off when I start thinking about writing more than 16 lines of poetry!!
I seem to be OK at writing learning outcomes and evaluation reports and maybe I ought to say "No" to those and concentrate on my own writing. It is difficult to do it all on your own and my belief in a project is difficult when you are not sure if anyone is interested. Paradoxically writing this blog seems to be more liberating.... I don't care who reads it but I do find I can just splurge onto the page without worrying about what I am going to write about. 
I am interested in encouraging reflective practice for health care practitioners, enabling them to find time and space to think about their work. I also seem to have a lot of ideas in my head that I find difficult to commit to the page. That stamp of authority, that confidence to say "This is how I see it." seems to be a long way off. I am expecting someone to tell me that it's all rubbish and that's what stops me...

First Ward

Don't let me bore you.
I am sure I have tales
to tell. Stories to share.

Ghosts in the attic,
tears in the sluice,
ward sisters who cared

more about neat cupboards
than the first year student
struggling to make sense

of worn out bodies.
Confused and angry
we all waited for a scrap

of attention. Jessie hit me
with her stick, whack!
I had to ignore it

move away, cry later.
Thirty four years on
it comes alive and I

wonder what made me stay.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Learning from Tweeting - post Francis

On Wednesday I attended a Department of Health event in Newcastle that invited participants to consider their responses to the Francis Inquiry. A So What Now?

Thanks to the wonderful Maxine Craig, whom I have met through Twitter, I live tweeted from the event. I got quite excited about it and realised it was a great way for me to concentrate. On occasions like this I am prone to mind wandering but this kept me focussed.
After a while I started tweeting haikus as there were some essential messages that were in danger of being lost within PowerPoint slides. It was all very interesting and the event left me more frustrated, in that the need to disrupt old ways of working is becoming crucial and so is working with staff. Please STOP telling them to be more efficient and expect besieged and beleaguered folk to find time and energy to be reflective. It needs to be acknowledged that they need space and attention... I think they need poetry and nurturing. If I hear the word productive once more I'll scream...
Here are my haikus - they were read and re-tweeted by others on the day which means the power of poetry has spread!!


duty of candour
acknowledge can do better
help share improvement

passion, drive - all matter
learning through nurture

recruit for values
retain around attitude
care matters for all

putting patients first
everybody's business
culture change needed

support excellence in care
all responsible


sharing stories
want to make a difference
to staff and patients